Twins Trade Kendrys Morales for Seattle Reliever Stephen Pryor
Kendrys Morales was signed on June 7th by the Twins to help with their playoff push, but both he and the team struggled soon after. Overall, he’s hit just .234 with a .584 OPS for the Twins, and has seen only a slight uptick from that production in recent weeks. By trading him to the Mariners now, the Twins will only be responsible for a month-and-a-half of his $12M salary, or about $3M.
It’s somewhat a surprise that the Twins traded for a reliever instead of a pure propsect, but while Pryor is a relief pitcher, he is also a power arm prospect that could play a significant role in the Twins bullpen for several years. Or, he could be damaged goods. He turned 25 yesterday and has over a year and a half of service time, so he’ll likely be eligible for arbitration after the 2015 season.
It is doubtful the Twins could have received a significant prospect for Morales, who is not hitting enough to be in high demand, and that's not including his defensive limitation. This is a “sell-low/buy-low” trade for both teams, but the Twins will have more time to wait for Pryor to regain his form, and will spend less money while they wait.
It also clears up any debate about the direction the Twins plan to take at the trade deadline. They are "sellers" and this could be one of several moves the team makes over the next week.