The ever-reluctant Kendrys Morales just got abducted by the Mariners front office. The “Hit-it-here Café” never sounded less like a place to drink beer and eat sandwiches and more like a fuck-dungeon
Kendrys Morales has recently, against his will, been bound and gagged and dragged to Safeco Field under the guise of darkness in exchange for Hard-throwing but control-challenged reliever Stephen Pryor
I am not entirely sure what to make of this exchange. Honestly, it is hard to be excited or terribly dejected about this trade. It is just about as Mariners a move as I have seen in awhile. The fact that it weirdly corresponds to a Jesus Montero promotion makes it even a tad more head-scratching, not in light of the Montero promotion itself (he will almost certainly be sent straight back down upon Morales’ arriving with the club) but in light of how I am reminded that Montero is mashing down in AAA and could actually maybe be exactly the same sort of player Kendrys will be. Whatever.
In the meantime, the Mariners have placed WFB (Willie Fucking Bloomquist) on the DL to make way for Montero. Since Chris Taylor was called up as well, there will need to be some other room made on the roster for Kendrys. I imagine we will just send Montero back down but what we could see is a Hart DFA corresponding to a situation where Lomo sees some outfield playing time which ought to be terrible.
Kendrys Morales has been worth -.9 WAR in limited action this year. This is a bad number.
We know he is a good hitter from last year where he proved that he was more or less recovered to his pre-leg-injury self (or some such approximation of that bygone state of being). He has not been good this season- though he has recently embarked on a 12 game hitting streak during which he has batted .292 with some walks and doubles thrown in for funsies. Morales has a career wRC+ of 114 so we know at least that the generalized, platonic form of Kendrys Morales is a player worth having in your lineup. That value is increased when you look at the disparity between that wRC of 114 and Cory Hart’s present wRC+ of 77. When looking to assess value in a trade or acquisition, it pays to look at the player being replaced as well as the general need of the organization. Kendrys would be a downgrade on many teams but the Mariners offense is ostensibly inferior to many teams.
The above paragraph is all well and good but my sunny outlook gets smothered and covered cumulonimbus-style when we realize that the positive picture I misleadingly portrayed earlier totally is totally cloud-metaphor’d by the admittance of Cory Hart’s career wRC+ of 115. When you compare career numbers between the two players, they are basically the same guy from an offensive standpoint, with Hart being less of a liability on the basepaths. These have been 2 solid career hitters who each have sucked mightily this year due to rust.
So basically the Mariners have made a lateral move with the expectation (read: desperate, clawing, raving, drug-addict-in-a-methadone-clinic hope against hope. Like a bigger long shot then sending the fucking ring to Mordor) that Morales has less rust to shake than Hart. The difference here is that Hart missed an entire season with injury rather than missing a few months of a season waiting for a contract during which time we can assume that Kendrys was at least able to play some sort of baseball against someone whereas I imagine Cory was just able to lift weights and shoot things down in wherever the hell he is from, which I imagine is the sort of place where one would shoot things because like holy fucking Christ have you seen the guy?)
Despite my inclination to think every move the Mariners make is a poor one—I am willing to let this one play out a bit. I have been disappointed that Hart has been unable to turn it around this year and I was never terribly disappointed with what I saw from Morales as recently as last year. Sure, he is a nightmare on the basepaths and he can’t really field a position but he was a guy who could help a team score a run or two that they might not otherwise have scored without him around. Conversely, Hart has been a black hole of suck for a while now and his prospects of improvement grow bleaker with each passing day. The word ‘bleaker’ should be eradicated from existence, it sounds like the name of my 3rd favorite muppet.
If the Mariners want a rental to help out in this contrived, ridiculous playoff-push of ours than there are certainly more costly rentals than buying low on a fairly consistent performer at a position of need for a young reliever recovering from a serious injury who is struggling in AAA.
I am sure most Mariners fans and bloggers wildly disagree with this, but I am willing to bet some of that is just based on the whole cringe-inducing notion of trading for a guy we could have potentially resigned. But if that is the case, consider this: the Mariners offered Kendrys a 3-year deal worth substantially more than he was ever offered by another team and he turned that money down to hold out and potentially waste an entire season. Kendrys really doesn’t want to be a Mariner, but the Mariners really want Kendrys. By trading for him, he has no choice in the matter. The Mariners scoff at modern notions of consent thereby ostracizing themselves from Jezebel writers nationwide. Given this paradigm, perhaps we should all reconsider our fandom?
Welcome to Seattle, come die with us Kendrys! You figuratively don’t have any choice.