Signing Kendrys Morales no longer a terrible idea

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Not long ago the Yankees were loaded with designated hitters and non-fielders. Now, not so much.

Back when the free agency extravaganza predating the 2014 season began, Kendrys Morales seemed like one of the available players that was most likely to get way more than he was worth in addition to costing his new team a draft pick. After all, what he does well (hit for power) is often overvalued by the market while what he doesn't do well ( run, play a position of import) tended to get overlooked. But the free agency period before this season was a brave new world: no-field all bat Nelson Cruz was unsigned for a long time and Morales and his similar profile has still been unsigned. Draft pick compensation is a hell of a deterrent, but now as that threat fades Morales will be available at face value. Should the Yankees take the plunge?

Absolutely. For his career Morales has averaged a 117 wRC+. Even if Mark Teixeira turns out to be okay, he is a vastly better option as a DH than Alfonso Soriano. It's been six years since Soriano managed an offensive output as good as Morales' career average. The Yankees lineup desperately needs an infusion of hitters that, for lack of more analytical language, are not terrible. And even as a fill in for Teixeira Morales would work. Ideally the Yankees would have a good defensive first baseman available, but even with Morales' reputation he would be at worst a lateral move from Kelly Johnson, Brendan Ryan or Brian McCann being shoehorned into the position. If nothing else, it would end the experiment of jamming non-first baseman into the slot.

The important thing above all else is there will be zero downside. Money is nothing to this franchise, and they won't have to handicap themselves with a multi-year deal. A good hitter brought in mercenary-style without having to give something up of value in the system is perfect.

Morales would be a nice change from the scrapheap saga of 2013. Morales is a legitimately solid MLB participant which differs from most goons involved last year.

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