Michael Morse is officially gone.
Yesterday it was announced that the Orioles were going to make a push for another bat for their playoff push, the O’s claimed Morse off of revocable waivers from the Mariners. Today the Orioles and Mariners worked out a deal to send the struggling outfielder to Baltimore in exchange for some new hotness.
Morse has been traded in exchange for Xavier Avery, who at one point was named one of the better prospects in the Baltimore organization. Avery is considered to be a good athlete, and average baseball player. He’s coming in as an outfielder and so far has played all three locations. This will bode well for manager Eric Wedge, who last week noted that he wanted the Mariners to become a faster and more aggressive team on the bases.
“I want to have that be an option to where you can steal more, you can hit-and-run more, you can use the bunt game a little bit more, whether it be for a hit or a safety squeeze, regular squeeze. I think we’re going to have some guys that can do some of those things if we can stay healthy”
Avery certainly fits that bill. The problem for now is that his hitting is relatively sub par. He spent a few weeks with the Orioles in May 2012, where he hit decently enough for a rookie (.223 with one homer and six RBIs over 32 games), but slowly started to unravel and was optioned back down to AAA. This year he started in AA, excelled, and was bounced back up to AAA, where he’s been mediocre yet again.
Avery will probably bounce around double and triple-A for a while before we get a look at him in Seattle. A speedy outfielder would be great, but he needs to refine his swing and start producing some runs in order to make the jump. I’m excited, but not overly optimistic yet. Getting rid of Morse was something that simply needed to happen in Seattle. He’s underwhelmed us all and there just isn’t any room for him here anymore. Maybe a move to Baltimore will give him the boost he needs to get back to his old self. In the mean time, Avery is being sent straight to Tacoma to finish off the season.
This bodes well for the Mariners current outfielders. As I mentioned yesterday, getting rid of Morse will free up some room for the outfield to get settled a bit and start making plans for next year. The M’s have a fistful of outfielders in the organization, but dealing Morse indicates to me that Ackley is going to get the lion’s share of work at center from here on out.