The Mariners have made a qualifying offer to Kendrys Morales.
So what exactly does that mean?
Here is a primer of what that qualifying offer means courtesy of ESPN.com and MLB.com:
For those who need to brush up on this concept, the qualifying offer was a new concept last offseason, and it works like this: Make a player an offer equal to that of the average of the top 125 player salaries and if he doesn’t accept, you get a supplemental first-round pick in next year’s amateur draft. Sign a player that received a qualifying offer, you lose a pick, either in the first round if you don’t have a protected pick (one of the top 10 selections in the draft) or your next available pick.
This year, a qualifying offer is $14.1 million, so any player who accepts a qualifying offer will be under contract for 2014 at that salary. The risk of a player accepting is balanced, however, by the value of that additional draft pick you might gain.
Morales – and the rest of the MLB players that were extended qualifying offers – have until next Monday (November 11) to decide whether to accept the offer and return on a one-year deal, or decline it, and become a free agent.
Morales, 30, batted .277 (167×602) while leading the team in batting average, hits (167), doubles (34), RBI (80), multi-hit games (46) and extra base hits (57) in his first season with the Mariners. His 23 home runs (2nd-most on the team) were the second-most in his career trailing 34 hit with the Angels in 2009.
All-Star voting is in full swing, and while Mariners fans should support all their favorites in the ballpark and online, one local star has carried the Seattle offense consistently for the past month.
Since April 30, designated hitter/first baseman Kendrys Morales is hitting .347 (41×118) with five home runs, 12 2B and 24 RBI to rank among the American League leaders. Here’s a more detailed glimpse at how the eight-year veteran stacks up against league competition in the last five weeks:
- 8th in AVG (.347)
- T7th in RBI (24)
- T4th in 2B (12)
Morales has established himself as one of the Junior Circuit’s top switch hitters. Overall, the Mariners star leads American League switch hitters in batting average, RBI and runs scored, and is T2nd in home runs. The versatile veteran has been especially dangerous against left-handed pitching, posting a .360 average on the season against southpaws, which ranks 9th in the AL.
A cool customer in the clutch, the Cuban-born Morales ranks fourth in the AL with a .396 average with runners in scoring position (19×48). He also owns 8 game-winning RBI, which is tied for the most in the AL. Morales has driven in the winning run in five of Seattle’s last eight victories.
The Mariners will play 18 games at Safeco Field in June, so fans will have plenty of chances to see Morales and his teammates in action, and vote to send them to New York for the All-Star Game, which will be held July 16 at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.
The first edition of Mariners Magazine (Volume 24, Issue 1) featuring Michael Morse and Kendrys Morales is now available for purchase throughout Safeco Field and at any of the five Mariners Team Stores. You can also subscribe to Mariners Magazine and have it delivered to your home.
The 2013 edition of the Mariners Yearbook featuring cover boys Kyle Seager, Felix Hernandez, Raul Ibañez and Dustin Ackley has also been published and is available at Safeco Field and Mariners Team Stores.
This is a little trip down memory lane, but kind of fun to watch now that Felix Hernandez and Kendrys Morales are teammates. This commercial was shot for the Major League Baseball 2K10 Video Game. Should be fun watching these two on the field this season as teammates.
The Mariners have acquired first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas.
Morales, 29, has played his entire career with the Angels, batting .281 (455×1620) with 79 home runs and 265 RBI across six Major League seasons (2006-2010, 2012). In 2012, the Cuban native batted .273 (132×484) with 26 doubles, 22 home runs and 73 RBI in 134 games.
“We have been focused on adding offense this off-season, and feel that Kendrys will be a middle-of-the-order bat for us. He’s a switch-hitter with power who has played, and hit, in the AL West,” Zduriencik said. “He’s familiar with the teams and parks and is a proven run-producer. We hate to part with Jason, and really appreciate everything he’s done for us, but we are in a situation where we had to give up talent to acquire talent.”
After a career-best season in 2009 in which he recorded 43 doubles, 34 home runs, 108 RBI and finished 5th in the American League MVP voting, Morales was limited to 51 games in 2010 and missed the entire 2011 season. He suffered a fractured lower left leg following his walk-off grand slam May 29, 2010 vs. the Mariners. At the time of his season-ending surgery, Morales ranked amongst the American League leaders batting .290 with 11 home runs and 39 RBI.
“Kendrys gives us a veteran presence and a proven, middle-of-the-order bat, with power from both sides of the plate,” said Mariners manager Eric Wedge. “Adding him to our line-up immediately makes us a better offensive club.”
Morales originally signed with the Angels as an International Free Agent on Dec. 1, 2004. He defected to the USA on June 8, 2004 after a storied career in the Cuban National Program. As a Cuban amateur he combined to bat .330 (287×871) with 37 home runs and 170 RBI. He was the first teenager to play for the Cuban National Team since Omar Linares in the 1980s.
Vargas, 29, has pitched the last four seasons with the Mariners, combining to go 36-42 with a 4.09 ERA (319 ER, 702.2 IP) in 119 games/110 starts. The left-hander has logged consecutive 200.0 inning seasons, combining to go 24-24, 4.04 ERA in 65 starts in 2011-2012. Last season, Vargas led the Mariners in wins, going 14-11 with a 3.85 ERA (93 ER, 217.1 IP), and ranked 4th in the AL with 22 quality starts.
Morales’ Career Highlights:
- Safeco Field – Career .292 hitter (35×120) with 7 home runs and 23 RBI in 34 games at Safeco Field (.346 OBP, .558 SLG).
- Switch Hitter – As left-handed batter (.290/66 HR/207 RBI)…As right-handed batter (.250/13 HR/62 RBI).
- Positions – Appeared at first base (312 G/286 GS), designated hitter (110 G/108 GS) and right field (18 G/5 GS) during MLB career…in 2012 started 92 games as designated hitter and 28 games at first base.
- Playoffs – Appeared in 16 postseason games with the Angels in 2007 (ALDS), 2008 (ALDS) and 2009 (ALDS, ALCS).
- Homered from both sides of the plate and had 6 RBI in the 6th inning July 30, 2012 at Texas…became the 3rd player in MLB history to homer from both sides of the plate in the same inning (also, Carlos Baerga w/ CLE, April 8, 1993 & Mark Bellhorn w/ CHC, Aug. 29, 2002).
- Dating back to 2009 (and despite missing a season and a half), has hit the 8th-most home runs (67) amongst MLB switch-hitters.
- In 2009 he ranked amongst AL leaders in slugging percentage (2nd, .569), extra base hits (3rd, 79), home runs (T6th, 34), RBI (T5th, 108), doubles (T8th, 43), total bases (6th, 322), OPS (8th, .924) and batting average (12th, .306).
- Named AL Player of the Month (August 2009) and two-time AL Player of the Week (July 27-Aug. 2, 2009) & April 19-25, 2010).
- On the disabled list from May 30, 2010 to the beginning of the 2012 season after suffering a fractured lower left leg.