Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals

Earlier today I described Michael Morse as a nice idea for the Houston Astros but ultimately not worth the effort. If healthy, he makes their team better but he isn’t likely to fetch much in the way of a trade deadline prospect.

The San Francisco Giants are not the Houston Astros. They won the World Series in 2012 and just have a lot of money tied up in their veteran rotation. They just gave Hunter Pence an enormous contract extension and Buster Posey remains in the prime of his life. Pablo Sandoval faces free agency at the end of the 2014 season. Unlike the Astros, the future is now for the Giants.

Adding Michael Morse on a cheap, one-year deal is most certainly a now move. They are not trying to ride a few hot months into a shot-in-the-dark B-level prospect. The Giant signed Mike Morse to hit home runs and make their team better. Today. Right now.

The Michael Morse of 2013 doesn’t make anybody better. He was dreadful last season after another disappointment in 2012. The huge raw power in his bat will keep him employed but as his 31 homer outbreak for the 2011 Nationals slips further into the rearview mirror, the more unplayable he becomes.

In a semi-platoon role where he gets to sit against the toughest righties and comes out for defense, Morse can give a power-hungry team like SF a boost. Asked to do too much, he will get exposed for his lack of defense, base running, and durability. How the Giants should use him and what they promised him might tell the tale of his effectiveness in 2014.

At just $5 million, there isn’t a lot of risk for the Giants. There is the potential for the reward they need – big flies through the thick Marine Layer. If they come in bunches as they have in the past, Morse might make the Giants back into a contender again.