The Seattle Mariners played a game of chicken with first baseman Kendrys Morales and appear to have won as the slugger declined his $14.1 million dollar qualifying offer this afternoon.
It was not expected that Morales would accept the offer, though there was some concern that if he didn’t find the market overly appealing, he could return to Seattle on the one year deal. Of course, that wouldn’t have been the worst thing for the Mariners but they likely would have preferred to use $14 million dollars in a different way, which they’ll be able to do now.
Morales meanwhile will hit the open market looking for a multi-year deal, which he’s likely to find. He’ll most likely be thrilled to be leaving the cavernous Safeco Field as well, despite clubbing 23 home runs during the 2013 season. At 30 years of age, it’s likely to be the final large deal of Morales’ career.
Seattle will be awarded a compensation draft pick if/when Morales signs with a new team and will begin efforts to look for a new first baseman.