Brief Mike Morse Thoughts

Dave · January 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Adam LaRoche re-signed with the Nationals, so Mike Morse is now on the trade block. Over at FanGraphs, I wrote about his expected value for 2013. Over at Lookout Landing, Jeff wrote about Mike Morse as a fit for the Mariners. If you want to know what I think about Mike Morse, read those two things.

Short version. Morse is okay. He’s basically Kendrys Morales. He’s also not an outfielder. The Mariners could use an outfielder. They do not have room for any more 1B/DH types. Trading something useful for Morse, just so he can add to an overloaded logjam at those two positions, would probably be a bad idea.

There’s going to be a push for the Mariners to acquire Morse because “he’s a bat”, and the Mariners need “bats”. But the reality is that you can’t just trade for a bat. You trade for a player, and the player has to play a position, and the Mariners already have players at the positions Mike Morse can play with any degree of skill.

Mike Morse is basically Casper Wells, just with a little more power and a lot less defense. Do you want to replace Casper Wells with an older, more expensive, less flexible version? I don’t. I’ll pass on Morse, thanks.


41 Responses to “Brief Mike Morse Thoughts”

  1. RaoulDuke37 on January 8th, 2013 2:37 pm

    Come on Dave, we already replaced Casper Wells. But I like the idea of adding Mike Morse just to make sure Caspy knows his place.

  2. terryoftacoma on January 8th, 2013 3:08 pm

    My gut feeling is this organization is not as high on Wells as we are and he may be out of a job already. That said I agree, we do not need Morse.

  3. Mid80sRighty on January 8th, 2013 3:09 pm

    Does anyone really think Casper had any real shot at getting significant playing time with Wedgie at the helm? I gaurentee 2 weeks into the season we’re going to be complaining about how often Ibanez is playing left. And Wedgie’s reasoning will be that he likes his “veteran presence” in the lineup.

  4. mrb on January 8th, 2013 3:10 pm

    So, the plan for the Mariners is, develop guys, trade them away while they become all-stars, then trade back for them once they’re done being all stars?

    (Don’t forget Step 3: Profit)

  5. Mid80sRighty on January 8th, 2013 3:16 pm

    Nice South Park reference mrb! And I think that may be one reason why GMZ is reluctant to trade away the kids.

    At this point the Morse trade talk just doesn’t pass the sniff test.

  6. justinh on January 8th, 2013 3:21 pm

    The Mariners should trade for that Rockies bat Russell Wilson. In all seriousness, I would be very intrigued to see how Wilson would fair only playing baseball. Obviously if he didn’t play for the Hawks is the only way I’d give him my blessing. And he will be playing franchise QB for the next 15 years so that won’t work. But Wilson probably would switch from 2B to CF, play gold glove defense, and have an OPS over .900. Then again he maybe too short for baseball and Dave thinks intangibles are worthless 🙂

    Agree Morse is not worth the price it will cost the M’s. Although I think he would be serviceable in LF with the fences moving in. The M’s can afford to lose a little defense for offense but I say stick with Bay and try to land a younger guy in a deal. DBacks insisting on Walker in any Upton deal, but looks like Jack maybe calling his bluff. M’s would also have to extend him 2 years b/c of the no trade. Next 10 days will be interesting…

    Go Hawks!

  7. Jopa on January 8th, 2013 3:26 pm

    A third of the lineup plays OF and the system has zero quality prospects in the system anywhere near the majors. How does that happen? I’m speaking for the most part about their own draft picks.

    Even their #4 OF’s (Wells, Thames, Robinson) came via trade as well as Guti.

    Considering that FA’s won’t come here and teams are hoarding their best young OF’s, I think an argument could be made for drafting for need.

  8. SonOfZavaras on January 8th, 2013 3:44 pm

    Once again, I’m in complete agreement with Dave on this.

    Right now, we need Mike Morse like we need another trip to Japan to start the season.

    Or, more simply…we don’t.

    If there isn’t one for trade terms that we can deem reasonable, I’ll take my chances on Catricala, Romero and Wells duking it out…and hoping one of them proves to be ML-regular timber.

  9. justinh on January 8th, 2013 3:45 pm

    There is consideration being given to having Franklin possibly play OF if it is certain he won’t be sticking at SS. But don’t give up on him there quite yet. Then of course you have to weigh the value of Franklin to another club at 2B in a trade vs. playing OF for the M’s. Romero will also be an option in LF, and Miller could be as well but he will stick at SS in the opinion of TMC and other great talent evals.

    TMC and JZ both employ the philosophy that you can always switch a SS or 2B to a less valuable position such as OF, so don’t get too concerned with it. They are always looking for the best bat that still has athletic ability.

  10. tmac9311 on January 8th, 2013 3:54 pm

    Morse makes absolutely no sense to this team, but at this point of the offseason, I can’t see the M’s turning down any 1B/DH types. We already have more players in that logjam than are playable, then we brought in Ibanez. I’m open to Morse, because even though I know he’s awful in left field, he has to be better in left field than Ibanez right? I’ve been a big fan of Casper since we brought him in, but looks like GMZ is making the writing on the wall pretty clear for him.

  11. stevemotivateir on January 8th, 2013 4:00 pm

    Where did you hear that? Converting Franklin at this point makes almost no sense.

  12. Westside guy on January 8th, 2013 5:13 pm

    They do not have room for any more 1B/DH types.

    I thought that even before they acquired Raul Ibañez, but clearly I was wrong. So heck – let’s pick up another six or seven of these guys!

  13. Dobbs on January 8th, 2013 6:05 pm

    I hadn’t realized that Casper Wells was already an average player for WAR. Might as well play him every day and take the 2 wins if you’re not going to get a 4+ win player.

  14. terryoftacoma on January 8th, 2013 6:06 pm

    We know that all the trade rumors are coming from other organizations, writers and agents. The Mariners rarely say anything on the subject. So almost every hiter ends up with the “Mariners are interested in” tag. I don’t buy the Morse rumor. Could be we don’t add another outfielder this year and we go with what we have. Sad, but that just might end up the case. I have a good hunch we’ll see a lot of Raul in left this year.
    I do wonder where we are going to get our bottom of the rotation starters, though. That worries more than adding another outfielder.

  15. MrZDevotee on January 8th, 2013 6:47 pm

    The sucky thing is– he would have been a decent pickup, if NOT for Raul Ibanez, as a 4th OF/1B/DH (like he was in Washington)…

  16. justinh on January 8th, 2013 7:42 pm


    Like I said it would be if they decide they want to completely give up on him at short but wanted his bat in the lineup. It doesn’t mean that Franklin won’t be playing infield, but he would fill need while the infield sorts itself out. I have a friend in the front office. And it’s still 50/50 opinion on whether Franklin will stick at short. No doubt he will get a shot to plead his case on the field at shortstop. Remember EVERYONE was saying Ackley couldn’t stick at 2B. Franklin is athletic, has the body, iffy range and iffy decent arm. I’m excited to see him this year.

  17. SonOfZavaras on January 8th, 2013 8:06 pm

    We know that all the trade rumors are coming from other organizations, writers and agents. The Mariners rarely say anything on the subject. So almost every hiter ends up with the “Mariners are interested in” tag.

    It’s my personal belief that there’s some kind of “Mariner pool” going on between all these national and beat writers…with some kind of prize for whoever puts up the speculation that ultimately proves accurate!

    As a result, any hitter with a pulse? We’re “a possibility”!

  18. vetted_coach on January 8th, 2013 10:39 pm

    Sounds like the Mariners have finally jumped the shark with their BS. Took long enough.

    They don’t need Morse, but only because they’ve transformed themselves into such a travesty that they’re almost literally beyond help. The fact is that the club missed the boat on Morse back when he could have been a help. He’s been a damn decent hitter – something the Mariners seem to avoid habitually.

    The Wells issue is aggravating. He was a true 5-tool prospect when they acquired him for Fister. Then they methodically destroyed his confidence while wasting two of his most prime seasons. For what? He could very well re-surface with another organization and bloom just like Ibanez and Morse. Then, sometime around 2017, they will consider bringing him back to provide some “veteran presence.”

  19. kellykoof15 on January 8th, 2013 11:24 pm

    Amen brother!!!!

  20. thedude1987 on January 8th, 2013 11:54 pm


  21. maqman on January 9th, 2013 2:48 am

    Earlier in the off-season I had hoped they would get Morse but with the additions of Bay, Morales and Ibanez he would just be redundant. I doubt Bay will be worthy and Raul is a good bench bat and emergency fielder but no more. I really like Morales but I also believe Smoak will continue his last September form. I’d prefer they just look for a cheap back of the rotation arm and then sort out the lot they have got.

  22. 9inningknowitall on January 9th, 2013 4:27 am

    As interesting as it would be to test and see how good Morse would be coming back to Seattle, I agree that we just don’t have room for him. If he could play ‘solid’ OF defense i would say perfect and make him the starting LF but he and Ibanez are mirror images of each other defensively. An outfield of Wells, Saunders and Guti sounds so nice defensively to me.

  23. ripperlv on January 9th, 2013 4:40 am

    Not only is Morse another 1B/DH type, but like Morales, he is a FA after this season. What we need is a corner OF with years to go before FA. I personally believe thats why we are in on the Upton talks, and anyone else who fits the shoe.

  24. stevemotivateir on January 9th, 2013 6:24 am

    Like I said it would be if they decide they want to completely give up on him at short but wanted his bat in the lineup. It doesn’t mean that Franklin won’t be playing infield, but he would fill need while the infield sorts itself out. I have a friend in the front office.

    Learning a new position doesn’t happen overnight. If there was serious consideration of moving him to the outfield, I think they would have done so last year, or the year before.

  25. Hunter Starkweather on January 9th, 2013 6:32 am

    The only way that a Morse trade makes sense for the Mariners is if they trade Smoak. Morales and Morse could then alternate between DH and 1B. I do not think that the Mariners want to trade Smoak, so I doubt Morse comes to Safeco.

  26. terryoftacoma on January 9th, 2013 7:06 am


    It doesn’t take that long to learn a new position for an athletic guy like Franklin. It sure didn’t for Ackley. It’s not like he breaks camp this year at short anyway. Would you rather seem him traded or in left?

  27. omahajoe on January 9th, 2013 7:09 am

    Given the fact that it doesn’t appear we’re going to spend any available budgetary dollars on a FA bat, I think its time to crank up the efforts to extend Felix. It’ll be money well spent given the current escalating SP salaries. Do it now.

    (and still go get a stick who can actually roam the OF without embarrasing themselves)

  28. terryoftacoma on January 9th, 2013 7:48 am

    This season’s available budgetary dollars has no impact on extending Felix. Those would be future dollars. Anyone we pick up is going cost some of this seasons dollars and quite probably future dollars as well.

    Morse is not a good fit for the present team. Upton probably would be better but Arizona is at this point only listening to offers. You might ask how do you not trade a star?.. make the price too high. Of course, they also will listen to offers for Kubel at a lesser price which I wouldn’t do.

    We are only 42 days away from the beginning of spring training(34 for pitcher and catchers) thats not a lot time to fill out this roster.

    We still need a starter or two, a backup catcher and maybe(hopefully) an outfielder. The clock is ticking.

  29. kinickers77 on January 9th, 2013 7:48 am

    “DBacks insisting on Walker in any Upton deal, but looks like Jack maybe calling his bluff. M’s would also have to extend him 2 years b/c of the no trade.”

    How do you know this? I saw you said you have a friend in the FO but the M’s are usually so tight-lipped about everything. I’m surprised information like this and what you said about Franklin possibly changing positions would be passed on to people outside the organization. Are you and your friend just speculating or is this what the decision-makers are telling your friend?

  30. msfanmike on January 9th, 2013 8:43 am


    I have the same questions as kinickers77

  31. cjones on January 9th, 2013 9:16 am

    @terryoftacoma “We are only 42 days away from the beginning of spring training(34 for pitcher and catchers)”

    That’s the only good news in this whole thread.

  32. stevemotivateir on January 9th, 2013 9:56 am


    Ackley had 187 games at 2B before he got the call. Carp had 156 games in the OF and still sucks. You can argue athleticism, but does that explain poor judgement and bad routes?

    I don’t expect Franklin to be ready right away either, but he’s close enough now to where a conversion doesn’t really make sense. Not in my opinion anyway. I believe if they really had been considering that, we would have already seen the move.

    I’m just not buyin’ what justinh stated.

  33. seattlesonsofbaseball on January 9th, 2013 10:08 am

    Thanks, Dave. I’ve been saying NO on Morse all off season.

  34. ThanatosK on January 9th, 2013 11:36 am

    But on a cheery note, the Sacramento Kings are being sold to the Seattle based group and they are planning/hoping to bring them to Key Arena for the 2013/2014 season.

    Yay for basketball in Seattle again. Not that I like basketball but heck, anything will be better than watching the Mariners if they don’t make any further moves.

  35. bongo on January 9th, 2013 2:33 pm

    The worst part of obtaining Mike Morse would be having to give up something to get him. Even though we seem to be collecting DH types, I wouldn’t give up Montero or Carp for Mike Morse. Carp isn’t much of a LF, but he can play 1B better than Morse, and is still developing. Montero can catch though not very well whereas Morse can’t play any position well. I wouldn’t even give up Brendan Ryan for Morse, because if we did, who would play shortstop?

    So what does that leave for us to trade? Andino?

  36. justinh on January 9th, 2013 4:19 pm

    Jeez guys all I said was if Franklin in the org and if he isn’t a SS, there are some ppl who say move him to the OF if Ackley is at 2B. Some think he should be included in package to land another piece. You always have to have a backup plan if he doesn’t stick at SS and the bat is MLB ready. If it is the case that he cannot stick at SS, either Ackley or Franklin gets moved to the OF. Or Franklin is dealt. But as I said, there are still a lot of people who think Franklin will stick at SS. My buddy did not tell me anything about a specific rumor or anything we don’t know already. And this was from a conversation we had 3-4 months ago.

    But it will moot point as Franklin will be in the Justin Upton deal. That is just my opinion….

  37. MrZDevotee on January 9th, 2013 5:56 pm

    Well, our budget just went down, undoubtedly… As the Sonics appear to be returning and we all know what a horrible affect that will have on the Mariner’s profit margins! *snark*

  38. kinickers77 on January 10th, 2013 7:57 am


    Don’t get ahead of yourself, my friend.

    “A source close to the Maloofs, however, insisted to ESPN that an agreement has not yet been reached and that the Maloofs are still unsure whether they want to sell the team.”

    It’s not a done deal. But you raise an interesting question – if/when it is done, will they take the Sonics name again? The Kings? Something else?

  39. currcoug on January 10th, 2013 12:26 pm

    I am a big fan of Wells, but Morse would be worth acquiring, dependent upon the price of acquiring him.

    Wells is vastly superior to Morse defensively, but Wells is not in Morse’s class offensively (at least to date).

    Morse: .295, .347, .492, .839.

    Wells: .246, .317, .435, .752.

    It is also worth noting Morse has much better splits against RHP than Wells (.830 OPS vs. .675 OPS). Moreover, Morse carries a career .822 OPS at Safeco. Wells carries a .693 OPS at Safeco.

    As an aside, Wells is only two plus years younger than Morse.

  40. eponymous coward on January 10th, 2013 2:06 pm

    You realize that Casper Wells has played a good chunk of his MLB career in a park that hates RHB, right?

    Mike Morse… not so much the last few years. But hey, it’s not like we sold low on a RHB who struggled a few years ago like Morse, right?

    But hey, great, let’s get Morse.

    I’m sure we can play 134462433653 DHs all at the same time, right? Let’s put Morse at short, Rauuuuuuuuuuul at catcher, and Bay in CF! Who needs defense? Certainly not us!

  41. ThanatosK on January 10th, 2013 4:22 pm

    Quote from MLBTradeRumors:

    Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton invoked his limited no-trade clause to reject an agreed-upon deal between the D’Backs and Mariners that would have sent Upton to Seattle, reports Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.

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