Michael Morse Joins the Pirates, Jaff Decker Optioned to Indianapolis

The Pittsburgh Pirates have added Michael Morse to the active roster and have optioned Jaff Decker to Indianapolis, per a team press release. Morse was expected to join the team today, and it made sense to send out Decker as a corresponding move. The outfielder is the only guy on the bench who had options remaining, and there was little need for his help as an additional outfielder right now.

Decker will almost certainly return in September when rosters expand, but for now this move allows the Pirates to add Morse while keeping Travis Ishikawa, who has been one of the better bench players the Pirates have seen this year.

There is still no word on what the Pirates are receiving from the Dodgers in terms of cash for Morse. It will be interesting to see where or if he slots into the lineup tonight. UPDATE: He’s in the lineup, starting at first base, and batting seventh.

  • piraterican21
    August 3, 2015 7:20 pm

    He was needed yesterday in cincy, I’m sure none of the Reds player would had taken the field after the hbp, that’s big dude!

  • Welcome to the burgh mr. Morse, now how about sending a few coded messages over the clemente wall.

  • Decker seemed to have a good attitude to add to the bench.
    Did not hit but drew some walks. It will be nice to see him
    in September, but doubt he will see the field much.

  • Tim, why did it take so long for Morse to report? Happ reported the next morning.

    • I heard that question asked direct yesterday pregame. Neil H said on the radio yesterday the guy and his family were all mixed after making arrangements to get to La, he finds he is DFA then traded to Pittsburgh. Meeting the team in time for a game in Cincy was going to be tough so they told him to go straight to Pittsburgh. In 48 hours he was traded twice and DFA.

      • Can you imagine that? Basically all ready to head to LA and they move you again. I figured when he was traded they would just release him after a DFA where no one wanted him, giving him a few days to figure things out.

  • The bench duo of Ishikawa & Morse were extremely clutch in the post season. Game 5 NLCS- Morse ties the game with a pinch hit solo homer in the 8th and Ishikawa walk off homer to the World Series. Morse had the game winning RBI in Game 7 of the World Series v Royals.

  • If this guy was picked up by The Cardinals he would probably hit 8 home runs and drive in about 30 the rest of the season. Curious why we have not seen any amount of money changing hands with the Dodgers.

  • Works for me. He’s batting 7th tonight and Serpico 8th. I don’t know why NW ain’t starting. I trust him batting right-handed more than Serpico.

    • Morse averaged 22 HRs and 74 RBI per 162 games, has knees that don’t clank. Neither does his glove. Supposed to be a good teammate, 6’5′” 245ibs. and nicknamed “The Beast.” He’s been told he has to lead the guys off the bench against the Reds, replacing Cole. Imagine if he gets a hot start this week….fans will go nuts. Kozy, I think Serpico is starting because he did the most convincing hold me back dance yesterday.

      • And he made sure it was that giant Polanco doing the holding, making it look even more convincing. Good move, Serpico, thinking of every detail.

    • Neil has looked like he is wearing concrete overshoes while moving to his left for the past month. It will be good to have someone a little quicker at 2B for defensive purposes. Now that Morse is here Serpico isn’t needed for late inning defensive replacement of Pedro at 1B.

  • I’d like to see him get regular time at first base to see if he can hit enough to keep the job. It wouldn’t take a ton to out-produce Pedro, even just returning to his career numbers would be a big upgrade offensively, but I’m just getting tired of seeing Pedro throw away outs defensively.

  • I realize this move isn’t that significant but it’s still puzzling to me. Had a busy weekend so I missed it – why did Neal say he was after this guy? I was expecting to see better splits against lefties.

    • I think he hopes that he will return to last year’s numbers. Clint reached out to Giants’ Bruce Bochy to see if he felt Morse still had something left. I guess that conversation went well. Also, they jettisoned Tabata’s contract and depending on how much money comes back to us, it could end up being a wash.

    • His name isn’t Jose Tabata, that’s probably about it. Seems like an offload of a guy they didn’t want, coupled with a prayer that they find a time machine for Michael Morse dialed in at 2011.

    • He only had 22 at bats against lefties this year, and 16 of them included Cole Hamels, Gio Gonzalez, Madison Bumgarner and Alex Wood. The rest he went 2-6, or .333. FWIW.

      • For his career Morse has a WRC+ of 120 versus LHP and 118 versus RHP. But he wasn’t, as you note, hitting against Bumgarner all of the time.

    • Honestly, NH wasn’t exactly gushing – he all but said if Morse hits like he has (or hasn’t) this year, he won’t be around for long.

      Assuming the money the Dodgers kick in comes close to covering the delta in salaries, this is upgrading from an OF that they can’t use for a 1B who MIGHT be useful. Morse could do no worse than Hart, Rodriguez has lost his bat (Saturday night notwithstanding) and has no business starting at 1B, and Pedro against a LH starter is a liability at the plate AND in the field. The Pirates this week face 3 lefties in Lester, Kershaw and Wood. If Morse can go 2 for 9 in those games, he will have been an upgrade over every other in house option.

      It might not work out, but they gave up a guy who has no future with the club – a $6+ million sunk cost from here on out. And if it DOES work out, they just picked up a semi-useful 1B/PH for nothing.

      • Bingo. Thought this was a very, very smart move by Huntington, and would be very surprised if the Pirates take on more than a couple million bucks.

        • Additionally, it adds one more player to the team who could dress convincingly as a pirate, which I always appreciate.

      • You pretty much covered it, though I wonder what happens when Mercer and Harrison come back.

        • If one is healthy in August then Florimon heads out. They’ll keep the other one in recovery until the roster expands in order to keep Ishikawa on the team for pinch hitting, and 1B defensive purposes.

          • Possible, but with Morse on the team they dont need to make that move if the player is actually healthy and ready to go. They can roll with Pedro+Morse, get rid of Ishikawa, and the bench would basically add either Harrison or Mercer.

            Florimon gone when one comes back, Ishikawa gone when the other comes back.

            • Could work that way as well. But maybe someone will want Pedro at the end of August, and if that’s so then having Ishi around would be advantageous.

            • I imagine at least one won’t be back until September 1st – which would mean Ishikawa would stay on the expanded roster through the rest of the season.

        • Hate to say it but mercer should be on the bench backing up kang, as for harrison I think that depends on whether or not ramirez starts to hit.

          • There is no way Mercer sits on the bench. Kang really is a solid 3rd baseman, but not very good at shortstop. Mercer’s defense is in a whole different sphere, and when Mercer is hitting (basically anytime after may 30th) he is a pretty good hitter for any team in the middle infield. Harrison won’t be on the bench either, he’ll be playing all over the place and likely you’ll see Ramirez pinch hitting more than anything as basically the 3rd, 3rd baseman

            • Yes, Kang is a better 3B man than SS, but if he is merely good as a SS instead of very good then his bat more than makes up the difference. I say Kang starts at 3B vs LHP and SS versus RHP, maybe being replaced in late innings for defense by Mercer. Mercer starts at SS versus LHP only. Harrison starts at 3B vs RHP for better defense, RF versus some LHP, at 2B versus other LHP. Ramirez is mostly a PH with some starts at 3B here and there.

              • I don’t think even Hurdle would say Kang is a good shortstop, because he’s not. Adequate would probably be the best answer. As bad as our defense has been this year, we shouldn’t be having an “adequate” defensive shortstop on a ground ball pitching team, I don’t care what his OPS is

              • This feeling that good defense late in the game is more important than early in the game is quite frankly stupid and antequated. We’ve lost a few games early from giving up 3 unearned runs and falling way behind, having our starter get his pitch count out of whack, and draining our bullpen. No, you don’t bench Mercer for Kang, unless Kang is putting up an OPS over 800 and Mercer is struggling like he did early in the year.

              • You’d make a better bet for Kang to play over Harrison at 3rd than for Kang to play over Mercer at short.