This is obviously not a new idea, but it is one that should be strongly consider…and soon. Seattle needs more offense and Morales needs a job. The Mariners might even have a few uniforms that are still in storage.
One has to assume that money is part of the issue. Morales is most likely in pursuit of a multi-year deal, and the Mariners may be hesitant to meet the current asking price. There may come a point when Morales is willing to take what the Baltimore Orioles gave Nelson Cruz. However, that point has not yet been reached.
Morales turned down the one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Mariners, but you have to wonder if he is reconsidering that decision now that the market has seemingly gotten a bit cold. Could the Mariners get him for $20 million over two years? How about $24 million over three years?
Do the Mariners fear the possibility of creating a logjam at first base or designated hitter? Possibly. Justin Smoak, Corey Hart, Logan Morrison and Jesus Montero are currently vying for those positions.
The problem is that Morales could be a player that is superior, particularly from an offensive standpoint. Let’s assume that Justin Smoak can secure first base. Are Corey Hart, Logan Morrison and Jesus Montero really better options than Morales at DH?
Montero is already on thin ice with the Mariners and appears to have a slim chance of making the roster unless he has an amazing spring. Let Morrison and Hart platoon in right field and provide backup at 1B and DH.
It is possible that Hart will return to 2012 form, Morrison will live up to his “potential” and Smoak will finally become the hitter that Seattle has always hoped he would be. Unfortunately, each of these possibilities has question marks, some larger than others. Morales is no guarantee either, but he may be a more viable offensive solution at this point.
There is still time to get a deal done, but opening day is coming soon.