Royals free-agent designated hitter Kendrys Morales agreed to a three-year, $33 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday afternoon. The deal is pending Morales passing a physical.
Major-league baseball insider Ken Rosenthal Tweeted the report about the Kendrys Morales deal on Friday afternoon:
The soon to be 34-year-old Morales has been the designated hitter for the Kansas City Royals for two seasons after signing a two-year, $17 million contract before the 2015 season. Morales hit an outstanding 52 home runs with 199 RBIs in two full seasons with Kansas City. His best season came in 2015, when Morales slashed .290/.362/.485 with 22 home runs and 106 RBIs as well as winning the A.L. Silver Slugger award at designated hitter.
Morales, however, tailed off slightly in 2016 finishing at .263/.326/.468 with 30 home runs and 93 RBIs. But, he suffered through a horrendous start which saw him post a measly .193/.262/.330 slash line in the first two months of 2016. Morales turned his season around with a fine .296/.357/.531 triple slash in the last four months.
In the end, Kendrys Morales was a consistent force in the middle of the Kansas City Royals batting order except for two bad months.
More from Kings of Kauffman
- Grading the 2022 KC Royals: The versatile Nate Eaton
- KC Royals: Club appears ready to hire pitching assistant
- Grading the 2022 KC Royals: Infielder Nicky Lopez
- New pitching coach looks like a good fit for KC Royals
- Grading the 2022 KC Royals: Second baseman Michael Massey
The KC Royals were interested in bringing him back in 2017, but Morales declined his half of an $11 million mutual option. The Kansas City front office then decided not to risk the chance he would sign a $17.2 qualified offer that would have secured draft pick compensation if he left in free-agency.
Kendrys Morales will now join a powerful Blue Jays lineup that plays in a bandbox at the Rodgers Centre in Toronto. Look for him to increase his power numbers as a result.
As for the Kansas City Royals, general manager Dayton Moore now must fill a hole in the middle of his batting order. Either Moore will settle on a combination of Cheslor Cuthbert and Hunter Dozier, sign a bargain free-agent, or make a trade.
At this point, I doubt even Dayton Moore is sure what he will do. His choice will depend on how the free-agent and trade markets shape up over the next three-and-a-half months before spring training begins in February.