August 29, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Michael Morse claimed off waivers, likely to be dealt soon
Michael Morse was claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles today, according to a report by CBS Sports. The Mariners now have 48 hours to work out a deal, or can allow the Orioles to keep him. The Mariners can also pull Morse back off waivers, but that part is unlikely to happen.
Morse is no longer a fit with an organization that — at the beginning of the season — he seemed a candidate to sign a long-term deal with. After hitting six home runs before the season was even 10 days old, Morse’s game deteriorated on a massive scale.
He was hit by a series of injuries, then was allowed to play through the second one — a nagging quad pull — for weeks on end while his numbers plummeted.
Since returning from a DL stint releated to the quad, Morse has hit just .158 the past month with a .489 OPS. Clearly, those were not the types of numbers the Mariners were looking for when they acquired Morse for backup catcher John Jaso last winter.
Morse’s defense has always been suspect at the best of times. But the Mariners were ready to live with it if he provided the type of offense he’d shown in a full-time, middle of the order role with the Washington Nationals the pase few seasons.
Even the worst of those past few campagins, his injury-shortened 2012 season, saw Morse hit .291 with a .791 OPS. This year, he’s at .226 with an OPS of .693. Even Morse’s ability to hit home runs — he’s still got 13 in about a half-season’s worth of plate appearances — can’t offset base hitting numbers as poor as he’s put up this season.
So, yeah, it’s time for a change of scenery.
Morse has never seemed all that comfortable being here, would probably welcome a return to the greater Washington, DC Metro area and has no future with Seattle beyond the next month. It’s doubtful the Mariners will get anything of great value in return for Morse, but at this point, even a salary dump alone is a net positive. The Mariners have too many outfielders they are trying to find playing time for and they will have to know by season’s end whether Dustin Ackley has any future in the outfield.
So, there really is no place to play Morse anymore. His numbers don’t merit the playing time he is getting. Ther Mariners are not going to try to keep him beyond this season and it’s doubtful he’d even want to stay.
Morse in January on a team with hopes of playing at least .500 ball in exchange for a backup catcher made sense, especially with Mike Zunino expected to by up mid-season to take over full-time behind the plate and Jesus Montero still with the big league club.
Morse right now, on a team that will badly miss reaching its already-modest targets in 2013 makes no sense any more.
He will not still be with the Mariners by week’s end.