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Orioles rumors: Kendrys Morales still on team's radar

The first baseman has had a persistent suitor from Camden Yards.

Ed Zurga

Though the MLB Draft is just over a month away, and a deal between the two sides is not likely to be made before then, the Kendrys Morales camp has had consistent contact with the Orioles front office. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the two sides are in an ongoing dialogue, though there remains several hurdles - including the interest of other teams - between a deal being done:

The Mariners have long have an interest in Morales and continued dialogue after he turned down their $14.1-million qualifying offer, but things seemed to cool when Seattle hit a cold patch on the field. It's possble the Mariners' better recent play could convince them that Morales, who had 23 homers, 80 RBI and batted .277 for them last year, could be a differencemaker. Additionally, Mariners people are said to love Morales for his work in the clubhouse as well as on the field. Seattle wouldn't get the draft pick attached to him should Morales wait until after the draft to sign elsewhere.

The Brewers have looked like a possibility for a post-draft deal, but that may depend on the play of their first-base tandem of Mark Reynolds and Lyle Overbay, who have been decent so far. Milwaukee has the best record in baseball, and owner Mark Attanasio has had luck lately with surprise deals with Scott Boras clients Kyle Lohse and Francisco Rodriguez.

Baltimore would seem to be set at first base when Chris Davis returns, and the Orioles have received stellar production between a rotating cast of Nelson Cruz and Delmon Young at designated hitter. The DH position for the Orioles has hit to the tune of a .300/.367/.527 triple slash and a league-adjusted wRC+ of 144.

Last season, Morales hit .277/.336/.449 with 23 HRs and 80 RBI in 156 games for the Mariners. He would likely spell Davis at first but spend a majority of his time as the team's designated hitter.

With the return of Machado and a healthy Davis, though, the Orioles may feel that they have enough firepower (particularly if Cruz and Young continue exceeding their modest expectations) to move forward without him.