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Kendrys will reject qualifying offer, seek a longer deal as free agent

The Mariners intend to extend a one-year qualifying offer to Kendrys Morales, not necessarily because they are hoping for the draft-pick compensation but because they want to retain him.

They may just end up with the draft pick, though.

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 (Nelson Cruz, Brian McCann, Robinson Cano and Shin-Soo Choo are among free agents remaining who topped 20 home runs after Hunter Pence re-signed with the Giants for $90 million over five years). The qualifying offer is expected to be about $13.8 million. MLB.com first reported the Mariners are likely to extend the offer.

Seattle, which has had trouble attracting offensive talent due to its pitcher-friendly ballpark (the fences were moved in before the 2013 season, however) and recent losing, recently has made an effort to try to lock up Morales. But Morales, being weeks from free agency, apparently is disinclined from locking himself in with a big deal before seeing the market. That doesn't mean he has ruled out the Mariners on a long-term deal, however. Nor have they given up hope of keeping him on a multiyear deal.

The switch-hitting Morales had a slash line of .277/.336/.449 in his year with the M's after they acquired him from the Angels for Jason Vargas. His biggest year came in 2009 when he hit .306 with 34 home runs and 108 RBI.

 
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