The player who stirred as much off-season discussion as any in these parts — Kendrys Morales — is back in town this week with the Minnesota Twins.
And before the first of four games here Monday, Morales met with some of the Seattle media corps about his decision after last season to not re-sign with Seattle.
Not that he necessarily shed any new light on the situation. Morales, who spoke through an interpreter (who was one-time Mariner pitching coach Bobby Cuellar, who is now Minnesota’s bullpen coach), essentially said he wanted to takes his chances in free agency and see what else was out there. He also said that while Seattle approached him again before he signed with Minnesota in June that there were some “misunderstandings in the negotiations” between the Mariners and his agent, Scott Boras.
Morales played all of last season with the Mariners, hitting a team-high .277 with 80 RBI.
Here is what he said to the questions about his negotiations with the Mariners:
— When asked about the team making him a three-year offer last September (which has been reported as being for $30 million) his interpreter said: “He said there really, really was a little bit of talk but there really wasn’t any real discussion and at the end he was going to be in the same spot he was going to be at the end of the year anyway. So in his mind there basically wasn’t much discussion or any chance to do what they were going to do.”
— Asked about turning down Seattle’s qualifying offer and entering free agency, his interpreter said: “He knew it was going to be tough to look for another job, but in his heart he just didn’t really want to come back here and be in the same spot. He was taking his chances to see maybe something would get better.”
— Asked if Seattle came after him again this season before he signed with the Twins, his interpreter said: “He says that they were talking to him, but unfortunately his agent and whatever Seattle was talking about, they didn’t come to accords, or there was some misunderstandings in the negotiations.”
— Asked if Seattle was fair to him, his interpreter said: “Everybody takes it as a business and that’s what they were taking it as and he still felt what they were offering, he would still be in the same situation he was before he left.”
Morales is hitting .216 in 26 games with the Twins, having cooled down considerably after a hot start. He was 5-27 on Minnesota’s recent seven-game homestand and has just one home run in 102 at-bats.