Kendrys Morales hit .277, belted 23 homers, and drove in 80 runs; numbers that made him an elite hitter for Seattle. There is a better than average chance, however, he will be in another uniform next season.
At the conclusion of the World Series teams have five days to submit to their own free agents a qualifying offer. The average salary of the top 125 players for the prior season is figured and that is the qualifying offer. The player then has seven days to accept or decline, thus becoming a free agent. The offer to Morales is around $13.8 million, give or take a few hundred thousand. I heard on a local sports radio station, Morales has already turned down the offer. Not surprising since last year eight of the nine turned down the qualifying offer. David Ortiz was the only player last season to accept a deal with his current team.
The Mariners knew Morales was going to turn down the offer, if indeed he did as reported. It is in the best interest of the free agent to get the best deal possible. And since Scott Boras is Morales’s agent, you can see where it is going. Last year two of the eight eventually resigned with their own club. So the Mariners will have to negotiate along with all clubs interested in Morales. His reported salary for this season was $5.25 million. Do the Mariners really want to pay more than $14-15 million. For the numbers he put up I think it unlikely.
So if Seattle chooses not to go deep into a bidding war, that leaves Jesus Montero as the most likely candidate for DH. He did not hit well taking PEDS, so how good can he hit without them? Everyone says he can hit and Montero must know Seattle is the best place for him to succeed, because catching will not keep him in the major leagues.
The other option for Seattle is the free agent market where they might be able to get someone at a more reasonable price. For now this is the first Mariner hot stove topic of the offseason. But with the Seahawks garnering the headlines, no one is sitting around the Mariner hot stove. At least not yet.