Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Royals interested in Kendrys Morales

First baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales remains a free agent despite a very productive 2013 season with the Seattle Mariners. That is probably at least partially due to the fact that he declined a qualifying offer from Seattle and will therefore cost his new team draft pick compensation.

Still, he is a switch-hitting power hitter who cracked 23 home runs while playing half of his games in Seattle last year. That should eventually garner more interest, and yesterday Jim Duquette reported (with some enthusiasm, I might add) that the Kansas City Royals are a team interested in Morales:

What makes their interest a little confusing, however, is the presence of Billy Butler, who it could be argued is almost the exact same player minus the switch-hitting. Duquette addresses that fact and suggests that if the Royals signed Morales they might look to trade Butler.

In theory that makes a lot of sense, but how much would the Royals actually get for Butler? He batted .289/.374/.412 with 15 home runs and 82 RBI in 2013. Impressively he played in all 162 games; 150 of them were as the designated hitter, however, a factor that would have to impact his trade value.

As it is, teams struggle to get pitching in return in trades. Any team in need of right-handed power might instead look to a guy like Nelson Cruz as a free agent. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where the Royals pursue this route and get more than $.70 on the dollar for the man known as Country Breakfast.

As for Morales, other than the Royals the Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, and Pittsburgh Pirates have also expressed interest.

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Tags: Kansas City Royals Kendrys Morales

  • jimfetterolf

    I see no benefit for the Royals, Butler and Morales being similar players with Butler likely $4m aav cheaper over two years. On top of that we lose a 1st round draft pick, which also has value, then we’ll have to trade Butler and probably a prospect to get a pitcher who won’t be that good for the value while also blocking Duffy, Ventura, or Zimmer for ’14.

    Kings of Kauffman’s Hunter Samuels ran the numbers and it just doesn’t work for me, even if Morales wasn’t quite a bit older and on the decline side of the curve and bringing his game to the K. Butler will be fine this year with Gordon hitting behind him and one or more of the five hot arms will step up and cover Santana’s 3.0fW.

    • Hayden Kane

      Good points @jimfetterolf:disqus. To me, this might be a plan that makes sense if there was a feasible scenario in which they get a good return (pitching) for Butler in a trade. I just don’t see that, though.Plus I think I just like Butler’s bat a little more.

      • jimfetterolf

        Pitching is the crux of the issue and there is division, some think we need to buy another 3.0fW pitcher to replace Santana, others are comfortable with Duffy penciled in at #2 with Ventura at #5 after his service time is gamed and with Zimmer lurking in the shadows.

        The last thing we need is another #4 starter, about all we’ld get for Billy straight up, blocking one of the kids. The Young Guns have to face the music eventually, so might as well do it now. We had a similar situation in ’85. Come the ASB, I may be interested in trading Guthrie for prospects.

        • Royals_Fan

          Trading a starting pitcher and prospects for a starting pitcher doesn’t make since. Guthrie is an innings eater and he’s the only pitcher the Royals had last year who pitch CG shutouts. Guthrie is a big part to out line up. He flirted with a high 3 ERA up till his last game. The only reason the Royals sign Morales is if they have some pitcher lined up for a Butler trade. Having a switch hitting DH is big but the difference in Morales and Butler isn’t big enough to give up a first round pick. But like I said, the only way this makes sense is if the Royals have talked to a team and they said they would give them this pitcher for Butler.

          • jimfetterolf

            If Duffy and Ventura are performing and Zimmer is ready, trade a year and a half of Guthrie for prospects.

            The difference between Butler and Morales is about three years of age, $4m aav, and Butler is a better defender and base runner than Morales, believe it or not.

          • Royals_Fan

            They aren’t even fully confident Ventura is ready to be a starter. Zimmer caught on at the end of last year and the likely hood of the Royals starting all three, Duffy, Ventura and Zimmer is very unlikely. If they weren’t going to care if they make playoffs then they would probably play all three but they are wanting to make the playoffs now. Guthrie is one of the more consistent pitchers. Zimmer hasn’t pitched in the majors once. If you’re wanting to win now, trading a reliable pitcher for prospects and banking on two rookies to start the whole year and get you there is not going to happen. And putting Hoch, Davis or bring Chen back while trading Guthrie away isn’t the answer either. The only quality pitcher the Royals are going to get now is resigning Santana or trading Billy away for something. Not trading away a SP when SP is the area they are trying to improve.

          • jimfetterolf

            Don’t think anyone suggested trading Guts now, I thought I had made the parameters clear enough. I would add that Ventura likely doesn’t start the season with the Royals, I expect them to put him in Omaha to game service time.