Thursday, December 12, 2013

Reactions to the Michael Morse Signing

Reactions to the Giants signing Michael Morse:

Giants take a gamble on Mike Morse - Me at BASG
The Giants are taking a gamble that he can play the Pat Burrell role from 2010, three at-bats and then a late defensive replacement while providing some home runs down the lineup. Perhaps that’s not a bad bet to make, but it’s far from a sure thing. If he stays healthy and hits the Giants might have a bargain on their hands. If not, well, Gregor Blanco is probably a pretty decent fallback with Morse perhaps helping out against left-handed pitching.
It is not an ideal solution to the left field problem but in this free agent/trade market there wasn’t really a perfect solution to be found.
The Beast Commeth - You Gotta Like These Kids
Verdict: Good signing, especially considering the alternatives. Giving up 2 big prospects for Mark Trumbo? Chasing a bigger contract in years with Corey Hart (an overbid situation that might have/didn't happen)? Trading a SP prospect for 1 year of Brett Gardner? All this costs is a little cashish, and has some good upside, with a PLAN IN PLACE for dealing with his defensive shortcomings.
Contingency Plans: Its not perfect by any means, but if Pagan gets hurt again you send Blanco/Perez to platoon in CF. If Morse gets hurt or folds, you have Blanco/Perez as the backup plan. If Pence gets hurt you're screwed, because you don't have another 5/90MM Kale Krunching Ironman ready to go. Blanco or Perez in CF would be able to sub in for Morse still if lightning strikes twice on Pagan. Further, you still have all your AAA guys except for Peggs ready to give it a shot. No team has a full time OF ready to step in for injury. Not many teams have 3 full time OFs if you actually take the time to look around MLB. Except for the Dodgers. Those guys have a 60MM OF, all shiny and what not. We'll see how this plays out, its not the worst solution to the markets problems
Mike Morse signs, and the Giants swap defense for home runs - McCovey Chronicles
Dingers are grand. But there are other ways for players to be valuable. And there are certainly a lot of ways they can be awful. I'm not optimistic about this one.
I'll embrace the risk, though, because this team has been feckless for a while, now. Heck, wind him up and let's see if he can hit 30 homers again. Could happen. And the auxiliary benefit of the move is the Giants have some decent outfield depth for the first time in a while. Blanco is a pretty good fourth outfielder, just as Juan Perez is almost an ideal fifth outfielder. If the Giants mix and match, this could work out.
It's not Nelson Cruz for five years. It's not Shin-Soo Choo for seven. It's not a three-year deal, and it's not Jeff Francoeur. Just think of all the ways it could be worse! As such, it's pretty harmless. Except for all the harm it could cause. But, dingers! I like those. Apparently, the Giants do, too. It's not the move I would have made, but it's not the move that makes me dust off the torchfork, either.
In other words, Morse is a buy-low lottery ticket. (And believe you me, a $6 M base salary these days is low, low, low.) It's a nice get for a team with little in the upper minors to speak of, hitting-wise, and lacking the resources of the big... oh wait. What did a New York scribe recently call the low-budget team from Queens? The San Diego Mets?

Then again, no one in their right Giant mind wanted Nelson Cruz for three years or Shin-Soo Choo for seven (or eight). So was Mike Morse, who has a 30-HR season in his recent past, the best possible scenario? We'll never know definitively. Retroactive rumors will emerge that the Giants were THIS CLOSE to trading for Brett Gardner or Josh Willingham, but they weren't willing to part with, well, pick a prospect. Morse isn't really what most people wanted, but then again, what people wanted wasn't so hot, either
Morse’s one-year deal with Giants a bigger risk for him than the team - The Strike Zone
As a righthanded power source, Morse is a nice compliment to the lefthanded Blanco, whose game is based around speed and defense. In addition, Morse can also play first base, where he will occasionally spell lefty Brandon Belt, and he will be the team’s best pinch-hitter on days that he doesn’t start. At $6 million, Morse is earning what, in free agency, is now a part-time salary but with half the commitment; already this offseason the Indians have signed David Murphy to a two-year, $12 million deal and the Tigers signed Rajai Davis for two years and $10 million to be backups. 
For the Giants, it’s a nice fit. For Morse, however, it’s a risk.
And the hottest take of them all from the genius behind 8th Inning Weirdness:
Overall, the consensus is that the Giants are hoping that Morse rebuilds his value and hits a bunch of home runs on a low risk one year deal. I can live with that.

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