The file on Michael Morse
Michael "The Beast" Morse Was drafted in the third round (82nd overall) of the 2000 draft by the Chicago White Sox out of Nova High School in Davie, Florida. In 2004, he was traded to the Seattle Mariners in a deal that included Freddy Garcia. He made his big-league debut with the club on May 31, 2005. After a promising rookie year at shortstop in Seattle, (.278/.349/.370 in 72 games) Morse was moved to the outfield where his numbers significantly decreased.
Suspended for performance-enhancer, fizzles in Seattle
During that 2005 campaign, he was suspended for 10 days for using performance enhancing drugs as part of the MLB's crackdown on users. He was the ninth player ever penalized for steroids. Morse used the substance in 2003, and was suspended in 2004. He expressed that he felt he was being unfairly punished again for the same infraction, but added that it was an "enormous mistake". In his last two Seasons in Seattle, he played in just 14 games.
A new beginning in Washington
In 2009, Morse was traded to the Washington Nationals where his numbers steadily increased, coming to a head in the 2011 season. He belted 31 home runs and hit .303/.350/.550 for Washington that season, and played in a career-high 146 games. "The Beast" displayed that when he puts his game together, he possesses above-average big-league power. He began to earn a reputation around the league, placing 19th in NL MVP voting.
Performs well in the post-season
Morse turned in a solid, though not as productive year in a 2012 season that was shortened by injury. (291/.321/.470 with 18 home runs in 102 games). The team reached the NLDS (his only playoff appearence) where he hit .263/.263/.421 with a home run and two-RBIs.
A down year in 2013
Following the 2012 season he was traded back to the Mariners in a three-team deal. His numbers slipped in his second stint in Seattle, as he was hampered by a wrist injury. He was shipped to the Orioles where he finished the season and his contract. 2013 was a down year for Morse, he hit a career-low .651 OPS (.215/.270/.381) but still managed to hit 13 home runs.
Signs with Giants, brings pop to left-field
Although Morse wasn't as productive in 2013, over his nine seasons he has proven he can be one of the better right-handed-power bats in the majors. At just a reported 5 million plus incentives, Morse could prove to be a huge steal if he returns to form. San Francisco could certainly use the help in that spot. Last season they hit just five home runs among their left fielders, the fewest in the majors.
A historically slow starter (career .255 average in 82 career April games), Morse got off to a torrid start for the Giants in 2014 with a .301 average, six home runs and 20 RBI in April. He became the first Giants player since Barry Bonds to hit 10 home runs in his first 45 games. On April 23, Morse took Colorado Rockies pitcher Tyler Chatwood deep for a solo shot in the second inning and followed that up with a three-run bomb in the third. He thrived against the Arizona Diamondbacks, hitting .400 (8-for-20) with four doubles and seven RBI in seven games.