Seattle Mariners Offseason Plan – If The M’s Had The Rays’ Budget

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Sep 28, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners designated hitter

Kendrys Morales

(21) rounds third base to score a run off a RBI double hit by Seattle Mariners right fielder Michael Saunders (not pictured) during the fourth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Mariners sign Kendrys Morales for one year, $1 million.

Maybe this is wishful thinking. After all, Billy Butler just parlayed a negative-WAR DH season into a three-year, $30 million contract with the ever budget-conscious Oakland Athletics. But while Butler is 28 and had a 97 wRC+ last year, Morales is 31 and had a 72 wRC+ last year. Butler may be slow, but Morales is the literal slowest player in the majors. Steamer likes Butler for a 119 wRC+ and 1.3 WAR next year. For Morales, those numbers are 103 and 0.3.

Which isn’t to say Morales is guaranteed to be a flop – his 2014 dropoff came seemingly out of nowhere, and there’s no telling yet if it was just a one-year blip or the start of the end. Morales was possibly the very worst player in all of baseball last year, but he’d always been valuable before 2014. This makes him a candidate for major positive regression, as well as a guy who should be available for cheap.

Butler set the bar high, but Morales was just so unthinkably awful that his representatives should be willing to say yes to the first team willing to offer a guaranteed major league deal. Maybe the Cheapo M’s kick in some performance bonuses. Signing Morales gives the M’s a potentially serviceable full-time DH, and if he flops again, there’s always Jesus Montero or Ji-Man Choi to call up.