The Kansas City Royals made a move Thursday to fill the void left by Billy Butler’s departure, signing free agent designated hitter Kendrys Morales to a two-year contract.
The deal, which includes a mutual option for a third year, is for two years at $17 million, and includes the opportunity to earn additional money in the form of performance-based bonuses.
Morales, 31, offers the Royals a switch-hitting power bat to take the place of Billy Butler, who signed a three-year free agent deal with the Oakland Athletics earlier this offseason. Butler, last season, provided the Royals with solid offensive numbers, slugging nine home runs and 66 RBI.
For Morales, the 2014 season was split between the Minnesota Twins and the Seattle Mariners. After signing as a free agent with the Twins in early June, he was traded to Seattle on July 24, playing in just 39 games for Minnesota before being moved.
He finished the season with a .218 average, eight home runs and 42 RBI in 98 games. A down year for Morales, who has three times clubbed 20+ homers in a season, a new season in a new city offers some hope for a return to form in 2015.
His best season over the course of his eight-year career came in 2009 with the Los Angeles Angels when he hit .306 with 34 home runs and 108 RBI and finished 5th in the AL MVP voting.