On Tuesday night, the Yankees acquired slugger Kendrys Morales, a first baseman/designated hitter, and cash considerations from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
Morales, 35, hit .204 (22-for-108) 1 home run, 7RBI, 9 runs scored, 1 double, 1 triple, and 14 walks in 34 games with Oakland this season before being designated for assignment on Monday, May 13. The Fomento, Cuba, native was originally acquired by Oakland from the Toronto Blue Jays on March 27, 2019, in exchange for INF Jesús López and international bonus pool money.
The 2015 Silver Slugger Award winner has reached the 20-home run mark in each of the last four seasons (2015-18), combining to hit .264 (554-for-2,097) with 260 runs, 105 doubles, 101 homers, 341 RBI and 199 walks in 592 games over the span.
Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said of Morales on Wednesday, “His body of work, his career, this guy’s been a really good hitter. We’ve seen it first hand, obviously, playing in this division with the Blue Jays the last several seasons. Basically, we feel like he’s still that guy, and just because the numbers weren’t great in Oakland, you know, some of the underlying numbers suggest he’s a lot closer to how he’s been the last couple of years than what the immediate numbers show.”
Boone said of how this move came about and how intends to use Morales, “That’s obviously just Cash (General Manager Brian Cashman) and them working through, like they always do, just different scenarios where we can fortify, looking for ways to improve our club whenever we can, so I was kind made aware of it that it was potentially in the works, about a day or two ago, I guess, and he’s going to come here and there should be quite a few at-bats for him. You know, obviously, the DH role will be one of the roles we see him in, obviously, the ability to play first too, but I definitely see a good amount of DH at-bats.”
Boone said Morales is on his way to New York and could be activated for the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader against Baltimore.
Over 13 Major League seasons with the Los Angeles Angels (2006-10, ’12), Seattle Mariners (2013, ’14), Minnesota Twins (2014), Kansas City Royals (2015-16), Toronto Blue Jays (2017-18) and Oakland Athletics (2019), the switch-hitter is batting .267 (1,278-for-4,794), 212HR, 735RBI, 577 runs scored, 256 doubles, 7 triples, and 405 walks across 1,344 games.
To make room for Morales on the 40-man roster, RHP Jonathan Loaisiga was transferred to the 60-day injured list.
Loaisiga was originally placed on the 10-day injured list on Monday (retroactive to 5/10) with a right shoulder strain.