Michael Morse Traded Back to Mid-Atlantic Region

marc w · August 30, 2013 at 11:00 am · Filed Under Mariners 

The awkwardness only lasted a day in the end. The M’s were able to work out a deal with Baltimore to send the DH/”LF” in exchange for, well, nothing much. Morse’s 2013 season got off to a great start, and I think we all hoped that we could put the divisive trade behind us and cheer on some dingers. It didn’t work out that way, as injuries and age seem to have sapped Morse’s ability to consistently utilize his raw power.

Through no fault of his own, Morse became the embodiment of the changing approach of the front office. Morse didn’t ask to be traded for John Jaso (and in fact wasn’t really traded for John Jaso – the Nats re-acquired RHP AJ Cole for him), he didn’t alter this front office’s view of player value. He’s just a big guy who was supposed to overcome a lack of defensive chops and positional flexibility with raw power and a better-than-you’d-expect hit tool. It could’ve worked out, or at least, it could’ve gone better than it did. Zduriencik needed a good year from Morse, and unfortunately, he didn’t get one. I’m still stunned at how much vitriol and how much ink his acquisition spawned, and I have no desire to replay/rehash that. Good luck, Michael. Hope you get to see the playoffs this year.


32 Responses to “Michael Morse Traded Back to Mid-Atlantic Region”

  1. Westside guy on August 30th, 2013 11:23 am

    I am happy Morse is gone – but I have to agree with both what Ivan said in the previous game thread and with what Marc says here. Morse seems like a good enough guy, and I wish him the best.

    Yes he was a bad fit for this team; but that’s not really his fault (which, incidentally, is basically how I feel about Raul as well).

  2. Adam S on August 30th, 2013 11:39 am

    Can someone summarize Xavier Avery? Dave Cameron says he’s not a major leaguer because he can’t him. Other source say he’s a top 10 Orioles prospect.

    Seems like a better return than I’d expect for Morse. Salary relief is a fine return in my mind.

  3. henryv on August 30th, 2013 11:42 am

    Ha ha ha… Orioles. You paid for a giant bag of broken parts from a 1974 Yugo.

  4. henryv on August 30th, 2013 11:43 am

    Of course, the M’s DID pay more for said bag. So…. Mariners.

  5. Westside guy on August 30th, 2013 11:45 am

    Xavier Avery, per Marc’s link, has a .237/.312/.312 line playing outfield in AAA this year.

    That’s not major league talent, in other words.

  6. VivaAyala on August 30th, 2013 11:52 am

    Honestly, that’s a better return than I expected (a bag of baseballs). Avery was Orioles #8 prospect preseason per Fangraphs, http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/baltimore-orioles-top-15-prospects-2012-13/ , though currently he does look like a bad minor league version of Corey Patterson.

  7. currcoug on August 30th, 2013 12:01 pm

    The “X Man” cometh…Avery has tremendous physical skills, but is still a raw talent who strikes out too much. A young Endy Chavez?

    It is a small sample size, but he has been hot in August, particularly in his last ten games.


  8. Cresswell on August 30th, 2013 12:05 pm

    I made the mistake with Morse of thinking that his bad defense wouldn’t hurt TOO much. I mean, so he’s a bit slower to the ball … but Tuesday he was there to catch a key ball and dropped it, cost the Mariners at least one run, probably two, and the game. You can accept such muffs if he hits, but he doesn’t.

    Another example of how Jack Z doesn’t evaluate or understand veteran talent. Kids? OK, fine, he has restocked the affiliates. But veterans? That’s a different story.

  9. RaoulDuke37 on August 30th, 2013 12:08 pm

    Goodbye sweet #WARMORSE. We’ll always have the first two weeks of April 2013.

  10. kimalanus on August 30th, 2013 12:11 pm

    “…begins to taper off quickly after the Top 4…” Xavier Avery was #8….

  11. GhostofMarinersPast on August 30th, 2013 12:14 pm

    This is just basically the same as Trayvonn Robinson, right? A blah prospect with blah potential. Oh well. Who cares, we get to watch Tai Walker tonight! Silver linings

  12. currcoug on August 30th, 2013 12:27 pm

    Avery is a more intriguing prospect than Robinson was.

    Meanwhile, Almonte has been called up. It will be interesting to see if Wedge plays him.

  13. SonOfZavaras on August 30th, 2013 12:37 pm

    Xavier Avery has more of a chance of being a big-leaguer than what Trayvon Robinson did, but it’s not by a whopping amount.

    Still, he represents a bigger lottery ticket than what I was expecting to get from Baltimore, and this is the guy from the Baltimore farm I was hoping to get.

    He hasn’t put it all together, but he’s a toolbox with a chance to be more. A chance. He very well may not.

    Still, in an organization screaming for young outfield options in the higher minors, he’s a welcome addition for my money.

  14. VivaAyala on August 30th, 2013 1:06 pm

    ‘ “…begins to taper off quickly after the Top 4…” Xavier Avery was #8…’


    “a better return than I expected (a bag of baseballs)”

  15. VivaAyala on August 30th, 2013 1:07 pm

    Yeah, that’s pretty much my take too, SoZ. Well said.

  16. MKT on August 30th, 2013 1:13 pm

    “Yes he was a bad fit for this team; but that’s not really his fault (which, incidentally, is basically how I feel about Raul as well).”

    Yes, I don’t think the vitriol is aimed at Morse so much as it’s aimed at the dumb decision-makers who acquired him. Heathcliff Slocumb might be a wonderful dude for all we know, but he can never overcome being the centerpiece of that catastrophic trade.

    The feeling of dread that I have is not over Morse but that the Mariners are probably trying to work out a 2-year multi-million dollar contract to offer to Raul Ibanez. Morse seems to be at worst of average likeability; Ibanez seems way above that in interviews and articles, a wise, diligent, hard-working player. I was glad that he came back to the Mariners (the first time). But my guess is that the Mariners are currently plotting their next titanically stupid move, re-signing Ibanez to a multi-year contract when he shouldn’t have even been given this year’s contract. They lucked out by getting an extraordinarily good first half-season from him, just as they lucked out by getting a halfway decent 2009 season from Junior. Which caused them to double down on their original bad decision by bringing Griffey back for 2010.

    Smart teams follow Branch Rickey’s observation that it’s better to get rid of a talented player one year too early than one year too late. Not so smart teams do what the Mariners do, and go out and acquire those players that other teams got rid of one year too late.

  17. Longgeorge1 on August 30th, 2013 1:15 pm

    Almonte CF, Saunders RF, and Ackly LF. That’s an outfield that can chase down some flies.

  18. Longgeorge1 on August 30th, 2013 1:18 pm

    P.S. give Almonte time. He hit in AAA but as we all know TOOO well that is not MLB

  19. Longgeorge1 on August 30th, 2013 1:20 pm

    P.P.S. It’s better to get rid of your wife too early rather than too late

  20. ivan on August 30th, 2013 1:39 pm

    Trayvon Robinson at least hit HRs in the PCL. This guy has no power that is reflected in any stats. The Orioles had him up in 2012 and I got to see him play some. Runs well but otherwise didn’t pique my interest.

  21. Westside guy on August 30th, 2013 1:46 pm

    “Almonte CF, Saunders RF, and Ackly LF. That’s an outfield that can chase down some flies.”

    Well tonight you’re seeing Ackley CF, Almonte RF, and Ibañez LF.

    I swear Wedge goes out of his way to lose games.

  22. TheMightyMariner on August 30th, 2013 1:50 pm

    I am just happy it’s Sept and I can stop being tempted by the Mariners. Another miserable season almost in the books. Here’s to getting a top 10 draft pick!

    The usual routine, at this time of year, is to ignore the M’s and turn to the Seahawks and Canucks.

    Having said all that, I don’t blame Jack Z for taking a shot with Morse. At the time, Montero and Zunino were in a crowded C picture. Dealing Jaso wasn’t the worst move. Jack made a risky move but the negatives were limited. Not a huge deal in my opinion. Good like, Mike!

  23. scraps on August 30th, 2013 2:24 pm

    I didn’t like him as a player; like many said, he’s a one-dimensional player.

    I really don’t care about steroids, but I think when summing up Michael Morse, you have to mention it. The media is hypocritical about it, howling when they want to, falling silent when it’s a good guy. So the media with Morse is forgiving, or at least they mostly never bring it up. I wonder how many Seattle fans know.

  24. CAMariner on August 30th, 2013 2:42 pm

    When Morse was first in Seattle he never figured it out. When I heard the news that Morse was coming back, I had a feeling he wouldn’t figure it out again. I guess I was correct.

  25. Bremerton guy on August 30th, 2013 3:40 pm

    scraps, if Morse is still using then he’d be suspended. As for his one-time suspension, that’s old news.

    I was a big fan of the trade to get Morse, but he has looked lost at the plate and on the field most of the season. Playing him in the outfield never made sense to me anyway — at best, he’s a competent first baseman when not playing DH. I had hoped he would hit here like he hit in Washington for the past several years, but that didn’t happen. Why not? Who knows. But I can just about predict with certainty that he’s about to get hot again and about mid-season next year we’ll be sitting around with our mouths open wondering why “it” happened again. And by “it”, I mean whatever it is that causes people like Cirillo, Spezio, Aurila, et al., to start hitting again as soon as they leave the Seattle city limits.

  26. Gritty Veteran Poster on August 30th, 2013 3:48 pm

    Yay! Another second rate fourth outfielder!

    So we turned a very useful hitter (Jaso) into an injury prone Dave Kingman-lite who *gasp* was injured most of the year and then turned him into another misfit toy for the Tacoma outfield of misfit toys.

  27. SonOfZavaras on August 30th, 2013 5:31 pm

    I feel more pity for Michael Morse on the steroids thing than anything else.

    The guy was punished THREE times for the exact same infraction- the PEDs he took stayed inside his system for years, long past the point where they would give him any competitive advantage.

    But when they kept detecting the same doses inside him, they got all Draconian about it and suspended him again and again anyway. It set his career back a lot, and all of it was something that he owned up to in full from when he was caught the first time.

    He was a 21-year-old kid who saw the shortstop depth the ChiSox had in the minor leagues and subsequently made the biggest mistake of his professional life.

    I don’t blame a 31-year-old man for mistakes he made when he wasn’t much more than a boy and especially not when he’s always shown open regret over it.

  28. scraps on August 30th, 2013 5:41 pm

    BremenGuy, if people wanted to care about it, especially the media, they would care, old news or new. Sammy Sosa is old news, but everybody knows. If Michael Morse hit 30 home runs, do you think Seattle fans would wonder? If it’s “old news”, is it possible to wonder?

  29. scraps on August 30th, 2013 5:50 pm

    SonOfZavaras, I agree, except the last paragraph. (I don’t care about steroids, and I don’t care about Morse’s steroid use.)

    I just think if we care about steroid use, we ought to care about everybody’s; we don’t know enough to get judgemental about one guy and forgiving about another, just because of the stories we read.

  30. Hunter S. Thompson on August 31st, 2013 12:14 am

    I’m glad Morse’s gone, I hated the trade that brought him here and thought he would be exactley what he was. A fragile powerhitter that couldn’t do anything but DH.
    I’m amazed that the media gave him a free pass on the sports drug issue. I personaly think sports drugs have zero to no effect on performace but to see Morse never get question while Braun and A-Rod get the worse person in the world treatment always seemed odd.
    That said Morse seemed like a good guy and I wish him the best. I hope as the O’s DH he gets on a hot streak and gets himself another multi million dollar deal (assuming its not with the M’s)

  31. rotoenquire on August 31st, 2013 10:36 am

    X. Avery Is a far better talent than is being said by many here. .300/.391/.406 line in 186 Double-A plate appearances to the start of this season before being promoted to Trip-A. He has gone from a high strike out guy to a lower strike out guy. His doubles and steal are respectable he is a 4th OF at least. The m’s have a possibility to have an all new OF next year. Ackley maybe the only hold over for next year. A. Almonte could be a lock for one of the OF positions. The M’s need to add HR’s in the OF or they may go for a OF full of center fielders. Ackley, Almonte, Ellsbury with Avery and Saunders as 4th and 5th OF.

  32. LongDistance on September 1st, 2013 11:37 am

    Good guy, schmood guy… Enough already. Say sayonara to a Hail Mary lame bat and way too many more than just missed, but seriously facepalm muffed, plays. Morse, as a professional athlete, shouldn’t be in MLB. A more realistic move (for him) would have been sending him, for cash, to the Seahawks as a backup defensive lineman prospect. As for us: anything we’re getting in return for him above mediocre is an improvement.

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