While the rest of New York waited to see if Zion Williamson would join the Knicks, the Yankees made a notable move of their own. The team announced the acquisition of first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales from the Athletics. In exchange, New York will send Oakland cash considerations or a player to be named later.
Morales, 35, hit .204/.310/.259 with a home run across 126 plate appearances (65 wRC+) in 2019. The Athletics designated him for assignment yesterday. He is, however, just a season removed from a year when he hit to a 108 wRC+ with 21 home runs for the Blue Jays.
A career .267/.328/.456 hitter (111 wRC+), Morales can also play some defense at first base. He grades out around average at the position. The Yankees, however, will probably employ him as the designated hitter with Miguel Andujar and Giancarlo Stanton on the injured list for the foreseeable future. The team will hope that the switch hitter can take aim at the short porch and give the lineup some extra firepower.
As a corresponding move, the Yankees transferred Jonathan Loaisiga to the 60-day injured list. The team announced yesterday that the right-hander was shut down with a shoulder strain.
We’ll have more on the move in the coming days. A quick takeaway: This can’t be good for the Andujar and Stanton timetables, right?
Update May 15: It’s official. Morales will be in the lineup for game two of Wednesday’s doubleheader. As a corresponding move, Joseph Harvey was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.