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Thread: No one wants to be next year's Kendrys Morales (or Drew)

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    Twins News Team All-Star PseudoSABR's Avatar
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    No one wants to be next year's Kendrys Morales (or Drew)

    Dave Cameron (of fangraphs fame) explores just how poorly Morales and Drew have played and further its possible ramifications on free agency.

    We all know how bad Morales has been, but Cameron really rubs it in:
    Things haven't gone much better for the other free agent who waited until midseason to sign; despite collecting three hits last night, Kendrys Morales is hitting just .238/.270/.333 since joining the Twins, and unlike Drew, he doesn't have any defensive value to fall back on. As strictly a designated hitter, Morales' entire value is tied up in how well he hits, and in 89 plate appearances in Minnesota, his .262 wOBA is lower than the career mark set by defensive specialists like Darwin Barney or Brendan Ryan.
    Yeah, that lack of defensive flexibility really hurts; especially now, given the Mauer injury.

    But what I find interesting is Cameron's point about the impending market next winter, a winter the Twins should have money to spend.
    If a team makes a marginal free agent a qualifying offer this winter, $15 million and a guaranteed job might look a lot more enticing than being next year's Stephen Drew or Kendrys Morales.
    Indeed, we might see fewer top-tier free agents next year as a result of what happened to Drew, Morales, and Cruz (though the latter stands do much better than the formers next year, even if he took short term losses). It's too bad for the Twins, who will have money to spend. The players who will decline arbitration are likely players out of the Twins price range, and the remaining free agents for one reason or another weren't even offered arbitration. (Conversely, I think it could make for a sellers market during the trade deadline). In any case, the Twins might have positioned themselves to resign on Morales on the cheap if he can't turn it around.
    Last edited by PseudoSABR; 07-06-2014 at 02:42 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member All-Star SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
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    I think teams are going to be much more wary about offering 1/15 mil deals to guys that they would prefer would "turn it down"

    I think it balances out in the end.
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"- L. Harvey Oswald


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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer amjgt's Avatar
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    This logic (that more players will accept a QO) could just as easily have the effect of teams not making as many QO to players.

    Before, with so many of them turning them down, teams viewed it as an opportunity to pick up a draft pick for someone that might not have been in their future plans anyway.

    Having less mid-tier FA tied to draft pick compensation could actually benefit the Twins, who have been reluctant (never) to give up a draft pick to sign a FA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    I think teams are going to be much more wary about offering 1/15 mil deals to guys that they would prefer would "turn it down"

    I think it balances out in the end.
    On the flip side there is no such thing as a bad one year contract either. I think solid players the team wants to keep but doesn't want a long term commitment on will get offered the QO so they will have to think long and hard about accepting it. The top FA won't have to worry cause someone will sign them. Its the next tier down. And in their cases it will depend on if the club wouldn't mind either a one year contract or draft pick.

    As far as the player is concerned it could get frustrating not being able to get a long term contract but you are probably making more year by year if you keep accepting the QO offer. This is a fun topic for the offseason.

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    How many people think that the Twins will be offering anybody a QO this offseason? I sure don't think so!

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Highabove's Avatar
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    Morales has had a whopping 84 at bats. Shouldn't we wait a little longer before a judgement is made on Morales?

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    Othr than lester, Shields and Scherzer, is there anyone without an option worth 15m/yr that is going to be a free agent?

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    Senior Member Triple-A DocBauer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highabove View Post
    Morales has had a whopping 84 at bats. Shouldn't we wait a little longer before a judgement is made on Morales?
    Yep.

    Personally, if he enjoys his time with the Twins this season, I'd make signing Morales a high priority. I know not everyone agrees with this approach, but not every top prospect in the Twins system is going to be ready for a full time gig at the start of 2015. And we already have to sort out CF, at least in the short term, and probably LF as well. Forget that Morales has struggled so far. Not only is the sample size small, but he virtually came off the street and was plugged in the lineup. His career track history is of a solid hitter with legit power and RBI production. And he's not some mid-30 year old trying to hang on either.

    Work with me here. Dozier hits in one of the top spots next year. The other spot could be Santana, or Escobar, or a decent, solid, fill-in ML CF option that they MUST sign for temp/and or 4th OF work, with Rosario being a possible option if he has a strong second half of the year this year. (That 50 game suspension continues to hurt and haunt) Mauer has finally been rescued from the body snatchers that held him the first months of this season to hit like he should be, before his recent injury. UGH! But the real Mauer hits 3rd in 2015. And let's say it begins to really click for Arcia, which it could just any day now, truth be told.

    Then what?

    Look, I want Vargas to be our full time DH and backup 1B yesterday, just like everyone else. And I don't care that he's struggled the last week or so. There are always ebbs and flows to a season. But he's young, in AA, and even if promoted to Rochester for most of the second half of the season, and even if he rakes, are we comfortable he's ready for 500 ML AB's just like that?

    And what about LF? Unless it's a cheap 1-year deal, Willingham is gone. So who plays LF and provides offense from that spot? Parmelee has been teasing us this year that the lightbulb might slowly coming on, a dimmer switch that someone keeps messing with. But at least we're seeing something. Rosario? Maybe. But he could also be in the running for a CF option. And for now, he's still in AA, behind due to his suspension, and even with a quick promotion to Rochester, and a couple really good months and outstanding ability, like Vargas, we're talking about a very young player with little AAA experience that we'd be counting on.

    The Twins have the finances to sign that decent CF option to help out. And with guys like Willingham and Correia gone, they also have the finances to sign a quality corner OF to fill a spot in the middle of the lineup. With financial flexibility, and future trade possibilities, the Twins can afford to bring back Morales, sign that decent CF option, AND a vet corner OF without blocking the future for Buxton, Rosario, Vargas and Walker a bit further down the line.

    This would give them a mix of veterans and youngsters to build a solid lineup to go along with a solid pitching staff, further fortified with a large group of young pitchers nearly ready to supplement and contribute, and still allow the young kids mentioned, and Sano, to work themselves one by one in to the lineup in 2015, and early 2016 at worse.

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    Morales missed spring training. Hard to jump in at mid season

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    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    This month will tell the tale for Morales. He's got a history of being a fine hitter and run producer. If he shows those skills again, he'll likely make out all right in the free agency next year, although the market for bat-only mid-30s guys isn't that great.

    I agree with Doc. If Morales shows he still has it, and is willing to stay, I say sign him up. The Twins have shown for the last several years that offensive holes develop and having a sure thing in the middle would stabilize the lineup long term.

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    Senior Member All-Star Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
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    I think guys like Morales, Drew, Oswalt, have honestly lost touch with reality and their good fortune for being pro baseball players when they start turning down reasonable contract offers (reasonable, like, you know, multimillions of $$$ for a single summer) and then go into a season without a contract.

    Speaking of Morales, he never really excited me. I'd trade him or let him walk. Give the at bats to young guys next year. So what if his numbers are down this year because he missed spring training or doesn't have many at bats yet. That's his fault alone, per article.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DocBauer View Post
    Yep.

    And what about LF? Unless it's a cheap 1-year deal, Willingham is gone. So who plays LF and provides offense from that spot? Parmelee has been teasing us this year that the lightbulb might slowly coming on, a dimmer switch that someone keeps messing with. But at least we're seeing something. Rosario? Maybe. But he could also be in the running for a CF option. And for now, he's still in AA, behind due to his suspension, and even with a quick promotion to Rochester, and a couple really good months and outstanding ability, like Vargas, we're talking about a very young player with little AAA experience that we'd be counting on.

    The Twins have the finances to sign that decent CF option to help out. And with guys like Willingham and Correia gone, they also have the finances to sign a quality corner OF to fill a spot in the middle of the lineup. With financial flexibility, and future trade possibilities, the Twins can afford to bring back Morales, sign that decent CF option, AND a vet corner OF without blocking the future for Buxton, Rosario, Vargas and Walker a bit further down the line.

    This would give them a mix of veterans and youngsters to build a solid lineup to go along with a solid pitching staff, further fortified with a large group of young pitchers nearly ready to supplement and contribute, and still allow the young kids mentioned, and Sano, to work themselves one by one in to the lineup in 2015, and early 2016 at worse.
    Norichika Aoki
    Emilio Bonifacio
    Melky Cabrera
    Nelson Cruz
    Michael Cuddyer
    Rajai Davis
    Chris Denorfia
    Jeff Francoeur
    Jonny Gomes
    Franklin Gutierrez
    Tony Gwynn Jr.
    Scott Hairston
    Torii Hunter
    Raul Ibanez
    Reed Johnson
    Darnell McDonald
    Mike Morse
    Colby Rasmus
    Nate Schierholtz
    Grady Sizemore
    Seth Smith
    Alfonso Soriano
    Ichiro Suzuki
    Ryan Sweeney
    Vernon Wells
    Josh Willingham
    Chris Young
    Delmon Young

    That is the list of FA outfielders coming up this winter. More if options are not exercised. If they were a good player their options are generally picked up. I think I wouldd rather have an outfield of Santana and the rest of the shortstops and sign Hardy.

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    Not interested in signing a bunch of 35 year olds. It is time to move on. at some point, they need to bit the bullet and move on. I have zero interest in Willingham coming back, that is insane. He can't field at all. MAYBE as a DH, but then you don't sign Morales. At least Willingham has SOME positional ability.

    For the OP....interesting points on both sides, does this make it more likely people take offers, and then less likely they are made? No idea. I do think it shows the value of the more certain present vs. the possibility of a better future (to a player making money).
    Lighten up Francis....

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    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    I'm guessing this gets adjusted in the next CBA. It isn't good for the players or baseball as a whole. It either gets done away with altogether, or there's going to be a way for players to sign by ST with a lesser compensation pick or a way to punish the team offering the QO to make them think twice about offering a QO. I'm not sure guys like Drew or Morales should have been offered one at all.

    What I do think is that if a guy like Trout was in that position, no one would think twice about giving up the first rounder... They just need to find the balance.

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    Twins News Team All-Star PseudoSABR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpiritofVodkaDave View Post
    I think teams are going to be much more wary about offering 1/15 mil deals to guys that they would prefer would "turn it down"

    I think it balances out in the end.
    I think you have a point. But one year deals aren't awful in general, and in particular, I'm not sure it holds true to these specific players and teams. Texas, Mariners, and Boston probably would have been fine with keeping Cruz, Morales, and Drew.

  19. #16
    Twins News Team All-Star PseudoSABR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highabove View Post
    Morales has had a whopping 84 at bats. Shouldn't we wait a little longer before a judgement is made on Morales?
    My point, nor I think Cameron's, was to cast judgment on Morales. But as little as 84 at bats are, they have added weight when Morales, if healthy, may only have an additional 300; his season is already one-forth over. Morales', and Drew's, value heading into the next offseason will be depreciated as a result. I think this may work in the Twins favor, as they may be able to resign him cheaply (though that would block Vargas).

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    Twins News Team All-Star PseudoSABR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocBauer View Post
    Personally, if he enjoys his time with the Twins this season, I'd make signing Morales a high priority. I know not everyone agrees with this approach, but not every top prospect in the Twins system is going to be ready for a full time gig at the start of 2015. And we already have to sort out CF, at least in the short term, and probably LF as well. Forget that Morales has struggled so far. Not only is the sample size small, but he virtually came off the street and was plugged in the lineup. His career track history is of a solid hitter with legit power and RBI production. And he's not some mid-30 year old trying to hang on either.
    I tend to agree, and we'll have a better idea at the end of your given his production. While Vargas may turn out to be a competent player, the Twins can't wait on every prospect; he'd be a valuable trade chit in any case.

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    Twins News Team All-Star PseudoSABR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
    I'm guessing this gets adjusted in the next CBA. It isn't good for the players or baseball as a whole. It either gets done away with altogether, or there's going to be a way for players to sign by ST with a lesser compensation pick or a way to punish the team offering the QO to make them think twice about offering a QO. I'm not sure guys like Drew or Morales should have been offered one at all.

    What I do think is that if a guy like Trout was in that position, no one would think twice about giving up the first rounder... They just need to find the balance.
    The problem is punishing teams (even bad ones) for trying to get better. The compensation part of the qualifying offer I see as a positive. It allows for teams to retain star players without the future commitment, and be compensated if they leave. That the QO was set too high (at 14) was also a problem, and I wonder if we'll see that number go down this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Otwins View Post
    Morales missed spring training. Hard to jump in at mid season

    That is the key. Not working out or not having access to MLB facilities, trainers, or frankly maybe not having someone checking in on you has hurt these guys. It almost always happens. You see it in football when rookies or even veterans hold out and miss training camp. Whether it is guys taking the qualifying deal or taking less after they gauge the market is not what they thought, I think you see next to nobody sitting out for months on end. This has definitely been a what not to do lesson.

  23. #20
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Twins Twerp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocBauer View Post
    Yep.

    Personally, if he enjoys his time with the Twins this season, I'd make signing Morales a high priority. I know not everyone agrees with this approach, but not every top prospect in the Twins system is going to be ready for a full time gig at the start of 2015. And we already have to sort out CF, at least in the short term, and probably LF as well. Forget that Morales has struggled so far. Not only is the sample size small, but he virtually came off the street and was plugged in the lineup. His career track history is of a solid hitter with legit power and RBI production. And he's not some mid-30 year old trying to hang on either.

    Work with me here. Dozier hits in one of the top spots next year. The other spot could be Santana, or Escobar, or a decent, solid, fill-in ML CF option that they MUST sign for temp/and or 4th OF work, with Rosario being a possible option if he has a strong second half of the year this year. (That 50 game suspension continues to hurt and haunt) Mauer has finally been rescued from the body snatchers that held him the first months of this season to hit like he should be, before his recent injury. UGH! But the real Mauer hits 3rd in 2015. And let's say it begins to really click for Arcia, which it could just any day now, truth be told.

    Then what?

    Look, I want Vargas to be our full time DH and backup 1B yesterday, just like everyone else. And I don't care that he's struggled the last week or so. There are always ebbs and flows to a season. But he's young, in AA, and even if promoted to Rochester for most of the second half of the season, and even if he rakes, are we comfortable he's ready for 500 ML AB's just like that?

    And what about LF? Unless it's a cheap 1-year deal, Willingham is gone. So who plays LF and provides offense from that spot? Parmelee has been teasing us this year that the lightbulb might slowly coming on, a dimmer switch that someone keeps messing with. But at least we're seeing something. Rosario? Maybe. But he could also be in the running for a CF option. And for now, he's still in AA, behind due to his suspension, and even with a quick promotion to Rochester, and a couple really good months and outstanding ability, like Vargas, we're talking about a very young player with little AAA experience that we'd be counting on.

    The Twins have the finances to sign that decent CF option to help out. And with guys like Willingham and Correia gone, they also have the finances to sign a quality corner OF to fill a spot in the middle of the lineup. With financial flexibility, and future trade possibilities, the Twins can afford to bring back Morales, sign that decent CF option, AND a vet corner OF without blocking the future for Buxton, Rosario, Vargas and Walker a bit further down the line.

    This would give them a mix of veterans and youngsters to build a solid lineup to go along with a solid pitching staff, further fortified with a large group of young pitchers nearly ready to supplement and contribute, and still allow the young kids mentioned, and Sano, to work themselves one by one in to the lineup in 2015, and early 2016 at worse.
    Pretty much agree. I would like to add suzuki to the post. With no viable catching options i think he should be brought back. Pinto is a conundrum. He should catch and be a the dh on non catching days...but who knows if he will ever be an everyday catcher.

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