The Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners have completed a trade of Xavier Avery for Michael Morse. And as I have done in the past, I’m writing a brief post here on the immediate fan reactions to the news … along with some evaluation, and, the definitive word on the subject (in my opinion!).
May 27, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners right fielder Michael Morse (38) hits a single against the San Diego Padres during the 5th inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Up front disclaimer: I have always really, really liked Morse. I would watch Nationals games when the Orioles were not playing in order to watch Morse more than any other reason or player. I have always believed that the ball jumps off his bat in a unique fashion as we see with Chris Davis – it flies faster and farther than the swing would seem to predicate.
So, when the news first broke that the O’s were getting Morse, it struck me positively. But, not yet hearing the details, it would depend ultimately upon what was given up. So I agree with this fan who wrote, “Just glad it wasn’t more than Avery.”
Over the years of following the Orioles, there is a tendency for fans to emotionally suffer the loss of most anyone. I think this is some form of “the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.” But overall, fan reaction is reasonably positive, or at least not negative or scornful in the majority.
A fan wrote, “I find it very funny that there are so many people who whine about the Orioles’ mediocrity relative to their talent, and those same people decry any and all attempts to improve said mediocrity. Xavier Avery is a 4th outfielder at best. Morse can fit a role that this team needs. Good deal.”
Bringing in some of the statistics, another fan commented, “Here’s what our DH spot looks like now, using career numbers: Against LHP: .293/.349/.490 … Against RHP: .281/.348/.474. What’s the problem???”
Perhaps a bit less enthusiastic is this comment, “I’m hopeful, just not optimistic.”
BUT, for every positive, there is a negative counter argument. The issue comes down to this: Is the Mike Morse who is coming to the Orioles the guy with the career numbers (which are excellent) or the guy who has struggled with health and production this year in Seattle (where his numbers are frankly rather dreadful). To this point a fan wrote, “Career numbers are not useful with a 32-year-old. It’s more likely that who he is this year is who he is.”
Piling on with negatives are these remarks: “So, we give up Avery, granted, not a MLB level talent but at least he’d be a pinch runner, for maybe 30 AB’s of Morse? Not seeing the cost/benefit as a positive in the long run. … The only place where his glove is anywhere decent is in his locker. … Agreed. Don’t like it at all. Hope Morse crushes it, but not at the expense of Valencia AB’s.”
Really dude? You’re excited about Valencia and fearful he won’t be in the lineup? I’m willing to live and die on Morse. And to the first guy – 30 at bats? There are 30 games, so this is probably more like 100 at bats. But you are correct about Avery, who can run, if nothing else. But if you want runners, I can recommend a lot of them – coached 50+ all-state kids, but I’m not sure they’ll get on base very much (resembling Avery).
So… in the final analysis (temporarily stated at this moment) … I think this is a good deal, and even if it busts, I will not hold this one against Dan Duquette. The Orioles are in a bad situation demanding a bold move. They have to win 20 of these final 30 games, and even that might not be enough. Gotta roll the dice – NOW. Avery is a 4th or 5th outfield talent at best. And there is this fellow named Henry Urrutia coming to Baltimore very soon. To me, the only downside of this is that Henry will not now get as many September at bats.
I’ll close with this remark that did indeed make me LOL … “I’m surprised Seattle still does business with us after what we did to them five years ago.”