San Francisco Giants Find Their Left Fielder; Sign Michael Morse
The long awaited result of the ever-long search for the next San Francisco Giants left fielder is finally in. This morning the Giants signed outfielder Michael Morse to a one-year contract worth approximately $5 million plus incentives.
The 31-year old Morse spent the 2013 season with both the Seattle Mariners and the Baltimore Orioles. In 88 games he batted .215 with 13 HR’s, and 27 RBI’s. He was injured for most of the 2013 season and spent lengthy time on the DL with a broken pinkie and a strained right quadriceps. Before joining the Mariners as a free agent at the beginning of the 2013 season, Morse spent the past four seasons with the Washington Nationals.
The Giants were feverishly looking for a power-hitting right-handed bat to roam left field for them. Morse gives the Giants a viable every day left fielder who can put the ball in the bleachers of AT&T Park when needed. His defense isn’t anything to gloat about. With Gregor Blanco now becoming the 4th outfielder and defensive specialist for the Giants, manager Bruce Bochy has the option now to use Blanco in late-game situations as a defensive replacement for Morse. This situation is very similar to what the Giants had in 2010 with the trio of outfielders Pat Burrell, Nate Schierholtz, and Cody Ross. All that did was carry them to a World Series Championship.
This is a very low-risk, high-reward signing for the Giants. If Morse can stay healthy and return to the 2011 form he had with the Nationals where he enjoyed his best season as a pro (hitting .303/.360/.550 with 31 HR’s and 95 RBI’s) it could turn out to be a complete steal for the Giants. If Morse doesn’t stay healthy and continues to rent space on the DL, then the Giants aren’t committed to Morse past this season and they would only eat the $5 million his contract is worth. Which in today’s market of outfielders is very reasonable.
Morse was also rumored to be in serious contract talks with the Houston Astros as well, but the promise of being an everyday left fielder for a potential playoff contenting team like the Giants swayed his decision. It is likely that Morse will bat 7th in the batting order providing much needed power to the back end of the lineup.