The Toronto Blue Jays have signed designated hitter Kendrys Morales on Friday, as Christopher Meola first reported.
Morales' deal is over three years and is worth $33 million, according to the report.
The Blue Jays likely made a play for Morales knowing that Edwin Encarnacion may not return to the team in free agency this offseason. Still, though, they could have room for him at first base, making a deal for Morales a win-win.
This offseason could prove to be crucial for the future of the organization, as, in addition to Encarnacion, outfielder Jose Bautista became a free agent. Those two represented the heart of the Jays' batting order and very well may end up elsewhere next year.
That resulted in the team looking for offense early in the free agent market, leading them to the power bat they signed today in Morales. Over the past three seasons, no team has scored more runs than the Blue Jays. They have--at least recently--always focused their team around their offense.
The 33-year-old Morales has had something resembling a revival since joining the Kansas City Royals in 2015.
Last year, the Cuban native hit for a .263/.327/.468 slash line with 30 home runs and 93 RBI over 618 plate appearances (110 wRC+). According to FanGraphs, he was worth 0.7 Wins Above Replacement.
For his career, Morales has hit .273/.331/.465 with 162 home runs and 586 RBI over 4,077 plate appearances spanning 10 seasons.