Morales declined a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Mariners, meaning he will cost his new team a top draft pick. As such, an MLB GMs recently predicted that Morales might have to wait to sign a deal until after the MLB draft in June (Gammons, Dec. 11).
The Orioles, Yankees, Rays, Brewers, Pirates and Rangers have all been connected in rumor to Morales, but there are no reports of any offer being made.
In October, Tim Dierkes predicted Morales would eventually ink a two-year, $28 million deal (MLBTR, Oct. 27).
Morales, 30, hit .277 with a .336 OBP and .785 OPS, 23 HR and 80 RBI in 156 games with the Mariners this past season.
Morales played 31 games at first base this season, but mostly served as Seattle’s designated hitter.
Morales hits for power and struck out over 100 times, but he had a career-high 49 walks in 2013, which could only improve working in the Mets system. He did DH'd a lot, but was serviceable in his time at first. He certainly won't win a Gold Glove, but he won't kill anyone defensively either - what he provides offensively could certainly make any shortcomings on defense tolerable.
Overall, his production is only slightly above average for a first baseman. Morales will generally hit 20 home runs and more than 30 doubles in a full season, and he gets on base at a good -- but not great -- clip. The good news is that he's put up capable numbers since returning from a broken ankle that cost him almost two years. He hasn't returned to the impressive performance he put up before the injury, but he also hasn't struggled. His switch-hitting ability is another selling point, though he's weaker against lefties.