The Baltimore Orioles traded for Michael Morse on August 30th, but he never had the effect they thought he would. Morse in fact didn’t play after September 22nd due to an undisclosed injury. Morse was said to be healthy at the time of the trade, although he had previously experienced issues with his quadriceps this year. Whether or not he was truly healthy is a different story, and the Birds might even be willing to admit they were somewhat hoodwinked in taking on what could have been damaged goods. However Dan Duquette also has said that there isn’t much recourse, and that the O’s aren’t pursing a grievance of any sort against Seattle.
However Morse will be a free agent after the World Series; should the Orioles consider resigning him? He might well come at a discount of sorts given his injury issues in the past, and the fact that he’s coming of of a fairly poor season. However I think that the Birds liked his enthusiasm, and he does have the potential for power. As I said back when the trade went down, he’s also a good clubhouse guy. While he never really got on track in the short time he was in Baltimore, I suspect that he fit in with some of the personalities on the team very well.
I’m not saying that I think the O’s should resign Morse, because I’m not sure the reward is worth the risk. However left field is a big question mark for the O’s next year. Will Nate McLouth be back? Will Nolan Reimold be able to make it through a season? As I alluded before the season ended, one issue we do need to discuss this off season is whether or not the Oriole players simply wore down in the stretch run, or if perhaps they simply ran out of gas. They had five players that played 150 games plus. (If you think back, we saw a similar effect last season in the playoffs.) Morse can also play first base; could he handle some duties in left field along with spelling Chris Davis at first here and there?
Time will tell, but I think the first base argument is probably the strongest reason the Orioles could consider bringing Morse back. As September wore on I felt that we saw a lot of tired Oriole bats, including that of Chris Davis. So if you have an insurance policy at first base Davis might not wear down quite as quickly. The same could be said in the outfield, whereby perhaps an extra fielder such as Morse could somehow work it’s way into getting Adam Jones some time off. All of this remains to be seen.