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Twins sign Kendrys Morales; designate Kubel for assignment

<p>The Minnesota Twins have signed first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales to a one-year contract, opening a roster spot by designating outfielder Jason Kubel for assignment.</p>

Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Twins have signed first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales to a one-year contract, opening a roster spot by designating outfielder Jason Kubel for assignment.

The deal for Morales is worth a pro-rated $12 million.

Morales played 156 games for Seattle last year, hitting .277 with 34 doubles, 23 home runs and 80 runs batted in. He appeared in 122 games as the club's designated hitter and will likely spend a majority of time in that role with Joe Mauer as the club's primary first baseman.

The 30-year-old switch-hitter declined a qualifying offer from the Mariners in the offseason and any team that would have signed him prior to the just- concluded draft would have lost a draft pick.

Morales broke into the majors with the Angels in 2006 and spent the next six years with club. He is a career .280 hitter with 102 homers and 345 RBI in 620 games.

Following a career-best season in 2009, in which he recorded 43 doubles, 34 home runs and 108 RBI, Morales was limited to 51 games in 2010 and missed the entire 2011 season because of a severe leg injury. He suffered a fractured lower left leg celebrating a walk-off grand slam on May 29, 2010 against Seattle.

Kubel spent his first seven seasons with Minnesota before a two-year stint with Arizona and Cleveland, then rejoined the Twins on a minor league contract in December. He was batting just .224 with a homer and 13 RBI in 45 games this season.

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