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Indians rumors: Kendrys Morales a potential target for Tribe

Is Morales the solution to the Tribe's power problems?

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Indians are interested in Kendrys Morales, according to Cleveland.com's Paul Hoynes. Morales is a 31-year-old switch hitter, coming off a very bad 2014 season, but who has posted strong power numbers in previous years. Morales began his career as a first baseman, but has played there less and less with time, and would primarily be a DH if the Tribe were to sign him.

Morales was a solid hitter in 2012 and 2013, posted a wRC+ of 119 in each of those seasons, with 20+ home runs. That production was enough to get Seattle to make him a qualifying offer, which he turned down. He then received very little interest on the free agent market, because teams didn't think him good enough to lose a draft pick for. He wound up having to wait until June (after the draft had passed, and a signing team no longer had to give up a pick) to land a contract, for a prorated $12 million with the Twins.

Morales was dreadful for Minnesota, who eventually traded him back to Seattle, where he did better, but was still bad. His combined batting line for the year was .218/.274/.338, with a wRC+ of 72. If those numbers feel familiar, it might be because they're practically identical to Nick Swisher's 2014 line of .208/.278/.331 with a wRC+ of 75.

Like Swisher, Morales' previous track record makes him a bounce-back candidate, and he's 2.5 years younger than Swisher, so maybe he's a better bounce-back candidate, especially if you think his weak numbers with Minnesota were due to him not having had a spring training to get ready for the year.

Coming off such a bad season, Morales will probably be settling for a 1-year deal for something like $5-6 million, which means the Tribe can certainly afford him. Morales would basically fill the same role as Swisher; a lineup with both of them in it would mean something else has gone wrong. If the Indians were able to somehow rid themselves of Swisher's contract, I could see the argument for bringing in Morales to fill that role for 30-40% the cost. With Swisher around though, Morales doesn't strike me as a wise use of resources.