The New York Yankees announced last night that they have acquired 1B/DH Kendrys Morales (and cash) from the Oakland A’s in exchange for cash or a player to be named later.
To create a spot on the 40-man roster, RHP Jonathan Loaisiga was moved to the 60-day IL. Bad news for our boy Johnny Lasagna.
Morales played 34 games (126 PA) for Oakland after being traded there right before the start of the real regular season (The A’s had played the Mariners in Japan already to open the season) and wasn’t good. He hit .204/.310/.259 (64 wRC+) with just one home run.
There is some quality contact data that suggest he has hit into a decent amount of bad luck, for what that is worth. He has an above-average average exit velocity and a BABIP of .239 to suggest as much. The Yankees may think there is something left in the tank there for the 35-year-old.
I’m surprised that they’re going to take a chance on Morales like this. I said the other day that I didn’t think Mike Ford would come back up because there isn’t room for another 1B/DH bat on the roster alongside Luke Voit, given the way that rosters- and benches, specifically-are constructed these days. I was wrong!
Morales as never really the same after that awful injury with the Angels, but he has had a bunch of really solid seasons, one of them as recently as 2018 in Toronto (108 wRC+). There is plenty of reason to believe that he could find a hot streak again.