The Houston Astros have expressed a need to enhance their power numbers in the 2014 season. Rumors linked the Astros with numerous free agents, from Corey Hart to Shin-Soo Choo. But the Astros may finally have found their man as talks are heating up between them and Michael Morse.
Morse posted an atrocious 2013, hitting .215 with only 13 home runs. However, he was battling injuries the entire year. Looking at his career statistics, 2013 appears to be the aberration. In the three years prior to that, Morse posted a .296 line with 64 home runs in over 1200 plate appearances.
Even more significant? Manager Bo Porter was the Washington Nationals‘ third base coach during that 2010-12 span. It’s Porter who is lobbying strongly for Morse to hop on the next plane to Houston.
Morse has reportedly been looking for a $7-8 million, one year deal — well within the Astros’ steadily growing budget. Obviously he’d fit the need of a power bat, and he also plays the needed positions of outfield and first base. Morse even understands that his 2013 year marred his value, and has pointed out that he is open to a one year deal to reestablish that value.
It sounds like a match made in heaven. Where better to re-establish value than on a team trying to re-establish their value? Who knows, given a good 2014, the Astros may find it in their benefit to hang onto the 31-year-old for a couple more years.
Morse has proven value. One bad year isn’t enough to nullify an entire career of statistical dominance. If Porter knows all that he claims to know about Morse, he may be the key to unlocking the 2010-12 form of the slugger.
What’s there to lose?