The last major free agent from the 2013-2014 offseason has finally signed. Kendrys Morales reportedly inked a new deal with the Minnesota Twins that is relatively similar, but a little less than the $10 million deal that Stephen Drew signed with the Boston Red Sox just a few weeks ago.
The Twins basically came out of nowhere over the past few days to land Morales. The teams with the most interest, and who were thought to snag the free agent were the Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, and Seattle Mariners, who Morales played for last season.
Morales had a tough free agency period because the cost of a draft pick was attached to his signing up until this week's Major League Baseball first player draft. Minnesota will not have to surrender a pick now, due to the timing of this signing. Morales will also end up being a free agent at the end of this year as well because he will not have played a full year with the Twins.
Minnesota is really focusing on trying to upgrade its production as they try to continue to compete for a surprisingly open American League Central division, with the recent woes of the Detroit Tigers. The Twins are currently one game under the .500 mark and hold a record of 30-31, sitting in fourth place and four games back in the division.
The move certainly will benefit the Twins as Morales will quickly be inserted into the designated hitter role in a Minnesota lineup that has been surprisingly decent. The switch hitting Morales will likely be placed into the middle of a Twins lineup that features All-Star catcher Joe Mauer, and one of the top second basemen in the league this year, leadoff man, Brian Dozier.
A year ago, Morales batted .277, with 23 home runs, and 80 RBI as a member of the Mariners. Minnesota hopes to get that same kind of production from him in the middle of their lineup for the rest of the 2014 season. Morales will also help the production from the position for the Twins that holds a current OPS of less than .690.
It seems to be a very safe move by the Twins, as it did not cost them a draft pick, and did not cost them a ton of money either. This is a low risk, for what could possibly be a huge reward for the Minnesota Twins throughout the remainder of the 2014 season.