Mike Morse joins Giants on 1-year contract
Ex-Oriole expected to play left field
Michael Morse and the San Francisco Giants reached agreement on a one-year, $6 million US contract Thursday, and he is expected to be the team's starting left fielder.
The deal is pending a physical, assistant general manager Bobby Evans said. Traded from Seattle to Baltimore on Aug. 30, Morse also can play first base and right field to give manager Bruce Bochy some flexibility in writing his lineup. If Morse becomes the everyday left fielder in place of Gregor Blanco, Bochy would have Blanco available coming off the bench, to fill in elsewhere or as a late-game defensive replacement.
Morse missed time this past season with both a broken right pinkie and strained right quadriceps before returning from the disabled list in late July. The 31-year-old nine-year veteran, batted .215 in 88 games between the Mariners and Orioles with 13 home runs and 27 runs batted in.
He will fill a void at a position the Giants had been determined to upgrade this winter, though GM Brian Sabean went into this week's baseball winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., uncertain of what he might be able to find to fill out his roster.
Morse will be part of an outfield featuring Angel Pagan in centre field and Hunter Pence in right. Pagan received a $40 million US, four-year contract last December, while Pence was rewarded with a $90 million, five-year contract before the season ended. He played every game this year.
San Francisco already has had a productive off-season. The Giants missed the playoffs one year after winning their second World Series championship in three years, and Sabean worked to keep his pitching staff intact.
Right-hander Ryan Vogelsong finalized a $5 million, one-year contract last week to re-join a rotation featuring newcomer Tim Hudson, recently re-signed two-time National League Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, lefty Madison Bumgarner and right-hander Matt Cain. The Giants also re-signed left-handed reliever Javier Lopez to a $13 million, three-year contract last month.