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Brewers, Mariners, mystery team eye Morales after Yanks asked for time

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The MLB Draft has long seemed to be a key moment for Kendrys Morales, and with agent Scott Boras recently declining to OK the Yankees' request to wait a few days while they monitor the progress of Carlos Beltran and especially Mark Teixeira before Morales signs, indications are that the free agent will likely find a new home within the next day or two.

While the Yankees aren't necessarily out of the running for Morales, it would appear other teams -- including the Brewers, the incumbent Mariners and another team or two -- may have a better chance now to sign the first baseman/DH. The Yankees sought to gauge the health of Teixeira (wrist) and Beltran (elbow) to known how much playing time they would have for Morales, but they may be running out of time.

The Rangers are believed to have shown interest, as well, but are thought to be not as likely as some others at the moment. There is word there's a mystery team in the mix, which always adds to the intrigue.

Morales is believed to have received some two-year interest in recent days but he may prefer to sign a one-year deal to set himself up for full free agency this winter. He wouldn't be encumbered by the draft-compensation rule next winter as his new team will be ineligible to saddle him with another qualifying offer as a player who won't have played a full season with the club.

The reason draft day is key for Morales is that draft-pick compensation is lifted from the equation the minute Houston is on the clock with the first overall pick. So whoever signs Morales won't have to surrender a pick.

The Mariners, the only team that never had a pick to lose as the incumbents, loved what Morales did in the clubhouse and on the field last season, when he hit 23 home runs with 77 RBI and a .280 batting average.

Brewers owner Mark Attanasio has scored with late signings of Boras clients before, including Kyle Lohse and Francisco Rodriguez.

The mystery team isn't known (or else it wouldn't be a mystery team), but it's logical that American League teams could have more play for Morales as a DH/first baseman.

 
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