Extension Talks Between Morales, Mariners Never Got Serious

The Mariners were interested in negotiating a long-term contract extension with first baseman/DH Kendrys Morales as recently as July, but agent Scott Boras' contract suggestions caused the team to balk, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Because of the figures suggested by Boras, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik never even made a formal offer.

Rosenthal writes that Boras plans to market Morales as a player whose production would improve away from the pitcher-friendly confines of Safeco Field. He notes that Adrian Beltre went from averaging 20 homers per season to 30-plus upon leaving Seattle.

Boras' claim figures to be a tough sell for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the Mariners altered the dimensions to Safeco Field this past offseason, lessening the advantage to pitchers in the process. Secondly, and more importantly, is the fact that Morales' numbers at Safeco and on the road are nearly identical. In 277 plate appearances at Safeco Field this season, Morales is batting .283/.332/.453, and he's batting .278/.344/.435 in 262 plate appearances on the road. He's actually hitting for more power in Seattle than on the road.

Because the Mariners declined to trade Morales before the deadline and when he was claimed off trade waivers earlier in the week, it seems that the Mariners are leaning toward extending a qualifying offer of roughly $14MM to 30-year-old switch-hitter (that's just my speculation). Rosenthal closes by saying that Morales' former team, the Angels, could have interest in him as a free agent this offseason, though that also appears to be more of a speculative statement than anything else.

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