If you've been reading the site over the past month or so, you've seen that our stance has been that making Kendrys Morales a qualifying offer was a good decision all along. Not because he's worth it the money he'd have received, but because Scott Boras doesn't have a history of accepting these offers (including the Type A era), and carries a history of getting his clients paid, even when the market seems thin. Now, it appears the organization's gamble has paid off, and Boras will get another chance to do his thing again.
Jon Heyman is reporting that Boras and Morales plan to reject the Mariners qualifying offer, which is the best possible scenario. Boras and Heyman have been BFFs for a while, and Heyman is often the first to break stories from the Boras camp. Whether it's a legitimate intention or not, you can safely bet this development came from Boras, and not speculation. Morales would have been overpaid at the estimated $13.8 million number for 2013, and now he'll enter a market with lofty Boras-driven expectations and a thin market. Maybe Boras works his magic and somebody does pony up to overpay Morales. Hopefully it's not the Mariners. Otherwise, the Mariners can freely take the draft pick and sign somebody else, or they can wait for Morales' price tag to fall to a more reasonable level. Either way, the outlook for next year looks a lot better than it did when this offer was in limbo.
At this point, if the Mariners can't work something out that's under 3/$27, it's probably best to move on. Judging from the comments in the crowdsourcing article yesterday, it seems many of you agree.
Craig Calcaterra nails it in the previously linked article:
Yes, he has some power. But he’s basically a DH who is 30 years-old. Those are the sorts of guys who we tend to write "[Player X] still looking to latch on someplace" posts about in late January.
While you hate to walk away from a decent hitter with some pop like Morales, it just isn't worth it if he prices himself above what he's worth. Morales is a 1.5-3 win player now and going forward, depending on what version of WAR you prefer. He's entering his decline, if he hasn't already started it. This isn't the kind of player worth sinking an over-market deal into, and if the Mariners can replace his offense at a fraction of the cost, get a draft pick, and save money to reallocate in other places, they should do it.
There's still a pretty good chance Morales will be back. But if this news indeed holds true, the Mariners aren't held hostage by him, and can move on without major consequence. Kudos to the front office for knowing their opposition and making a decision that was criticized by a lot of different people. It's about to pay off.