Designated hitter Kendrys Morales is one of the top sluggers available in free agency this offseason, and he should garner plenty of interest around baseball.

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Yankees Showing Interest in Morales

Tuesday, Nov. 8

The New York Yankees have reportedly “inquired” about free-agent slugger Kendrys Morales, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post

The Yankees’ interest appears to be “As a hedge in case they are able to trade Brian McCann,” per Sherman, as McCann serves as the team’s backup catcher and designated hitter.

Sherman added:

McCann is owed $18 million in each of the next two seasons, and the Yankees would not want to essentially duplicate that contract with Morales. Also, with Gary Sanchez as the starting catcher, McCann is now the primary DH, and the Yankees would not want to have approximately $35 million (plus luxury tax) invested in a backup catcher (McCann) and DH (Morales).

Morales, 33, would be an upgrade for the Yankees. In the past two seasons with the Royals, he’s bashed 52 home runs and 199 RBI in 312 games. McCann, 32, certainly hasn’t been poor for the Yankees in his three seasons with the club, hitting at least 20 homers each season.

But he managed just 58 RBI in 130 games in 2016, and he has exceeded 80 RBI just once in his past seven seasons (he had 94 RBI in 2015). While McCann does have added value as a backup catcher in a pinch, Morales is capable of playing first base, if needed.

And the Yankees could use another consistent source of run production. While the team did have at least nine players with 40 or more runs knocked in, the team leaders were Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorius with 70 apiece. The Yankees were 22nd in baseball with 680 runs scored and tied for 23rd in RBI with 647.

The Yankees will likely have competition for Morales’ services, however. Sherman reported that both the Boston Red Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays were also interested in the slugger.


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