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Today in Blue Jays History: Jays Sign Morales and Gurriel

Milwaukee Brewers v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Seven Years Ago Today:

The Blue Jays signed Kendrys Morales to a 3-year, $33 million contract. I remember, at the time, it surprised me. I didn’t think we’d be signing a DH-only guy, or at least not until after Edwin Encarnación and Jose Bautista had signed somewhere else.

At the time, it seemed that the Jays had decided they couldn’t sign Edwin and wanted to move fast. Unfortunately, moving fast turned out to be a bit of a mistake. The slugger market turned out to be much softer than we thought. Had they waited a bit, they likely would have been able to sign Kendrys to a shorter contract. Or, they might have had a shot at Edwin.

Kendrys played two seasons as a Jay, hitting .249/.318/.442 with 49 home runs and a 0.9 bWAR, before we dumped him on the A’s. He played 34 games for Oakland before they passed him on to the Yankees, where he played another 14 games before being released.

There was a lot made of how good he was with our younger players, becoming a mentor to some. But I don’t think that made him a good signing.

We had several posts on the signing:

The announcement.

Some thoughts a day later.

And a scouting report from Max Rieper of Royals Review.

The poll at the time was generally positive.

It isn’t the first time we’ve been wrong.

He was a likeable guy. It is too bad that it didn’t work out for us.

Also, Seven Years Ago:

The Jays signed Lourdes Gurriel Jr to a seven-year, $22 million contract.

This one is the far better signing of the two on this day. Lourdes played five seasons with the Jays. He hit .285/.329/.468, with 68 home runs in 468 games. He missed some time with injuries and tended to be a slow starter with the bat, but the 7.9 bWAR shows he was a pretty good player for us.

And you know he was traded to the Diamondbacks before last season. He played great for them in the playoffs. He’s a free agent now. I wouldn’t be against signing him.