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Yankees Potential 2015 Free Agent Target: Kendrys Morales

Should the Yankees sign Kendrys Morales as a backup first baseman?

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Statistics: .218/.274/.338, .271 wOBA, 72 wRC+, -1.7 fWAR

2015 Age: 32 on 6/20

Position: 1B/DH

Kendrys Morales has experienced a lot of highs and lows throughout his career. He had a breakout 2009 season, when he finished 5th in AL MVP voting with a triple slash of .306/.355/.569. The following year, he infamously broke his ankle crossing home plate to celebrate a walk-off grand slam that he hit off of Brandon League. Due to the injury, he missed over 100 games in 2010, then missed the entire 2011 season because of complications while rehabbing his ankle. After finally getting healthy, he was able to bounce back and hit at a level comparable to his career numbers of .271/.324/.460 for the next two years. This was particularly impressive in 2013 when he became a Mariner and was still able to hit 23 home runs. At the end of the season, he rejected the Mariners offer to him, and elected to test free agency. Unfortunately the market was not in his favor, and similarly to Stephen Drew, Morales found himself without a team when the 2014 season started. He didn't get signed until June, when the Twins offered him a prorated deal. A few weeks later, they traded him back to the Mariners where he finished the season.

Much like Stephen Drew, Morales did not have a good 2014 season. In fact, it was easily the worst of his career. It is very likely that the lack of a spring training contributed to his poor performance. Since he had such a down season, and because he ended up having a hard time getting signed last season, a team may be able to sign him for less than he is worth. If the Yankees are interested (and they supposedly were last season), Morales could be used to backup Mark Teixeira at first base. There has been talk that Alex Rodriguez could backup at first base, but it would be good to have an actual first baseman too, unlike last season when nearly everyone on the team with a glove ended up at first base. On the other hand, Morales would be another player who would need to spend most of his time at DH. That spot looks like it could be filled primarily by A-Rod and Carlos Beltran, but it doesn't hurt to have someone else available. Morales is a switch-hitter, so he has that going for him. If he could rebound to around his career average then Morales has the potential to hit 20+ home runs, and the lineup could use the boost.

If the Yankees were able to sign him to a deal that wasn't too expensive, he would be a perfectly good backup first baseman. After this last season, and all of Teixeira's trips to the DL and concerns about his wrist, we can almost expect that next season will be much the same. At least the Yankees should be prepared in case it is.