The wait is over. It started last October and comes to a close eight months later. You can wake up. The qualifying offer nightmare is done. It stifled Nelson Cruz's pay, forced Stephen Drew to wait, and now, forced Kendrys Morales to sign after the June Draft has come.
Morales has agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth $7.5 million ($12 million prorated) with the Minnesota Twins, according to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports continued to report the deal, quoting a source that said Morales' one-year deal will be in the ballpark of Stephen Drew's contract (Drew signed a one-year, $10.17 million contract with the Red Sox), which is true.
Morales, signed by the Angels as an amateur free agent in 2006, spent his 2013 season under a one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners. Known as a power-hitting first baseman, Morales posted a .277/.336/.449 triple-slash line, hitting 23 homers and driving in 80 runs. He added a 2.8 bWAR to the Mariners, while also posting a 123 OPS+.
It really shouldn't have taken Morales to wait until the June Draft to sign on with a team. He has a good track record; Morales posted an OPS+ over 100 (considered the average for a major leaguer) five times in his seven seasons. He's a good first baseman. Morales committed only 17 errors over his 2858.2 innings in the field. Besides, if an American League team signed Morales, the DH position has been his prime spot recently. The only issue, nonetheless, was the qualifying offer.
Morales' agent, Scott Boras, has had a big voice in his views against the current qualifying offer system. How it works is that players who receive qualifying offers from their former teams (in Morales' case, the Mariners) would have to either accept the one-year, just over $14 million contract the club gave them, or they would be subject to draft pick compensation, which would net the former team a draft pick and force the new team to give up one if Morales signed anywhere besides the Mariners.
The only way to remove the draft pick compensation weighing the player down would be to sign following the beginning of the June Draft, which Morales was forced to do. The Mariners will not get an extra pick in this draft, and the Twins will not have to give up one. But Morales was forced to wait out two months and seven days into the season before signing. This should really show the league what they have forced players into and lure them into making a change.
The Twins, however, have scored big. They don't lose a draft pick and they get a mashing first baseman or designated hitter for a prorated price to help them into the pennant race. As of right now, the Twins sit at the bottom of the American League Central with a 28-31 record. Morales, minus the draft pick compensation, can and just might shoot them into October feeling good. But right now, the only person who feels good is Morales himself.