The Baltimore Orioles made one of the more significant moves prior to the trade deadline, in acquiring starter Bud Norris, and have now made one of the more notable moves of the waiver trade period, in picking up Seattle Mariners massive slugger Michael Morse.
Morse was acquired by the O’s from Seattle on Friday, heading into the weekend that marks the end of the waiver trade period, when teams are unable to make a swap as we heading into the final month of the season. Outfielder Xavier Avery will go back to Seattle in the deal for Morse.
Having been picked up in a trade with Washington last winter, Morse was in his first season with the Mariners. This season certainly hasn’t been among his better campaigns, as he’s struggled to stay healthy and performance consistently. His numbers have taken a massive hit off of where they were last year.
Morse is hitting only .226 on the year, with 13 home runs and only 27 runs knocked in on the season. A regression was expected, moving to the pitchers paradise that resides in Seattle, but not to the extent we have seen it. Still, Morse represents an upgrade for the Orioles on offense.
Looked at as the final piece for their playoff push, Morse is a guy capable of playing in the outfield, at first base, and being utilized as a designated hitter. So he does bring some versatility to the mix. While he’s not going to add Chris Davis type power to the mix, he’ll add some extra pop. Prior to this year, he’s also been a reliable guy in getting on base.
It remains to be seen if Morse is the final piece to get the O’s to the playoffs. If he can rebound from his early season struggles, then it’s certainly possible. This is definitely the right move for the Orioles, but we’ll have to see how it pans out for them as the calendar turns to September, and we head into the final stretch of the 2013 regular season.