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Agent Boras says Morales fits Pirates' 1st-base needs

| Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, 8:42 p.m.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Sports agent Scott Boras is seen during a news conference in Detroit, Jan. 26, 2012.

Prominent agent Scott Boras told the Tribune-Review on Monday he has just the fit for the Pirates.

Boras' client, Kendrys Morales, is a switch-hitting first baseman/DH who hit .277 with 23 home runs and 80 RBIs for the Seattle Mariners last season and remains on the free-agent market. The Pirates have sought to upgrade first base this offseason.

“We have the perfect fit for the Pirates,” Boras said of Morales.

Has Boras been in communication with the Pirates? “Of course,” Boras said. “The Pirates are a team where my client could play very well. ... In terms of the club wanting to know (contract terms), we've talked.”

Morales is available, along with a number of other high-profile free agents in part because they have been tagged with qualifying offers. A qualifying offer stipulates that a club signing such a free agent must surrender its first round pick if it is outside of the top-10 overall selections. The Pirates select 25th overall in the 2014 draft.

There has also been concern about the 30-year-old Morales' ability to play every day in the field; he often served as a DH with Seattle. Boras said teams are overvaluing mid-to-late first round picks and undervaluing Morales' defense.

Pirates general manager Neal Huntington declined to address whether the Pirates have interest in Morales. At the Winter Meetings, Huntington said it was unlikely the Pirates would sign a free agent tagged with a qualifying offer.

“The pick is part of the process,” Huntington wrote in a text message Monday. “But the evaluation of the player and the potential terms of the agreement are the key elements.”

The Pirates enter full-squad workouts Tuesday with Gaby Sanchez back at first and Andrew Lambo competing for at-bats in a platoon role.

Travis Sawchik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at tsawchik@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Sawchik_Trib.

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