Mariners Get More Morse

The Mariners reacquired former Rainiers slugger Mike Morse yesterday, sending John Jaso to Oakland as a part of a three-team trade. The A’s sent some prospects to Washington, who flipped Morse to the Mariners.

This trade caused some rather extreme reactions in the land of social media.

Morse is popular. Not just in Tacoma, where he played parts of four seasons and was a fan favorite. Morse won over the fans in Washington, where he had an incredible season at the plate in 2011.

However, the Mariners gave up Jaso, who built his own fan club by being the best hitter on a poor-hitting Mariners team last year.

The two drawbacks in the eyes of most analysts are big ones: Jaso has three years left on his contract while Morse has just one, and Jaso plays a position the Mariners now need help with while Morse is yet another in a long list of Mariners first basemen/DHs.

In addition to sorting out the 1B/DH/LF logjam, the Mariners will need to acquire a stop-gap catcher to share duties with Jesus Montero.

This leads me to some thoughts on catching prospect Mike Zunino, the Mariners first round draft pick last year.

Fans are going to place large expectations on Zunino, who now has a crystal-clear path to the majors. I think we all need to show some patience here.

Zunino has played in only 44 career minor league games. Buster Posey – the last college catching star to be drafted high in the first round and reach the majors in a hurry – needed 172 minor league games before he was ready. On top of that, it is unfair to compare Zunino to Posey; Posey is already a two-time championship player who has won an MVP award.

If Zunino develops into half the player Posey is, that would be a huge benefit for the Mariners. Considering catching loads in the minor leagues, Zunino is still slightly more than one year away from reaching the majors if he progresses as quickly as Posey did.

Just some food for thought on that one.

Links:

  • We start with the news story on the trade from The News Tribune.
  • On the TNT Mariners blog, Ryan Divish talked about the trade and has several links.
  • Larry Stone of the Seattle Times is cautiously optimistic about the trade.
  • Bloggers, however, have a different opinion. Dave Cameron thinks it’s a disaster, while Jeff Sullivan did a Q&A with himself about the trade.
  • Rob Neyer isn’t convinced that this is a bad trade for the M’s, but he is concerned that it could be the deal that gets Jack Z fired.
  • ESPN analyst Keith Law says the trade makes no sense for the Mariners.
  • Three former Rainiers players are on the US Team in the World Baseball Classic: Adam Jones, R.A. Dickey, and Willie Bloomquist. The full roster is right here.
  • According to an industry website, the Mariners hired a new broadcast partner to work with Rick Rizzs, and it’s Aaron Goldsmith. Goldsmith moved through the minors faster than anyone I have ever seen: he spent one year with Triple-A Pawtucket last year and has just two seasons of lead broadcast experience in the minors. This kid must be some sort of prodigy!
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6 Responses to Mariners Get More Morse

  1. Mark says:

    Mike, You would have been an outstanding hire for the M’s. Keep up the good work.

  2. Pat says:

    Nats fan here. Morse is a frustrating player, when he’s on he’s scary good at the plate. Fearless in the moment. One wrap against him is staying healthy, and something I saw last year was the minute some part of his body gets tweaked his swing goes right down the tubes.

    Having said that, I hope the trade works out for both sides. Morse needs playing time to develop and it is his contract year so if he gets full-time AB’s and stays healthy you probably got a great 5 or 6 hitter.

  3. Jeff says:

    Was hoping you would get the job; you know most of the players on the Mariners. Looking forward to another season of Rainiers baseball and hearing your broadcasts.

  4. Ron says:

    Just adding to what Jeff said. I listen to a lot of Mariners games and Rainers when they don’t start at the same time as the Mariners. While I am glad you are still with the Rainers I was really hoping you would get the job with the Mariners. Keep up the great work on the broadcasts and the blogs and I hope you get that major league job at some point.

  5. Joseph says:

    Mike, my son (a current UC-Berkeley student and Daily Cal sports writer) and I were very disappointed you did not get the job. You earned it based on more than a decade of superb broadcasting. We are long-time Rainiers ticketholders and have listened to you for even longer than that, so we know how talented you are. Please hang in there and don’t give up. Some perceptive organization, if not the Mariners, will recognize your gifts and hire you to work in The Show.

  6. Mac says:

    It is a shame that you were not offered the job, you earned it. That said, I look forward to hearing you call the Rainiers games again this season. Keep up the good work.

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