Friday, December 6, 2013

Mike Morse makes sense for Giants in LF

You've likely heard the name Mike Morse (or Michael as he's often referred to). Perhaps you're even familiar with the large, bearded outfielder. But, it's doubtful that you've thought of him as the solution to the Giants' hole in left field.
You see? He was once a monster. I like the sound of that.


Yes, we all want left field manned by a player half as good as Barry Bonds was. We'd all take it as an upgrade, but the free agent climate is completely out of control.

When Lincecum gets $17.5MM a year, an oft-injured, steeply declining, 33 year old Curtis Granderson gets $60MM over 4 years, and Jay-Z was able to con and bully the Mariners into giving 31 year old Robinson Bleepin' Cano 10 years and $240MM, the free agent climate is out of control.

This now makes the Giants' once apparent overpay of Hunter Pence look like a bargain, with a comparatively horrendous Jacoby Ellsbury getting more years and more money a few days ago. Choo might get $130MM now for Christ's sake!

I wish I could use that Chris Berman clip of Vince Lombardi on the sideline yelling, "What the hell's goin' on out heeah!?"

Oh wait, I did.

What indeed...

With the Giants already in the top 10 in payroll, they have no intention of going after the likes of Shin Soo Choo, the top OF left on the market. Carlos Beltran will land in the AL, and Kansas City looks like the front runner, with a 3 year deal on the table. Nelson Cruz will also likely end up in the AL, and the Giants would be extremely unlikely to bring in a convicted PED user after the Melky Cabrera fiasco.

That leaves 75 year old bomber Raul Ibanez, whose defense is unacceptable, 33 year old former Giant Rajai Davis, who is a clone of incumbent Gregor Blanco with better speed, Jason Kubel, who was once an above average hitter, who is now a reclamation project, and Nate McLouth whose numbers are underwhelming, and wouldn't make sense as another lefty. Think there's anyone I left out, like Jason Bay? Check out the FA list here.

With all those underwhelming names, the two that make sense to me are Morse, who is a nice righty complement to Blanco with good power and 1B versatility, or Rajai Davis, whose batting average, on base %, and slugging % are all in the same ballpark as Blanco, with Gregor being the better defender and Davis's SB total of 45 being very impressive.

He makes a good gangsta face on picture day too.
But, the quickness and lack of offensive dropoff notwithstanding, this team is perennially lacking pop, and Morse would be a nice addition.

Morse is a hulking figure at about 6'5, 250, and has tremendous power. To me, his potential is still yet unrealized, and at 31, he's in for a do or die type season. His consistent injury history has limited him to basically one full season since entering the majors, and that 146 game campaign in 2011-- just 2 years ago-- yielded pretty darn good results.

In Washington that year, he slashed his way to .303/.360/.550 with 31 dongs, 95 RBI and 36 doubles. He split his time between 1B and LF that year, and has also played SS and RF coming up with Seattle.

He's an aggressive guy, with some holes in his swing, and he's susceptible to the strikeout, he's also a below average defender. But in this scenario, Blanco plays against righties, Morse against lefties, he's afforded a few less opportunities to cost us runs, and I really don't think he's egregiously bad. In the aforementioned 2011 season, he committed just 1 error in 55 OF games.

Despite Morse's perceived defensive shortcomings and his poor 2013 that was riddled by injuries, this is an excellent buy low opportunity for any team, because he's is capable of being an every day player, his .280/.284 career righty/lefty batting average splits prove that.

If recovered from offseason arthroscopic wrist surgery in October, the Giants would be foolish not to kick the tires on the powerful Morse, as he provides a righty backup for Brandon Belt, a LF complement to Blanco, and the potential to earn an every day spot as a big stick in the 6th or 7th spot in the lineup. Plus, he does actually have a career home run at AT&T. YOU SEE, HE'S CAPABLE!

Whatever the Giants decide to do, I'd be a bit irked if they weren't tied to Morse. He just seems like the right fit for the budget-conscious LF search.

If you can't see his 2011 highlight video below, click here.

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking the same thing, only with Garrett Jones, who is about to sign a relatively cheap 2 year deal with the Marlins. Yeah, he's left-handed, but not coming off injury and a better OF'er.