November 11, 2016
The Toronto Blue Jays have inked Kendrys Morales for three years that will guarantee him $33MM, according to Chris Meola on Twitter. The Designated Hitter is 33 years old and batted .293/.327/.468 to go along with 30 HR's and 93 RBI's in 558 AB's in 2016 with the Kansas City Royals. Toronto is moving quickly in their quest to replace Edwin Encarnacion with a potential splash in the outfield next on the Blue Jays' to-do list if the team is unable to re-sign Jose Bautista.
How this affects Toronto's DH future outlook: He might not be as much of a threat as Encarnacion at the plate, but Kendrys Morales is coming off of two solid years where he's averaged 26 HR's and 100 RBI's. Injuries may still be a small concern for Morales considering he's only a few years removed from ACL surgery, but with back-to-back seasons of playing in at least 154 games, it's reasonable to say that keeping Morales as a designated hitter has rejuvenated his playing career.
How this affects Toronto's overall future outlook: Considering the Royals didn't offer Morales a qualifying offer, the Blue Jays won't have to lose any draft picks either. With Encarnacion poised to cash in on a $100MM+ deal, President Mark Shapiro was wise to move on quickly and picked up Morales at a low cost. With Bautista and Encarnacion both set to depart, Morales' powerful left-handed bat will fit in the middle of the order nicely next to Donaldson's, Tulowitzki's, and Martin's right-handed bats.
Bottom Line: With Encarnacion almost certain to depart this offseason, Mark Shapiro made the smart move in finding the next best bat on the market for a fraction of the price.