Free agent first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales is close to signing, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Morales has been contacted by the Yankees, who reportedly asked him to wait until they know more about the health of Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira. The Brewers and Mariners are also interested in the 30-year-old veteran, per Heyman.
Teams presumably held off on signing Morales to avoid losing a draft pick, but now that the rounds that would have been affected have passed, the market for him should heat up. Morales hit .277/.336/.449 with 23 home runs for the Mariners in 2013. He turned down a one-year, $14 million qualifying offer after the season, a decision that has yet to pay off.
Morales might be inclined to settle for a one-year deal, Heyman notes, though talks of a two-year deal have been on the table. The team that eventually signs him won't be able to net a draft pick as a result of not employing him for the entirety of the season, so Morales would likely get a second shot at a real free-agent contract.
Each of the teams mentioned above, in addition to the Rangers, are in varying degrees of contention and have a need for an extra bat. There is also a "mystery team" in the mix, notes Heyman. That club is likely an American League team, as Morales doesn't offer much value defensively; he was two runs below average at first base last season and appeared in only 31 games in the field.