The San Francisco Giants, who had been hoping to upgrade their offense in left field, reached a one-year deal with free agent Michael Morse on Thursday.
According to ESPN.com, It’s a one-year deal for $5 million plus incentives and is pending a physical.
Morse does add some lineup flexibility to the club; he can play both corner outfield positions as well as first base.
Now the question becomes whether the soon-to-be 32-year-old will actually accomplish the “upgrade” portion of the deal.
Giants’ left fielders were pretty pedestrian with their production in 2013, hitting a combined .257/.314/.337 with 26 runs, 25 doubles, four triples, five homers and 52 RBI while striking out 135 times. The .651 OPS from left field was the lowest of any position for San Francisco last season.
But Morse comes with some issues of his own. He was limited to 88 games last season with a broken right pinkie and a straight right quadriceps while hitting a career-worst .215/.270/.381 with 13 homers and 27 RBI for the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles. He also struck out 87 times in 337 plate appearances.
Morse burst onto the scene with the Washington Nationals in 2011, when he hit .303/.360/.550 with 31 homers and 95 RBI in 146 games. He also hit 36 doubles.
The problem is that is his only full season in nine years in the major leagues. He was limited to 102 games due to injuries in 2012 with the Nationals
He was a third round pick of the White Sox in the 2000 draft out of Nova High School in Davie, Fla., and went to the Seattle organization in 2004 in the trade that sent Freddy Garcia to Chicago. Morse made his big-league debut in 2005 with the Mariners, then was traded to the Nationals in June 2009.
Last January, he was part of a three-team trade involving the Mariners, Nationals and A’s in which Morse went back to Seattle, John Jaso went from the Mariners to Oakland and Ian Krol and two prospects, A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen went from the A’s to the Nationals.
At the waiver trading deadline last August, Morse was dealt to the Orioles for Xavier Avery.
For his career, Morse is a .281/.334/.473 hitter with 83 homers and 455 strikeouts in 2,027 plate appearances.