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Report: Twins, Kendrys Morales agree to a deal

Jun 7, 2014, 3:05 PM EDT

Kendrys Morales Kendrys Morales

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that the Twins have reached a deal with free agent 1B/DH Kendrys Morales. The terms of the deal are not yet known.

Update: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that it’s a one-year deal with a salary close to the prorated $14.1 million shortstop Stephen Drew recently got from the Red Sox.

Update #2:’s Rhett Bollinger reports that Morales will earn $12 million prorated for the remaining 103 games.

Recently, the teams strongly linked to Morales included the Yankees, Royals, Brewers, Mariners, and Rangers. So that the Twins grabbed him is a bit of a surprise. Morales is no longer attached to draft pick compensation now that the MLB first-year player draft has begun.

Morales, 30, slugged 23 home runs and knocked in 80 runs while slashing .277/.336/.449 for the Mariners last season. He’ll add some pop to the Twins’ lineup as they attempt to compete in a tightly-packed AL Central. The Twins are 28-31 and in last place, but are only five games behind the first place Detroit Tigers.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    The good old Mystery Team strikes again. Of course the other names that Heyman floated earlier in the week were quite possibly bogus.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      There’s a stupid GM born every minute!

      • karlkolchak - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        How exactly is this move stupid? I’m not even Twins fan and I can see that adding a guy of his talent on a less than four month salary when they’ve got a legit shot to make the playoffs makes perfect sense. It’s not like they went 5/100 to get the guy.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        He can’t play first defensively, and Mauer is there already. Gardenhire could have given more DH at bats to Willingham and the young Danny Santana. There was no need for the move, just better use of resources already in place.

        As for “making a move”? Yes, the Twins are “only” five out. But, by run differential, it’s the weakest division in baseball. There will likely be no wild card from the AL Central. And, especially with Abreu back with the White Sox, the Twins aren’t passing both them and Detroit to win the division, not with this move.

        What that team needs far more than anything else is more pitching.

      • moogro - Jun 7, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        That’s a waste of money. This will not put the Twins in the playoffs unless there is a couple plane crashes.

      • Tim OShenko - Jun 7, 2014 at 4:40 PM


        I agree that the Twins need pitching, but there’s not exactly a lot on the market right now. And it’s not likely that they could get a quality arm through trading – at least not without giving up too much. Also, the way their prospects are pitching, they’re probably comfortable with promoting from within.

        And yes, they can’t expect to be contending this year, not in any real way. Of course, it is only the first week of June, and if all the pieces miraculously fall into place, they still might have a shot at the wild card. It’s plausible.

        And yes, Morales is blocked by Mauer at 1B, and the Twins have more than enough lumbering OF/DH types already. But still…Kubel is a shell of his previously mediocre former self, Parmalee can’t hit at all, Arcia’s hurt (again), and it’s unreasonable to expect Santana to keep hitting as well as he has. Morales is both insurance and an upgrade. It’s not the best move to be making, but it’s not horrible either.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 7, 2014 at 5:54 PM

        @Tim: Agreed that MLB pitching is thin, and I don’t know who the team has at AAA. I gather it’s slim there, too, since the Twins jumped into the FA market.

        At least the contract is only for the rest of this year, and since, unlike Borass’ other client, Drew, Morales doesn’t regularly play a fielding position, he could be with the big club quicker than Drew in Boston.

        That said, per your comment, if you think it’s not likely to put the team over the hump, why not save the money?

      • Tim OShenko - Jun 7, 2014 at 6:57 PM

        Gadfly: As quite a few others have brought up, this move is mostly about appeasing the fans. Show them you’re willing to spend some money, and bring in players that could be an upgrade over the current squad. At this point, we just want a competitive team again, while we wait for the next crop of stud prospects to develop. It’s hard to watch the Twins trot out immobile OF/1B/DH types who can’t hit on a regular basis. Morales has at least one skill set that would make him an improvement.

        As for the future Twins pitchers, I suspect you’ll hear about them before the year is out. Either because they will have made the team, or because their arms will have mysteriously fallen off.

  2. luisrivasbuttocks - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    This is a very welcome surprise!

  3. giantschamps - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Dumb!! Why not go to a contender?

    • karlkolchak - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      In case you haven’t noticed, at only five games out of first the Twins ARE a contender–closer to first place than the Yankees, Angels and Dodgers, in fact.

      • giantschamps - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        Get real!!!

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:52 PM

        Yes, the Twins are “only” five out. But, by run differential, it’s the weakest division in baseball. There will likely be no wild card from the AL Central. And, especially with Abreu back with the White Sox, the Twins aren’t passing both them and Detroit to win the division, not with this move.

        So, yes, get real.

        Besides, what the Twins need is pitching, pitching, pitching.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 7, 2014 at 4:01 PM

        at only five games out of first the Twins ARE a contender–closer to first place than the Yankees, Angels and Dodgers, in fact.

        The issue is that the Yanks have one team ahead of them while the Twins have 4. It’s far easier to catch one than 3 to make the playoffs.

      • happytwinsfan - Jun 7, 2014 at 5:24 PM

        citation needed:

        Those other teams aren’t really ahead of them. The Tigers are up by about 4 up and all the rest of the AL central teams are basically tied. And all those other teams have more holes in their underwear than the Twins do.

  4. jsally430 - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    It’s not a terrible move for the twins. They’ve all ways needed power

  5. pwshrugged - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Where are they going to play him? Is he going to be a full-time DH? Mauer is entrenched at 1B, with Arcia and Willingham manning the corner outfield spots… I have to assume Morales will DH primarily, and spell Mauer occasionally? Injuries notwithstanding, of course.

    Still, from Morales’ side… this makes no sense. He’s going to a pitcher’s ballpark, for one, and he’s going to a very likely non-contender. Say what you want about the Twins’ fortunes so far, they still lack the pitching to make a solid run. They have, however, played better-than-expected so far… but that still puts them at sub-.500. So he’s going to go to a non-contender, to a home ballpark that will squash some of his power… what?

    Absolutely bizarre. One of the last teams I would have guessed at him even wanting to go to. Still, curious and perhaps reassuring (for Twins fans) to see the team spend free agent dollars, something they rarely do.

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      Why the Twins? He may not have had any viable alternative. The reports that named other teams could have easily been bogus.

    • giantschamps - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:50 PM


    • SocraticGadfly - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:53 PM

      And, the Twins could have played Willingham, and Danny Santana, doing well in limited action, more at DH than they are now. There was a halfway reasonable internal solution.

    • jwbiii - Jun 7, 2014 at 5:28 PM

      They are paying him $12m prorated, about $7.5m.

  6. SocraticGadfly - Jun 7, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    I also love the other fluffery, of calling this contract a “prorated $12M.”

    No, Mr. Boras. It’s $8M. Not “prorated $12M.”

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 7, 2014 at 4:15 PM

      This is significantly less than the $14.1 million qualifying offer that he turned down.

  7. rgledz - Jun 7, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Ya, the Yankees only have one team ahead of them……the problem is the fact that the Yankees are not your Dad’s Yankees. They are a middle of the road team just like the Twins, who are also just a few games out of the wildcard I might add. Target field is a ” pitcher’s park” because the Twins have never had anybody who can consistently hit HR’s! Opponent’s fair just fine in the HR column at Target Field. I see this as a good move for all involved. As for the pitching staff…..Hughes has been amazing and Gibson has been solid, the others….not so much. Don’t forget that the Twins have Some pretty strong starting pitching prospects at AAA. That can’t be dismissed either.

  8. senatorsguy - Jun 7, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    A major consideration for the Twins to make this move is to give the appearance of “giving a damn”. That is something the Twins fan base has been less and less certain of in the past few years – and they are voting with their feet as attendance plummets. Maybe the Twins make the playoffs – maybe they don’t. Morales > Kubel. Sign him and there is reason to hope that the Twins will play competitive .500 neighborhood ball for the year. What a huge improvement. Blow the cobwebs out of the billionaire wallet and have a respectable team.

    • pwshrugged - Jun 7, 2014 at 6:00 PM

      Heck, even TV viewership has plummeted. I think I saw a stat near the start of the year that the TV viewership on FS North has declined something like 35% over the last 3 years.

      It’s one thing to be a bad baseball team; it’s another to be a boring, hard-to-watch, bad baseball team. The Twins, at worst, are becoming simply a bad baseball team. At best, this helps them have a shot at a wild card and play meaningful baseball in September.

    • yahmule - Jun 7, 2014 at 9:19 PM

      Exactly. There’s something to be said for giving the average fan a reason to go out to the ballpark.

  9. uyf1950 - Jun 7, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    This deal makes no sense for the Twins. The Twins aren’t going to make the postseason what’s Morales going to help the Twins do? Lose 89 games instead of 92 or 93.

    • senatorsguy - Jun 7, 2014 at 5:17 PM

      I think one would only feel that way if it were your money. Hint: its not. A team has to carry 25 guys. Right now the Twins are carrying Kubel and Parmalee and they simply aren’t major leaguers. Improve the team by adding a guy (Morales) with a decent bat to entertain the fans while we wait to see if the prospects are ready later this year and in 2015. As a Twins fan, I can tell you it DOES matter at this point if they lose 89 instead of 92. Show me progress. None of us believe they are a playoff team. But for God sakes, spend a little cash to reward the fans with some entertaining games. We are allowed to ask for something back.

      • Cris E - Jun 9, 2014 at 10:15 AM

        Exactly. Now if they follow this up with similar moves for Corriea and Burton they’ll be on their way to actually improving. This division is utterly terrible enough for just about anyone to win.

  10. happytwinsfan - Jun 7, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    I didn’t see this coming and I tend to agree with those who point out that the Twins already have too many guys that hit okay but can only DH or play the corners, but the real take from this is that


    Those of you that say the Twins need “pitching pitching pitching” have just got used to saying that over the last three years and aren’t paying attention. The Twins bullpen has been good, Hughes and Gibson are doing well, Deduno okay, and you gotta figure Nolasco will be at least decent the rest of the season. Pelfry, their worst starter is gone, Correia the next weakest link in the chain is likely to be replaced shortly by May or Meyer both of whom have been rocking at AAA. An eventual rotation of Nolasco, Hughes, Gibson, Meyer, May is as good as any rotation in the AL central with the arguable exception of the Tigers.

    With Morales bat in the mix, Fuld coming back so Santana can go back to short the Twins everyday lineup might be better than the Tigers and same for the bullpen

    You guys don’t mean anything bad by it, but you’ve gotten used to dismissing the Twins. Now you gonna eat it!

    • senatorsguy - Jun 7, 2014 at 5:19 PM

      See that little orange bottle near the sink? It’s your medication. Take it.

      • happytwinsfan - Jun 7, 2014 at 5:31 PM

        My medication comes in big bottles, and they don’t sell it on Sundays.

        Live a little, join the party.

    • pwshrugged - Jun 7, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      Going for… what, exactly?

      I’m an objective Minnesotan (not from Minnesota), so I see enough of the Twins to feel comfortable saying they’re not a legitimate contender. They’re not a bad team; not by any means – they’re clearly on the right path, regardless of Buxton or Sano. But they’re not winning a World Series this year. Defend the pitching all you like, but when Phil Hughes is your best starter… that’s not good.

      To be fair, though, the division is wide open, and this can easily be read as an expensive move to satisfy the fanbase. It’s no secret that Target Field (which is still relatively new) isn’t filling up anymore, and that local Fox Sports TV viewership is way down over the past three years. This move definitely makes the team more palatable to the fanbase and, as you say, gives a certain sentiment of “going for it” – even if “it” is, at best, a short playoff appearance.

      I will agree, though, that the Twins lineup with Morales, when all healthy, is a lot better than most people realize.

      • happytwinsfan - Jun 7, 2014 at 6:21 PM

        Going for a play off spot after which anything can happen because the qualitative difference between most of the teams is paper thin and day to day. MLB isn’t the NFL where the 9-7 team that barely makes the play offs barely has a prayer against the juggernaut Seahawks. If the Twins were to face the Tigers in the playoffs behind a declining Verlander while the Twins send out a rising Gibson, my money’s on the Twins and Gibson. Also, I know I’m in the minority on this one, I think what is accomplished over the six month regular season is not just as important but more important than what happens in the few weeks of the play offs.

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 7, 2014 at 7:21 PM

      Looks like a nice win for the Twins today. Hope I did not just jinx them.

      • happytwinsfan - Jun 7, 2014 at 7:44 PM

        Considering that as soon as we get done with the Astros our boys will be trekking to your fair town to decide for themselves if the Jays are for real, I’m sure that you have no wish whatsoever to jinx the Twins and thus deny yourselves the opportunity to honestly reverse your earlier loss to us.

        No worries, once this encounter has been concluded, we will be able to join with you in celebrating the obvious moral superiority of those who live in the land of white halloweens (even thought Toronto is south of Minneapolis).

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 7, 2014 at 7:46 PM

        Few Americans realize that Toronto is south of many US cities.

    • twinfan24 - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:22 PM

      happytwinsfan mentioned the Twins have too many guys that can hit, but only DH or play the corners. While I agree they have too many guys that only DH or play the corners, too many of them (Parmalee and Kubel) can’t hit.

      I would predict Morales at mostly DH, with a very little 1B. Santana stays in CF, possibly with Fuld back as a late inning defensive replacement in CF or LF, so Hicks can go back to AAA to work on hitting right handed full time. Surprising move, but very solid addition for a partial season in order to help some young guys get playing time at the level they should, and (hopefully) end the Kubel experiment.

      • happytwinsfan - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:58 AM

        Why is it that we’re supposed to be a bunch of masochistic realists? Our boys, under fire, are marching towards the top of the hill. If they believe what’s our excuse for not being with them?

        All this ” you don’t have a reliable number one starter” and blah blah this and blah blah that is a bunch of obsolete crap. MLB is now so finely competitive that most all the previous predictors are out the window. It just might come down to who has the most heart. Let’s have some.


  11. homegrowntalentmn - Jun 7, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    I for see some trades happening. Willingham. Wish we could trade mauer

    • pwshrugged - Jun 7, 2014 at 6:04 PM

      I hate to say it, but let’s pretend the Twins are sitting at .500 or a bit above when the trade deadline hits. If they can make a deal for a front-of-the-rotation starter (Samardzija?), they suddenly become very relevant very fast. But I can’t take this team particularly seriously as an above-.500 playoff contender until they have a reliable #1 starter.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:16 PM

        Exactly. Him or Price. That said, who do the Twins trade for either one of them?

      • pwshrugged - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:54 PM

        Let’s assume they’re a couple games above .500 at the Break. The AL Central is very tight this year – none of the teams are particularly solid all-around; all have a glaring weakness or two. The AL East also suddenly looks suspect, so it actually is reasonable to think that a Wild Card is worth a shot.

        Honestly, based on my little knowledge of the Twins’ farm system, if the Rays or Cubs dangled Price or Samadzija in front of me and would make the trade for either May or Meyer (preferably May) and some lesser prospects, I’d pull the trigger. However, I’d only do so if I knew going in that I’d have good negotiating leverage on the guy for a long-term deal. I could see a team doing that with Samardzija, in particular, who seems annoyed at the whole will-they/won’t-they trade him stuff; he’s voiced repeatedly that he’d like to settle down and stay in Chicago.

        My other thought here is that too many young pitchers isn’t always for the best. The Twins have a real wealth of #4/#5-starter types already; Gibson seems to be rounding into a solid #3. Hughes may or may not remain reliable. So you hope that Meyer’s success in AAA translates and he’s a good #1/#2 – then you obtain Samardzija or Price to be an ace.

        The Twins look a lot scarier to me with an August/September rotation of Samardzija – Meyer – Hughes – Gibson – Nolasco. But that assumes Meyer can come up late this summer and contribute; but it seems guys do that every year, a la Sonny Gray or Danny Salazar last year. And even if Meyer isn’t lights out, you just swap Deduno or Correia back in… and I hate to say it, but the Twins start to look like a legitimate contender again (health permitting).

  12. hardkor07mn - Jun 7, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    I say play him at 1B everyday until sissy boy Maurer decides he wants to hit. Worst case you get rid of Kubel. He’s awful.

  13. gbrglax - Jun 7, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    Nelson Cruz was a bargain for the Orioles.

  14. bballnut50 - Jun 8, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    Just incredible all the second guessers…the twins are a couple games under .500, are in the race and the signing makes prefect sense, tv ratings have picked up right along with the wins this year, as well as attendance. Little risk for big up side, seems to be a lot of jealous other teams out there.

  15. nawlinssaints1956 - Jun 8, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    Love the move; it’s about time the Pohlad’s invested in FA talent during the season. For the first time in 4 years the Twins are competitive; with 102 games left they will stay in the race. Either May or Meyer will be in the rotation by July 4; neither will be traded.

  16. thenoffer - Jun 8, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    What is everyone complaining about? Did we give up young talent in a trade for this guy? No. Do we have future salary cap implications to worry about like the NFL? No. Is any of this money coming out of your pocket? No. So what’s wrong with signing a guy to a one year deal to try to help your team win ball games? Nothing. Friggen cry babies.

  17. chiveonvikes - Jun 10, 2014 at 1:25 AM

    Star Tribune listed him as a pinch hitter lol…why pay 12 million for a pinch hitter when we have a guy makin 20 million already who can fill in the pinch hit role…cuz that’s where he is about to be shortly….

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