Wednesday, March 27, 2019

MLB trade review: A's acquire Morales

Kendrys Morales. Photo from The Athletic


            The Oakland Athletics have acquired DH/1B Kendrys Morales and cash from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for infielder Jesus Lopez and international signing bonus pool money.

            For the A's, first baseman Matt Olson needed surgery for a broken hamate bone. Morales, who has played just 30 games at first base over the last two seasons, is the short term replacement. The A's are opted to not go with Chad Pinder at first. Pinder can play left, and Morales and lefty crusher Mark Canha can platoon at first. Morales has hit at least 20 home runs in six of the last seven seasons.

            Morales, 35, had a .249 batting average with 21 home runs and 57 RBIs in 471 Plate Appearances for the Jays in 2018. Fun fact: he stole his first base since 2009, swiping two bags in '18. In his 12 year MLB career for the Jays, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners, Morales has a batting average of .268 with 211 home runs and 728 RBIs in 5156 Plate Appearances.

             For the Jays, a player who doesn't play the field for them, hit just 21 home runs in 2018 and will turn 36 in June won't help their youth movement. Trading Morales and part of the $12 million he was owed this year, helps. He was the highest paid player on Toronto. This allows Rowdy Tellez to DH. Tellez hit .319 with a .943 OPS in 23 games last September, and hit five home runs with a .908 OPS this spring.

              Lopez, 22, hit .239 with 10 home runs and 41 RBIs in 326 Plate Appearances for Single-A Beloit in 2018. In his minor league career, Lopez has hit .221 with 15 home runs, 111 RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 1266 Plate Appearances.

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