Last season when the Red Sox released 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval with over $48-million remaining on his contract, it showed the great lengths that ball clubs are willing to go in order to remain as competitive as possible.
Boston understood they were a solid team with little need for a struggling player like Sandoval who’d lost his drive to excel. Although Sandoval is the player released with the most money still remaining on his contract, he by no means is the only person let go with years left on their mega-deal. Take for example Alex Rodriguez with the Yankees or Carl Crawford with the Dodgers, both of whom were released despite tens of millions left to be paid on their contracts.
Organizations are no longer willing to hold onto a player simply because they’re under contract. And considering how many of these bad contracts are still out there, you can expect a lot more of this sort of thing to be happening in the future.
The Blue Jays aren’t nearly as competitive in 2018 as either the Red Sox or Yankees, but they’re still plagued by several awful contracts. None of which stings more than the one for Kendrys Morales.
Being Toronto’s designated hitter, Morales is only here on account of the so-called proficiency of his bat. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays, he has the 10th worst OPS (.499) in all of baseball for players with at least 75 AB’s. Things have gotten so bad for Morales at the plate that he’s even volunteered to pitch…and when that sort of nonsense happens, you know there’s serious problems.
The Red Sox were pretty quick to cut ties with Sandoval. Toronto on the other hand doesn’t necessarily have to give Morales the outright boot. His struggles at the plate indicate a problem far more serious than a player who’s in a prolonged slump. Perhaps these issues are related to age, in which case there’s little to be done. Or, and this would be the best case scenario for Toronto, maybe it’s nothing more than a problem related to his approach. Just because he’s a 34-year old veteran with 12-years of big league service, doesn’t mean he wouldn’t stand to benefit with some time in the minors.
Before they even consider releasing him, the Blue Jays need to swallow their pride, send Morales and that bloated contract to the minor leagues, and pray he’s got what it takes to correct something that is clearly broken.