Kendrys Morales to reject the Mariners’ qualifying offer

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A week or so ago it was reported that the Mariners would make a qualifying offer to pending free agent Kendrys Morales. Jon Heyman reports today that Morales is likely to reject said offer when it comes:

Morales will turn down the qualifying offer, as he’d expect to hit it much bigger in a market flush with cash but bereft of power … The qualifying offer is expected to be about $13.8 million. MLB.com first reported the Mariners are likely to extend the offer.

I think it’s kind of nuts that the Mariners were going to extend a qualifying offer to Morales. But hey, if they want to keep him, sure. I think it’s a bit more nuts for Morales to reject it.

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.

Morales lost untold millions when he broke his ankle and missed two years after a home run celebration. I feel like he’s going to cost himself more millions by putting himself out on the market rather than guaranteeing himself nearly $14 million this winter.

Steven Matz to skip next spring training start with elbow issues

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Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.

Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.

Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.