If the Mariners were in the sweepstakes for Kendrys Morales, they lost. The veteran free agent designated hitter, who hit .277 with 23 home runs and 80 RBIs last season in Seattle, signed Saturday with the Minnesota Twins, a team that was not in the speculation for his services.
According to CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, Morales will receive a pro-rated portion of a $12 million contract, around $8 million. A source close to the Mariners said the club made a renewed offer. In the offseason, Morales rejected the Mariners’ qualifying offer of $14 million, and a second one at the end of spring training, said to have been a three-year deal worth $30 million.
Once the annual first-year draft began Thursday, a team signing Morales no longer had to give up a draft pick, making his signing easier for most teams. Morales also will be an unencumbered free agent after the season, since he won’t have played a full year for the Twins.
Minnesota is in the hunt in the AL Central division, where the Twins’ combined OPS for the team DH and first base positions is .740. The Mariners average is .629. Their primary DH, Corey Hart, is on the disabled list.