Morales has thrived in Kansas City, where he landed this winter on a two-year, $17MM deal. Over 639 plate appearances, Morales has slashed a robust .290/.362/.485 with 22 home runs.
That pre-2015 contract came despite a forgettable 2014 season in which Morales struggled badly after waiting to sign until the middle of the year. He was unable to find a suitable multi-year deal after declining a qualifying offer, precipitating the delay.
Represented at the time by the Boras Corporation, Morales ultimately landed with the Twins on a deal that ended up paying him about $7.5MM (a prorated $12MM annual salary). He was later dealt to the Mariners, but never got into a groove at the plate.
The Royals have made good on their bet, as Morales has returned to his typical level of offensive productivity. While he is all but limited to DH duties, that suits Kansas City just fine given the presence of Eric Hosmer at first.
Because they bought low, the Royals will owe Morales just $9MM next year in the slightly backloaded deal structure. His contract also includes an $11MM mutual option ($1.5MM buyout) for the 2017 campaign.