Kendrys Morales has been claimed on waivers by an unknown team.

Kendrys Morales Remains With Seattle

Kendrys Morales has been claimed on waivers by an unknown team.

Kendrys Morales has been claimed on waivers by an unknown team.

Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reports that Kendrys Morales has been claimed off waivers by an unknown team.

Whoever the team is, they’d have two days to work out a trade for the first baseman. We know that the Pirates were linked to Morales before the trade deadline in July. That was back when Seattle held onto all of their players for some reason. It’s not a guarantee that Morales could fall to the Pirates. He would have to pass through the entire American League and most of the National League. I could see the Orioles or Yankees claiming him, since both teams need corner infield/DH help.

If Morales made it past those two teams, then I could see him falling to the Pirates, since none of the other contending teams need first base help. Morales is a much better option at first base than Justin Morneau. I would be surprised if he did fall past the Yankees or Orioles, so I wouldn’t pencil him in the Pirates’ future lineup just yet. This is why you don’t rush to trade for Morneau well before the August 31st deadline. There might be better options who become available, and who you actually have a shot at landing.

I’ll update this when the team is known.

UPDATE THURSDAY 11:04 AM: No word on who the team was, but Jon Heyman reports that the window to trade Morales has passed, which means he will remain with Seattle.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • ginbear

    Aside from price, what makes Morales considerably better than, say, Morneau? Being that Morales is a switch hitter, this would render Gaby moot (but you still have to pay him), and Morneau hits righties better than Morales (albiet a small margin). It takes weight off the bench not having managers being able to turn the platoon, but is that about it?

    Also, how well can Kendry hold up at first? He’s mostly a DH anymore (only 27 games at first all year).

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      Morneau’s numbers were elevated by two amazing weeks at the start of August. Since then he’s cooled back down.

      On the same note, Morales slumped this month, which dropped his numbers.

      I put more stock in Morales to be closer to an .800 OPS going forward than Morneau.

      It’s also important to note the park factors. Seattle is a horrible hitters park, ranking as the 8th worst this year in runs. Minnesota ranks as the 8th best this year in runs. Also, the AL Central has several hitters parks, while the AL West has more pitchers parks.

      • emjayinTN

        And, Morales is a switchhitter who hit for power and average with the Angels before breaking his leg/ankle(?) from jumping into a celebrating crowd of teammates at home plate – lost the better part of two years. The only question about him is whether he can play the field or not.

      • IC Bob

        Isn’t Minn known for being a terrible hitters park? It could be that any gain in hitting is probably caused by the horrible pitching staff of the Twins. As for Seattle, Morales would have to think he died and went to heaven to come and play at PNC against RH. As for playing first he can only be as bad as Jones I can’t believe he could be worse.

        • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

          I don’t think the new one is. I looked up the park factors and it ranks pretty high. The first few years it was low, but that has changed the last two years. I don’t remember if they made any changes to the stadium pre-2012.

        • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

          I did find this, which was pre-2011:

          “Additionally, the 14 black spruce trees located in the batter’s eye were removed, following hitters’ complaints that the trees interfered with the ability to see pitches as they would sometimes sway in the wind.[51] The batter’s eye wall itself was covered in a black material designed to reduce glare.”

          I wonder if that’s the reason it was pitcher friendly the first few years and is hitter friendly now?

          • IC Bob

            Thanks Tim for the update. It could be that the homer dome was so easy to hit it that in comparison this park was a pitchers park.

      • steelpro

        I don’t completely trust ball park factors, at least when it comes to runs. The home pitching staff has a lot to do with that. In 2010 when the Buc’s staff was crummy PNC park was 11th best park in the league for offense. Safeco and Target field have very close HR ball park factors. The difference between the parks in runs is that Seattle can suppress offense with King Felix and Iwakuma whereas Kevin Correia is the staff ace in Minnesota!

  • BamaBuc21

    How much would you guess the Pirates would have to give up to get Morales?

    • Bucco_Joe

      I’d doubt Neal wold offer much for an expiring contract. No way Bob shells out the bucks to keep him next year even if he did well over the last 5 weeks of the season. He was probably claimed before the Pirates had a chance, so Neal doesn’t need to sweat the details.

      • https://profiles.google.com/116255365477483987850 jalcorn

        Bob Nutting is Cheap.

        LOL, hadn’t seen that oldie for a while, made me smile.

  • TNBucs

    Maybe the Twins claimed him to protect the market for Morneau.

  • clemente21

    Can’t see him sliding past the Yankees or Rangers. But stranger things have happened.

  • derekbellstutu

    Derek Lee will be manning first base for the Pirates this season before Kendry Morales. No way Morales gets past the Orioles, Rangers, or A’s. With that said, Morales would be a great offseason addition if the Bucs don’t sign Jose Abreu.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 Lee Young

    not getting my hopes up one bit….not unlike the trade deadline.

    Foo

  • https://profiles.google.com/116255365477483987850 jalcorn

    Looks like Marlon Byrd is a more realistic option, he was claimed by a NL team and the Mets have already called up an OF to replace him (Den Dekker, former Bucco draft pick that went unsigned).

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