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Giants add Morse, but left field platoon seems inevitable

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Needing an everyday left fielder, the Giants and veteran Michael Morse agreed to a one-year deal reportedly worth $5 million plus incentives on Thursday pending a physical.

Morse, 31, hit just .215 in 88 games with Baltimore and Seattle in 2013 and has only two 100 plus game seasons in a nine year career that began in 2005.

His best statistical season was with the Nationals in 2011 when he batted .303 with 31 home runs and 95 RBIs in 146 games, all career highs.

However injuries have marred the 6-5, 245-pound slugger's time in the majors as PED use, a torn meniscus in his right knee, a shoulder tear, strained back muscles, a tweaked right quad and left wrist surgery have limited him to just 573 games, equivalent to three and half seasons.

The Giants had been interested in Norichika Aoki, Brett Gardner and possibly Corey Hart, but nothing panned out in what is a weak free agent market for left fielders.

And despite what the team has said publicly, the prospect of rotating defensive specialists Gregor Blanco and Juan Perez in left just wasn't that promising.

Morse's addition means he's almost certain to be the Opening Day starter, yet given his injury-prone history, seeing Blanco and Perez out there for some extended period of time seems very likely.

San Francisco's issue in left isn't the defense it's at the plate. Last season the Giants got poor offensive production from Jeff Francoeur (.194), Andres Torres (.250), Roger Kieschnick (.202) and Brett Pill (.224) while Kensuke Tanaka (.267) provided a brief spark in his 15 games.

Let's not assume that a Morse/Blanco/Perez platoon with a career slash of .281/.257/.258 would be any better than last years, but it can't be worse.

Of course the best scenario is a healthy and productive Morse.


Follow @drewmorita on Twitter for full coverage of the San Francisco Giants.



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