The Mariners wold receive a first- or second-round draft pick in compensation should Morales sign elsewhere (depending on whether or not his new team has a protected first rounder). That outcome is likely according to one insider:
Morales produced this year in the chasm of SAFECO to the tune of a switch-hitting .277/.336/.449 slash and 23 homers. But he'll be 31 next summer, so a 4-year deal is probably the longest he can shoot for, with a 2- or 3-year pact the more likely outcome. Teams may be willing to stretch the deal out if they look back at the slugger's unpluralized days in Anaheim, where he finished 5th in AL MVP voting in 2009 before injuring himself in celebration of a walk-off grand slam against his future team -- the Mariners -- in 2010.
SAFECO and Angel Stadium are well known pitching havens, so teams in more hitter-friendly environments may see Morales as a very attractive option. A new home in the NL is not out of the question, but he logged just 274.1 innings at first despite his 657 plate appearances and posted the second negative UZR/150 of his career. He was "worth" -1.5 wins in terms of DWAR, according to ESPN. His bat would still likely make him an overall positive in the Nation League, but look for the AL to lead the charge.
Teams with potential vacancies and/or room for improvement at 1B/DH include (but aren't limited to) the Yankees, Red Sox, Orioles, White Sox, Rangers, and Pirates, with the White Sox looking like the best fit of that group -- assuming Adam Dunn continues to struggle and the team is unable to sign Curtis Granderson as their big-ticket addition. Morales could excel in a hitter's park like the Cell or Camden Yards.
Morales may not top the $14MM qualifying offer on a yearly basis, but Scott Boras is likely looking for longevity for his 30 year-old client.
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