Tag: Kendrys Morales

Kendrys Morales to Blue Jays: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

The Toronto Blue Jays appear to have found their answer at designated hitter, signing Kendrys Morales to a three-year contract.

Christopher Meola first reported the three-year deal. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com confirmed the agreement, adding that it will pay Morales $33 million total.

The Blue Jays had two big decisions facing them this offseason. Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista are both free agents and likely seeking large contracts. 

Shi Davidi of SportsNet.ca noted Morales’ addition does seem to signal the end of Encarnacion’s time in Toronto:

Rosenthal pointed out the Blue Jays won’t lose a draft pick for signing Morales because the Kansas City Royals didn’t make him a qualifying offer. The Blue Jays, on the other hand, could end up with two additional picks because they did give Encarnacion and Bautista the qualifying offer. 

Per Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the Blue Jays’ contract obligations for next season include nine players who will make a total of $107.2 million. That doesn’t factor in the money they will have to pay arbitration-eligible players, so the payroll was going to be high whether or not Encarnacion and Bautista returned. 

As a result, the Blue Jays were likely seeking alternative options for those two players this offseason. Morales doesn’t have the same star power as Encarnacion or Bautista, but he’s not a bad fit for Toronto’s lineup. 

Last season with the Royals, Morales hit .263/.327/.468 with 30 home runs in 154 games. By comparison, Bautista hit .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs in 116 games. 

The Blue Jays still have the talent to compete for a playoff spot in the American League East. Their starting rotation is deep with Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ and Marco Estrada making a formidable top four. 

While the offense may take a small step back if Encarnacion and/or Bautista don’t return, Morales gives them a big bat to plug in at DH and someone who can slot into the No. 4 spot behind 2015 AL MVP Josh Donaldson. 

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Kendrys Morales: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation on Free-Agent DH

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.

Continue for updates.

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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Kendrys Morales Has Gone from Castoff to Leading Man of Royals’ Attack

Kendrys Morales hasn’t left his mark on the American League Championship Series—yet.

He’s 1-for-6 with a couple of RBI in two games, and more importantly, the Kansas City Royals have a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Toronto Blue Jays heading into Monday’s Game 3 north of the border.

But it feels like Morales is due for a Significant Momentcapital “s,” capital “m.” And that feeling, by itself, is an unexpected twist.

Backing up a bit: When the Royals signed Morales to a two-year, $17 million contract last December, the deal was greeted with something less than enthusiasm by the majority of K.C. fans, as Pete Grathoff of the Kansas City Star highlighted via a series of cherry-picked-yet-representative tweets.

The issue was twofold. First, Morales—who turned 32 in June—was coming off a dreadful 2014 campaign, during which he posted a .218/.274/.338 slash line in 98 games with the Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners.

Second, Morales was inked to replace Billy Butler, the beloved, lifetime Royals designated hitter who helped usher Kansas City to the World Series before bolting via free agency to the Oakland A’s.

Those were strikes one and two against Morales, a seemingly declining hitter on the wrong side of 30 supplanting a revered franchise hero.

Usually, this story would play out in a sad, familiar way, with Morales crashing and burning in semi-slow motion while the tepid cheers calcified into full-throated boos.

Instead, Morales raked, and the Royals rolled.

In 158 regular-season games, K.C.’s new DH slashed .290/.362/.485 with 41 doubles, 22 big flies and 106 RBI, all while playing half his contests in the AL’s third-least homer-happy yard, according to ESPN’s Park Factors statistic

“It’s kind of what we hoped for when we signed him, to bring a power component to the lineup, an RBI guy,” manager Ned Yost said in September, per MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan. “For him to bounce back after a couple of pretty tough years is phenomenal so far, with the doubles and RBIs. You feel good every time he walks up to the plate.”

So far in the postseason, he’s cracked three home runs and collected eight RBI. And the Royals, not coincidentally, are two victories shy of a second straight Fall Classic appearance. 

All of Morales’ jacks came in the division series against the Houston Astros, including a three-run bomb off ‘Stros ace Dallas Keuchel in the decisive Game 5.

That led MLB.com’s Jane Lee, among others, to invoke the free-agent Morales-for-Butler swap with a healthy dusting of 20/20 hindsight:

So what’s sparking this resurgence? During the regular season, Morales hit a higher percentage of balls in the air than he had in any season since 2009, per FanGraphs. And while he remains a free swinger, he posted the highest walk percentage of his career and his lowest strikeout percentage since 2010.

Really, last season’s dip could be explained by poor conditioning, as CBS Sports’ Dayn Perry pointed out, noting that in 2014, Morales didn’t sign with the Twins until June, “which threw off his entire training schedule.”

The Texas Rangers‘ Prince Fielder is likely the favorite for AL Comeback Player of the Year honors, with New York Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez also in the mix, polarizing history be damned. 

Morales, though, is the only one still standing in the postseason. That doesn’t count when it comes to regular-season awards, but it does in every other sense.

He’s far from the only weapon in a loaded Kansas City offense that has seen catcher Salvador Perez, outfielders Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain, first baseman Eric Hosmer and others chip in this October. Add K.C.’s speed, airtight defense and strong bullpen, and you’ve got the makings of a two-time AL champion.

The Royals are an experienced bunch, after all, one that came within a Madison Bumgarner of a ring last autumn.

Now, they’re two wins away from a return trip to baseball’s ultimate stage. And while sample-size alerts obviously apply, Morales is 2-for-3 with a double in his career against young right-hander Marcus Stroman, the Jays’ Game 3 starter.

In other words: As the ALCS heads to Canada, Kendrys Morales will be there—waiting to leave his mark.


All statistics current as of Oct. 18 and courtesy of MLB.com unless otherwise noted.

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Kendrys Morales vs. Tigers: Stats, Highlights, Reaction from 3-HR Day

While most sports fans were focused on the second week of the NFL season, Kendrys Morales had himself a day, picking up three solo home runs and a triple in the Kansas City Royals‘ 10-3 win over the Detroit Tigers.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, the last Royals player with at least three home runs in a game was Danny Tartabull on July 6, 1991. The 32-year-old Morales also set the franchise record for most total bases in a game (15), per CBS Sports MLB.

Joel Goldberg of Fox Sports Kansas City also unearthed this fun stat:

Morales’ first home run came as he led off the top of the third inning. His high fly to right gave Kansas City an early 3-0 lead. He got the Royals on the board again in the fourth with an opposite field shot over the left-field wall.    

Tigers reliever Jose Valdez managed to limit Morales to only three bases following a stand-up triple to right-center in the sixth, but Jeff Ferrell wasn’t quite so lucky as Morales collected his third home run:

Grantland’s Rany Jazayerli was disappointed Morales didn’t get one more shot in the ninth inning; he was one batter away from a sixth plate appearance:

Hitting three home runs in the same game is undoubtedly a major feat, but Bruce Schoenfeld of Travel and Leisure magazine highlighted an even more impressive accomplishment from Morales’ stat line:

Sunday’s game further enforces how shrewd an acquisition the veteran designated hitter was for the Royals in the offseason. As Baseball Prospectus’ Matt Sussman joked, it’s not as if Kansas City received a ton of praise when the deal first happened:

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus had already been on the receiving end of Morales’ offense enough to know how much he has helped his team, per ESPN.com’s Katie Strang:

Although this year’s Royals team isn’t quite so anemic when it comes to power, it was still 22nd in isolated power (.142) and 12th in weighted on-base average (.318), per FanGraphs, entering Sunday. Morales has done his part, ranking third on the team in home runs (18) and first in runs batted in (102).

The Royals are one of the best teams in the American League, but they could run into trouble matching the Toronto Blue Jays blow for blow in the postseason—should the two meet—if they couldn’t count on Morales delivering timely hits.

How he performs will go some way in setting Kansas City’s playoff ceiling.

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Analyzing the Seattle Mariners’ Acquisition of Kendrys Morales

The Seattle Mariners made their first move of the trade-deadline season on Thursday, acquiring Kendrys Morales from the Minnesota Twins.

Greg Johns of MLB.com confirms that the Mariners sent reliever Stephen Pryor to the Twins in exchange for Morales:

Morales isn’t an impact bat, but he should be able to provide a slight improvement as a designated hitter at a low cost. It’s a sensible move for the Mariners to make, albeit a weird one after Morales rejected multiple contracts from the team in the offseason, including a $14.1 million qualifying offer.

Best-case scenario, Morales shakes off the rust from his late start to the season and matches his numbers from last year for the rest of the season. If Morales doesn’t turn it around, the Mariners are no worse off than before, either this year or for the future, as they didn’t give up much value to get him.

Morales signed with the Twins after the MLB draft, as he would no longer come at the cost of a compensation pick. Since debuting on June 9, Morales has hit .234/.359/.325 with just one home run.

Those numbers aren’t going to help Seattle’s woeful DH situation, so the Mariners are hoping Morales’ slow start is due to rust from not having a spring training. Morales has been a little better since July 7, raising his season average from .219 and collecting six doubles in that span.

The Mariners need Morales to hit well right away. Seattle is 2-5 since the All-Star break and has lost control of the second AL wild-card spot, as Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times highlights:

If Morales can even get close to his 118 wRC+ of last year over the rest of the season, the Mariners will be quite happy with the trade. With Michael Saunders out, Seattle has two healthy regulars in the lineup with wRC+ marks over the league average of 100.

Lloyd McClendon said that Morales can at least give some flexibility to a lineup that has been counting on Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager to do everything, via Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.

“He’s a professional hitter. He gives us the opportunity to stretch out our lineup, so to speak. He’s a nice fit, switch-hitter, hitting behind Robbie (Cano). … He gives us options, what we want to do with (Kyle) Seager, where we want to hit him. I like it,” he said.

Even if Morales continues to struggle, he comes at a low price. Pryor has upside, but he has not pitched well in Triple-A this season while recovering from major lat surgery.

The big concern is about Pryor’s velocity. His fastball currently sits at around 92 mph after averaging 96.2 in the 2012 season before the injury, according to FanGraphs.

Pryor could get healthy and become an effective reliever once again, but he wouldn’t have been an upgrade over anyone in the deep Mariners bullpen. Barring multiple injuries, Pryor wasn’t going to pitch again in the majors this year, as prospect Carson Smith is also waiting in Triple-A.

Morales’ addition will likely cost at-bats for Corey Hart as the team’s primary DH. Hart has been unable to get going after missing all of last season in addition to a lengthy stint on the disabled list earlier this year.

As a switch-hitter, Morales will likely be in the lineup every day as the DH. He has been considerably better against right-handers in his career, so a platoon with Jesus Montero (career .827 OPS versus left-handers) would make some sense, but the Mariners don’t seem too keen on giving Montero playing time.

Morales could potentially start at first base against lefties, although he is awful defensively. Johns confirmed that the current plan is to platoon Hart and Logan Morrison at first, with Morales playing if needed.

The only way this trade could hurt the Mariners is if they get complacent and make no other moves, as Morales is not enough on his own to key a playoff run. That doesn’t seem to be the case, as Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reports that Seattle asked about outfielder Drew Stubbs on Thursday:

Morales should offer a slight improvement at basically no cost to the Mariners. It’s not a flashy impact trade, but it makes sense.

All stats via FanGraphs.com, unless otherwise noted.

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Mark Teixeira’s Wrist Injury Could Shake Up the Entire AL, Not Just Yankees

The New York Yankees aren’t sitting back and waiting for the results of Mark Teixeira’s latest tests on his surgically repaired wrist. According to Jon Heyman of CBS, the Yankees have approached Kendrys Morales, who could sign as soon as Thursday evening.

Morales has been held hostage by the rules of baseball. As one of few free agents that was given a qualifying offer of $13.3 million by his former team, signing Morales would have cost his new team their first-round pick.  Since the Yankees have already signed one of these players in Brian McCann, the Yankees would have to surrender their second-round pick, their highest, which would push them back from selecting 55th. Signing Morales before the draft would mean that the Yankees would not pick until 91. 

However, initial reports on Teixeira’s chronic wrist problem are positive. Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal reports that Teixeira got good news from the doctor and could be back as soon as Tuesday. Reports have varied on which doctors Teixeira was seeing, but sources tell me that the answer was “all of the above.”

Teixeira saw not only Yankees team doctors and his surgeon, but he also called in at least one consulting surgeon for an opinion, thought to be Dr. Thomas Graham, the hand surgeon that worked on Bryce Harper’s thumb among others. Wrist problems like this normally do not recur after surgery, but the structures of the wrist are very fine. Even a small problem like scar tissue or inflammation can upset the entire anatomic structure, creating pain and weakness as Teixeira has dealt with.

The worry now is that Teixeira’s wrist is a chronic problem. Even with the positive reports and a possible quick return, there’s no guarantee that the wrist won’t act up again. Even with ace rehabber Mark Littlefield focused on Teixeira’s maintenance, this episode has Girardi and his staff worried about how much Teixeira will play, let alone hit.

Manager Joe Girardi told the press Monday that he was tired of playing a man down, intimating that he would like to see Teixeira on the DL. If Teixeira is able to play quickly, I’m sure Girardi would welcome him back, especially if he gets a good look at the Scranton roster that offers little in the way of quick fixes.

Morales would not be available until Thursday at the earliest, though it is much more likely that he will need a quick trip through the minor leagues. That is what Stephen Drew did after signing late and returning to the Boston Red Sox after being trapped by the same situation.

Signing Morales would lock up the DH slot and not offer much in the way of help for first base. Morales’ chronic ankle problems have limited his mobility greatly. It would also hurt the flexibility of a roster that is already inflexible and further tax a medical staff that is dealing with several players that require extensive maintenance and pregame routines.

There’s also the worry that Derek Jeter, now in his final season, will need the DH slot more if his ankle becomes problematic. Jeter has already been benched more than expected in order to keep him available during his victory lap, but that taxes the roster even more. 

While the Yankees aren’t out of the AL East race by any means—they currently carry a 41 percent chance of making the postseason according to Clay Davenport—the addition of another solid bat has to be tempting for a team like the Yankees. 

There’s one other piece of timing that needs to be mentioned, and that is the 90-day elimination period that is in place on Mark Teixeira’s insurance. The Yankees would have to wait that 90 days before they would be able to collect any money to alleviate the cost of Teixeira’s absence. The clock restarts if Teixeira plays even one game, so they will need to have some comfort level with his wrist before putting him in the lineup.

With the return of Teixeira and Carlos Beltran, who is currently trying to avoid surgery to remove bone spurs in his elbow, the Yankees wouldn’t need Morales. That would leave several other teams, including the Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers and the inevitable “mystery team” that comes with a Scott Boras signing. A decision will likely be made shortly and the wait over for Morales just after the Houston Astros make their pick Thursday evening.

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New York Mets’ 3 Biggest Missed Opportunities of the Offseason

The New York Mets have had a productive offseason in many respects, but they still missed out on a number of opportunities that would have improved their team in both the short and long term

The Mets addressed many needs this offseason, especially with their signings of Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon to bolster their outfield and starting rotation respectively. While filling these holes was necessary, the Mets missed on a number of opportunities to improve the team, especially since the signings of Granderson and Colon were geared to improve the team in the short term.

In early January, I laid out four areas in which the Mets needed to make further acquisitions, and they successfully completed two. They added cheap, veteran arms for their bullpen by signing Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Valverde, and they added veteran depth to their starting rotation with the acquisitions of Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan.

The team clearly doesn’t have the funds or desire to approach big-money players such as Shin-Soo Choo, Robinson Cano or Masahiro Tanaka, so I do not classify the failure to sign players like them as a missed opportunity.

Looking back at the offseason, here are the Mets’ biggest missed opportunities, although some of them could still be fixed.


All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.

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Texas Rangers Should Pursue Designated Hitter Kendrys Morales

Make no mistake about it, the Texas Rangers have a top lineup for the upcoming 2014 MLB season, but they should still pursue a designated hitter in Kendrys Morales.

The DH spot is regularly used by manager Ron Washington to give an everyday starter some time off from playing the field. And going into the 2014 season, the Rangers are planning to use a platoon at the offensive position, per columnist Drew Davison of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram in his late December article:

Daniels said the plan is to go with a platoon at designated hitter, with Mitch Moreland facing right-handers and Michael Choice or another right-handed bat against lefties. A caveat to that, Daniels said, is when manager Ron Washington uses the DH slot to give regulars a “mini” break.

Recently acquired outfielder Michael Choice has plenty of room to grow. Twenty-eight-year-old first baseman Mitch Moreland is yet to establish himself as an everyday starter. In fact, the Rangers trading for a first baseman this offseason, in Prince Fielder, exemplifies this.

Bringing in a player to fill the DH role for the Rangers wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Yes, there was the failed Lance Berkman experiment in 2013, but he was much older than the prospective Morales. Notably, Boston Red Sox power hitter David Ortiz has made a career out of the position.

Enter the switch-hitting Morales.

In November, Morales turned down the Seattle Mariners‘ qualifying offer of $14.1 million for one year, per baseball insider Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. And per Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, a team would have to surrender a draft pick by signing Morales.

In his Dec. 19 article, he highlighted that Morales could potentially be a good fit, but that the Rangers were looking elsewhere at the time:

Morales appears to be a good fit for the Rangers (DH), Athletics (DH/first base), Pirates (first base), or even Brewers (first base), but each of those teams would need to give up a first-round draft pick. And those clubs seem to have other priorities at the moment.

Two days after Morosi‘s article, Shin-Soo Choo agreed to a deal with the Rangers. And more than a week later, Morales is still available.

As the days continue to grow for Morales, who doesn’t have a new home yet, the price could drop on a new contract. He’s 30 years old and is primarily a DH. That certainly won’t make a team’s mouth water. But he has power and is a switch-hitter, which means that the Rangers wouldn’t constantly worry about playing the matchup.

That’s salivating.

Not having a guaranteed spot in the lineup could work one of two ways when platooning players. Either one player steps up or both players struggle without having a chance to get in a groove all season.

Morales could be the replacement in the lineup to former Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz. He could also find success in Texas much like Mike Napoli did, a once-tenured Los Angeles Angels player just like Morales was. Napoli hit for a batting average of .320 and 30 home runs in his first year in Arlington.

Could Morales replicate that? See if the embedded video reminds you of Napoli‘s high-flying home runs.

Morales spent six seasons with the Angels and hit 34 home runs in 2009. And in 2010, he had 11 home runs through 51 games before breaking his leg in a game-winning celebration. Morales bounced back by hitting 22 home runs in 2012 and 23 home runs with the Mariners in 2013. He also had a batting average over .270 in both of those years.

The bat is there. So what about Moreland and Choice?

As stated before, Choice is a great prospect who can make an impact in a year or so. But Moreland is excellent trade bait to lure in a starting or relief pitcher. The Pittsburgh Pirates, per Heyman on Twitter, and the Tampa Bay Rays, per staff writer Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times in a November article, believe that Moreland could be a good fit for their respective teams.

If there is one thing to be learned from this offseason, it’s that Daniels is putting the Rangers in a position to be a contender for a long time. Morales should be the next target that can help them further compete, especially in October 2014. 

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Best Available First-Base Options After James Loney Deal with Rays

And then there was one.

With news Friday that James Loney has re-upped with the Tampa Bay Rays for $21 million over three years, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, there aren’t many first basemen of note left on the free-agent market.

In fact, it’s pretty much just Kendrys Morales, the former Seattle Mariners slugger, who hit .277 with 23 homers and 80 RBI last year.

Recently, other free agents like Mike Napoli (Boston Red Sox), Justin Morneau (Colorado Rockies), Corey Hart (Seattle Mariners), Garrett Jones (Miami Marlins) all inked new deals, leaving the pickings rather slim.

And yet, there are still teams searching for and in need of help at first base, including the Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland Athletics, New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros.

That’s why aside from Morales and the few other bottom-of-the-barrel free agents, there’s also a trade market developing at the position. Here, then, are some names to follow among readily available first basemen.

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MLB Free Agents 2014: Most Underrated Players and Who Should Sign Them

The 2014 offseason will be an exciting one for MLB. There are many intriguing and desirable names that fans want their team to land. With big names such as Jacoby Ellsbury, Robinson Cano and Shin-Soo Choo headlining the free agency market, the rest of the free agents should not be overlooked.

Every team is looking for next year’s Mike Napoli or next season’s Marlon Byrd—a player a team signs and out of nowhere has a big year. Here’s a look at a few underrated players who could make a big and important impact, for a new team in 2014.

Rajai Davis

If a team is in need of a player who can fly around the bases, Rajai Davis is the guy. Davis has had more than 40 stolen bases four out of the last five years, including 45 last year. The 33-year-old also hit .260, with an OBP of .312 for the Toronto Blue Jays.

With many teams in need of outfield depth, expect Davis to sign somewhere that he can flourish in a platoon-type role. The San Francisco Giants are a team that would make sense for Davis. He has played there in the past and would be a good fit for a Giants team that could use his skill set.

Although Davis returning to the Bay Area would not be a surprise, the Detroit Tigers are a better fit. The Tigers, who had fewer stolen bases than Davis last year, could definitely use some speed on the base paths. Davis should be a player the Tigers grab.

Prediction: Detroit Tigers

Kendrys Morales

After a freak injury forced Kendrys Morales to miss most of the 2010 season and all of the 2011 campaign, he has proven he’s fully back after two very good seasons in 2012 and 2013.

Morales finished the 2013 season batting .277, with 23 homers and 80 RBI for the Seattle Mariners. After that year, expect many teams to go after the 30-year-old. There are many places Morales could land, but an AL contender should be the one to ultimately snag Kendrys.

With the Texas Rangers losing multiple solid bats to free agency, they are a team that will make a run at Morales and want him to be their DH. Morales would be a great fit for a Rangers lineup that already includes Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler and Alex Rios.

Prediction: Texas Rangers

Joaquin Benoit

Joaquin Benoit is a player who could be of much value to many teams. As seen with the Red Sox and Cardinals, a reliable bullpen is extremely important to make it to the World Series. There are many teams in need of late-inning relievers, and Benoit could fit perfectly for some.

Coming off one of the best years of his career, in which he had a 2.01 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP, Benoit should not be overlooked. Although there are bigger names out there such as Joe Nathan, Grant Balfour and Brian Wilson, Benoit deserves to be considered among them all.

Teams like the Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets and New York Yankees could all use Benoit’s arm. Ultimately though, it will be the Yankees who sign Benoit. They will need a guy late in the game whom they can rely on after losing some key relief help. Benoit could end up being a steal if the Yanks get him at a good value.

Prediction: New York Yankees

Some other underrated free agents who I think will make an impact in 2014 are Juan Uribe, Dan Haren and Corey Hart. There are tons of players to choose from and after this year, who knows what can happen.

Who do you think will be this year’s most underrated free agent signing? Leave in the comment section below whom you think this year’s break-out free agent will be!

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