Friday, July 12, 2013

Article Revisit: Yankees Should Target Kendrys Morales

The Yankees have recently been linked to Seattle Mariners player Kendrys Morales and it does not come as a surprise to me. I have been lobbying to get Morales on the Yankees for 19 months now and we will see that in this article revisit. Enjoy!
One Stipulation To Being a Yankee.... NO JUMPING

Apparently the Yankees traded super prospect Jesus Montero and have an opening for a DH spot. Also apparently the Yankees have 7 starting pitchers and are looking for one to trade. The Angels signed Albert Pujols apparently and also have ROY candidate Mark Trumbo also on the team with Kendrys Morales. Sounds like they have too many first basemen type players and we have too many pitchers. Lets make a deal?

Kendrys Morales is probably best known right now for his home run celebration that ended his season, pictured above BEFORE the injury. What we forget about Kendrys Morales so quickly is that Kendrys Morales has been a pretty good player since he broke into the league in 2009. In his first major league season he hit 34 home runs and slugged  .569, ranking second only to eventual MVP Joe Mauer. He ended up finishing 5th in that MVP vote in 2009. 2010 season was the season where he hit the walk off grand slam against the Seattle Mariners and fractured his leg during the celebration. In 51 games games he still batted .290 with 11 home runs and 39 rbis. He still has not come back to play a game since that incident, missing the entire 2011 season because of complications. Do you know what that tells me? Trade value is CHEAP.

Lets look at the Angels pitching staff since that is what we have to trade to Anaheim for Morales. The last thing the Angels need is pitching, let's be honest, but here is the projected rotation via the Angels official website here.

Jered Weaver
Dan Haren
CJ Wilson
Ervin Santana
Jerome Williams

That is a pretty scary looking pitching rotation. CJ Wilson and Jered Weaver are both signed long term where  Dan Haren has a club option for $15.5 million for the 2013 season. Ervin Santana is in the same situation with a contract through 2012 and the team holding a $13 million club option for 2013. Jerome Williams is a free agent after the 2012 season. All salaries and information was obtained at Cots Baseball Contracts

Who, if anyone, would the Angels be interested in? Obviously the choices are limited to Phil Hughes or AJ Burnett unless they are willing to accept prospects. The Angels currently are sitting at just under $142 million and I find it highly unlikely that they want 2 years of AJ Burnett at $33 million unless we eat 85% of that contract. That brings me to Phil Hughes.... As much as I love Phil Hughes he makes the most sense for a trade here. Hughes may actually be too much to ask for the Angels but the Yankees seem like they feel like they "have" to trade a starter, which is not true. Hughes could easily slip into more of a middle relief role while AJ/Garcia could fill the 5th spot and long man spot. Maybe the Angels would even be interested in Adam Warren , David Phelps, and/or DJ Mitchell. The Angels also do not seem to be entirely sold on Jordan Walden as their closer so maybe we could ship them a Mark Montgomery? Who knows..

The biggest concern is going to be Kendrys Morales' health. According to Roto World

Kendrys Morales (ankle) is drawing rave reviews for his early workouts at the Angels' spring training complex.
"I've been hitting with him every day and he looks strong," Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos said Wednesday. "Monday was the first time he took live BP (with a coach throwing) and he was popping them out from both sides. It's very impressive." If Morales continues progressing, he could become a legitimate fantasy sleeper. The 28-year-old tallied 34 homers and 108 RBI in 2009.

A lot of what is drawing me to Kendrys Morales, besides the low risk high reward type trades that Brian Cashman loves to pull (perfect example is Nick Swisher in 2009), is that he has more versatility then the other DH candidates being thrown out there. He has played 1B before, a position that Jesus Montero was penciled in to take some innings at to spell Mark Teixeira, and has also played the outfield. My line of thinking was that if Morales comes back healthy and productive then we have our replacement already on the team for Nick Swisher if he leaves after the 2012 season. Granted he has not played a ton of games in the outfield but he is far from a defensive liability out there, especially with speedy guys like Granderson and Gardner who cover a ton of ground in the outfield. The Angels seem like they have to do SOMETHING with Pujols, Trumbo, and Morales all looking to be vying for one spot on the team... I think we should take advantage of this and improve the team for the long term while staying with the 2014 tax thresh hold plan. Morales is making less then $3 million this season and does not seem to get a huge raise next season.

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