Orioles’ pursuit of Morse makes sense for both sides

MorseCage1The Mariners need to move an outfielder before Friday night’s game against the Astros in order to add Taijuan Walker to the 25-man roster and it appears Michael Morse could be part of the solution.

Morse has been claimed off waivers by the Orioles, as first reported by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, which means the Mariners could just let him go to Baltimore and save his remaining month’s salary, or work out a deal to bring some compensation in return.

Or they could pull him back off waivers. as they’ve apparently done with Kendrys Morales after he was claimed earlier in the week.

Making a move with Morse is far more likely than the Morales’ situation, however. The Mariners currently have six outfielders — one more than normal — after activating Franklin Gutierrez off the disabled list on Monday when they designated Aaron Harang for assignment.

Gutierrez, Michael Saunders, Dustin Ackley, Raul Ibanez, Endy Chavez and Morse are all fighting for playing time at the moment and one of those outfielders will need to be moved off the 25-man roster when Walker is activated Friday for his Major League debut that night against the Astros.

Morse hasn’t been hitting since coming off the disabled list in late July. In fact, he really hasn’t swung the bat well since the first month of the season. After hitting .248 with nine home runs and 14 RBIs in the first 25 games, Morse has plummeted after breaking his right pinkie finger and then injuring his hamstring.

In 51 games since May 1, Morse has added just four home runs and 13 RBIs while batting .214.

But Morse still carries the threat of a power right-handed bat and the Orioles are trying to add a designated hitter, having also claimed the Twins’ Josh Willingham. The Orioles are 4 1/2 games back of Oakland in the AL West wild-card race and trying to hang in after losing five of their last eight games.

Whether Baltimore works out a deal for either player remains to be seen, but Morse — who loved playing on the East Coast for the Nationals — definitely is a candidate and it wouldn’t be surprising to see a deal finalized by Friday.

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