Kendrys Morales ... Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles Rumors: Is Kendrys Morales A Good Fit?


There have been quite a few rumors circling in recent days about the possibilities of a Kendrys Morales situation in Baltimore as a predominant designated hitter.

I frankly believe those rumors are fueled by Baltimore Orioles beat writers expressing their own opinions, and then these opinions are picked up and repeated by sources like the MLB Trade Rumors, where they are seen by people like … well … like me, for example – who then write about it some more. And then others weigh in, the talk is rolling over the internet, and we’re all helping out some guy name Boris!

It does not seem to me that Roch Kubatko of MASN and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun are at all transmitting any significant insider information from the team necessarily; rather, they are expressing their own opinion – about which each of them agree concerning Kendrys Morales. According to them, he would indeed be a good fit for the team.

Just yesterday Connolly wrote, “I’m still pushing for the signing of designated hitter Kendrys Morales, though the addition of a legitimate starting pitcher, such as A.J. Burnett or Bronson Arroyo, intrigues me as well.”

Kubatko has been more emphatic about it, and over a longer time as well. On December 22nd he said, “I’ve been beating the Kendrys Morales drum until my hands bleed. Give up the first-round draft pick. Take the proven switch-hitter, a middle-of-the-order guy who could hit 30 home runs playing half his games at Camden Yards, and deepen your bench. Forget a platoon.”

On Christmas morning he mused, “I don’t sense that there’s a huge market for Morales. Get him to Baltimore and start him every night at designated hitter.”

And again yesterday, “The competition for Morales doesn’t appear to be fierce… Perhaps Morales should have taken the $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Mariners, though Boras is more inclined to have his clients turn it down. Clubs worry about his defense at first base and are hesitant to surrender a first-round pick. The Orioles don’t care about his glove and are more willing to surrender that pick than previous years, though it’s still a difficult decision in the warehouse.”

Again, I believe Roch is doing a lot more thinking out loud than he is reporting on anything he has heard or perceives to be truly going on.

Buster Olney has said that Morales might “theoretically be a fit” for the Pirates on a “team-friendly deal.”  (And the same would hold true for the Orioles.) And a number of writers have found humor in the words “team friendly” and “Scott Boras” anywhere near each other. It is like saying we are looking for today’s white weather to give us a balmy snowstorm.

Several other writers have mentioned that the only thing dumber than the Seattle Mariners offering a 14.1-million dollar qualifying offer to Morales is him not accepting it!

But anyhow, back to the question: Is Kendrys Morales a good fit for the Orioles?

When pushing beyond the dollars and the issues related to losing a draft pick, the answer is “yes.”  It has to be. He would not play in the field much, but could be a pretty much full-time DH. This would allow Henry Urrutia to get more experience at AAA – a position that almost everyone (except me) believes is totally necessary. (Frankly, I’d throw him out there and let him sink for a while, but watch him swim when he figures it out – he has hit everywhere else … but this is the stuff for another article on another day).

Morales had a monster year in 2009 with 34 homers, 108 RBIs, and a .306 average. In 2010 he broke his leg celebrating a slam. He missed 2011. And over the past two years he has established himself again as a solid performer, though not at the 2009 level.

Here are his statistics over the past two years, compared with the combined stats of the Orioles DHs over the same time …

Year

Name

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

2012

Morales

134

484

61

132

26

1

22

73

31

116

.273

.320

.467

.787

2013

Morales

156

602

64

167

34

0

23

80

49

114

.277

.336

.449

.785

2012

O’s DHs

153

575

71

138

22

1

24

71

64

190

.240

.323

.407

.730

2013

O’s DHs

152

552

76

129

31

3

21

69

42

142

.234

.289

.415

.704

 

So the statistics demonstrate that Morales is a better offensive threat than the combined designated hitters the Orioles have put forward in the past. Would this make the Orioles a better team with him, versus spending those dollars on a pitcher like A.J. Burnett or Bronson Arroyo? I have to say that I do not think so. It would appear to me that the money would be better spent for pitching, and that the Orioles have options to platoon or fill the DH role – even if it remains below league average. The pitching simply must be improved.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Baltimore Orioles Kendrys Morales