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Royals "taking a look" at designated hitter Kendrys Morales

The 31-year old Cuban hitter may be a replacement for Billy Butler.

The Royals have been active this weekend with smaller transactions like the re-signing of Jason Frasor and the trade of Aaron Crow, and they could be continuing that by looking at some hitters to replace Billy Butler. Jon Heyman reports that the Royals are "taking a look" at designated hitter Kendrys Morales.

The 31-year old switch-hitting Morales did not sign until June 8 last season because of teams wary of forfeiting a draft pick as compensation for signing Morales. Kendrys will not require such compensation this year, after a disastrous season in which he hit .218/.274/.338 with 8 HR 42 RBI in 401 plate appearances split between the Twins and Mariners. Morales is a lifetime .271/.324/.460 hitter in eight Major League seasons, primarily with the Angels. His best season came in 2009 when he hit .306/.355/.569 with 34 HR 108 RBI and finished fifth in MVP balloting. The Cuban-born Morales was once traded from the Angels to the Mariners for current Royals pitcher Jason Vargas. Heyman predicts Morales could command a two year $18 million deal.

In addition to Morales, the Royals are still in on 39-year old right-fielder/designated hitter Torii Hunter, according to Ken Rosenthal.

Presumably the Royals would rather sign Hunter, as he can play right-field, while Morales is pretty much stuck as a designated hitter. Hunter is rumored to be interested in re-joining the Twins, but may want to sign with a contender instead.