December 19, 2013

Kendrys Morales Doesn't Make Sense For The Mets

There is persistent rumor that free agent first baseman Kendrys Morales could find his way to the Mets on a "team friendly deal" later this winter.  Understandably, Mets fans have latched onto the idea, because from an offensive standpoint Morales could be considered an upgrade.  With that said, while I expect the team could be linked to him again as spring training nears, taking on the slugger just doesn't make sense when looking at the bigger picture.

First and foremost, Morales has predominantly served as a designated hitter since a devastating ankle injury cost him more than 100 games in 2010 and all of the 2011 season. In fact, in the 273 games he has played since that time, he has appeared in the field in just 59 on them.  It is not just the notion that he may be a defensive liability, but a question of whether or not he can withstand the wear and tear of a full season in the field if the Mets were to bring him in to play first base.

Then there is the question of offense.  Since 2009, Morales' worst season at the plate saw him hit .273.  I wouldn't expect that type of number from Lucas Duda this season.  Morales also strikes out at a reduced clip when compared to Duda.  However, I do believe their power numbers could line up.  Given a full season at first base, I can see Duda belting 20 to 25 home runs, just as Morales did in each of his past two seasons.  I'm not sure the offensive gain Morales potentially provides is worth the financial commitment required.

It's sad that its always about the money with the Mets, but I don't foresee the team dishing out a one year deal worth an estimated $12 million dollars. That's a "win now" type of acquisition, and regardless of what Sandy Alderson says, I don't think they're prepared to make that type of commitment to 2014. Lets also not forget that Morales would cost the Mets their third round draft pick in 2014, something Alderson is hesitant to do.

Bringing Kendrys Morales to Queens is a risky move.  It involves a lot of money, a draft pick and ultimately the likelihood that the team will be right back in the same boat next winter, looking for a long term answer at first base. I'm not saying Morales isn't some sort of upgrade from Duda and I'm not saying I would welcome him with open arms provided it doesnt prohibit the team from improving in other places. I'm just saying at this point in time, with the money involved and the roster in flux, I don't think Morales makes sense for the Mets right now. 

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