According to a report from CBSSports.com, the Minnesota Twins have agreed to terms with free-agent slugger Kendrys Morales. MLB.com reports that Morales signed a deal for the rest of this season, and will be paid the pro-rated portion of a $12 million annual contract, or $7.54 million.
Morales spent the 2013 season with the Seattle Mariners and hit .277 with 23 home runs and 80 RBI in 156 games. He played for the Angels for the previous six years.
The Twins have not confirmed the deal yet. But the team likely acquired Morales to shore up their inconsistent offense and try to make a run at a playoff spot. The Twins are 28-31 at this point in the season, five games out of first place in the American League Central division.
He was not picked up before the start of this season because there was a penalty to sign him: After Morales received and declined a qualifying offer of $14.1 million from the Mariners, the next team would be forced to give up a first-round pick in the draft, according to MLB.com.
Now that the draft is taking place this weekend, teams are free to sign without losing any picks. Morales was reportedly being pursued by several teams, including the Yankees, Brewers and Rangers.
Morales, 30, is primarily a designated hitter, and has averaged 26.3 home runs over his past three full seasons, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
So far this season the Twins have put nine different players in the lineup as designated hitter, including Joe Mauer, Danny Santana and Josmil Pinto, according to the Pioneer Press, which speculates that Jason Kubel's spot on the roster is probably in jeopardy with the addition of Morales. Kubel has hit .143 in 84 at-bats and 37 strikeouts since April 25, according to the paper.
Morales earned $5.25 million from the Mariners last season before qualifying for free agency.
In 25 career at-bats at Target Field, Morales has hit .240 with a .360 OBP and one home run, according to the Pioneer Press.