With pitchers and catchers reporting to Bradenton in three days, the Pittsburgh Pirates still may have one or two moves still to make to complete their 2014 roster.
We have looked at the first base position over and over again and it seems like Pirates general manager Neal Huntington is still in the market for an upgrade as he continues to look at Kendrys Morales and a few trade options.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, in his weekly Sunday notes column, the Pirates and Morales have mutual interest.
Kendrys Morales, 1B/DH, free agent — Morales fits what the Pirates need, a first baseman/middle of the order hitter. There’s mutual interest, but while the Pirates would love him on the right contract, they may also pursue a first baseman via trade. There are a few possible candidates, including the Mets’ Ike Davis, Toronto’s Adam Lind, Texas’s Mitch Moreland, and even Seattle’s Justin Smoak and Boston’s Daniel Nava and Mike Carp.
Morales declined a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Mariners in November, thus tying himself to draft-pick compensation.
The 30-year-old batted .277/.336/.449 with 23 homers and 80 RBI last summer for Seattle, starting 121 games at DH and 31 at first base.
However, despite the reported interest from the Pirates I have a hard time thinking the interest is that great.
First of all, Morales is not a very good defensive first baseman. Then there is the fact that he is represented by Scott Boras, so a team-friendly contract is pretty much out of the question.
Finally, there is the draft pick issue and I simply don’t see the Bucs surrendering their 2014 first-round draft pick to sign Morales.
It’s nice to see the interest, which goes to show that the team is still looking for ways to improve. However, I just don’t see this as a partnership that will work in the long run.