MINNEAPOLIS – Kendrys Morales is on his way back to Seattle to try and give the Mariners’ struggling offense a boost as they chase a playoff spot.
The Minnesota Twins traded Morales to the Mariners on Thursday for minor-league pitcher Stephen Pryor. Morales hit 23 home runs and drove in 80 runs for the Mariners last season, but turned down a $14.1 million qualifying offer from Seattle to become a free agent.
Morales sat out the first two months of the season while searching for a new deal, signing a pro-rated $12 million contract with the Twins on June 8. But he hit .234 with 11 doubles, one homer and 18 RBIs in 39 games with the Twins.
The Mariners are hoping a return to Safeco Field could help Morales rediscover his swing. Seattle has the best ERA in the majors, but the Mariners offense is 14th in the American League in runs scored.
Morales, 31, was signed by the Twins to be the everyday designated hitter and fill-in at first base.
Pryor, who once had his pitches clocked at 100 mph, started this season on the disabled list after having surgery to repair a torn right latissimus dorsi muscle. The 25-year-old was 2-2 with a 5.71 ERA in 34 2/3 innings for Triple-A Tacoma this season.