FanPost

Michael Morse and the New Safeco Dimensions


I would like to preface this post by mentioning that I originally treated the Jaso-for-Morse trade with negativity, but as Jeff has recently posted an article on the optimistic view of the trade, I will attempt to do the same, but from a different angle

I realize that much of the resentment of the trade stems from the number of years of team control remaining for each player (3 years for Jaso, 1 for Morse), and that even if the years are thrown out the window, Jaso is likely to be the more valuable contributor(based on WAR) over a full season. However, there may exist a possibility that even if Morse is not a Mariner in 2014, he will have made a positive impact on the long term future of the team.

Michael Morse is the guinea pig for the new stadium dimensions.

As we've seen/heard before, many free agents with offensive upside tend to shy away from Safeco's deep outfield fence, often with an anecdotal argument that Adrian Beltre greatly disliked hitting there. The M's were rejected by Justin Upton this offseason, and while we cannot know his internal motivations, it can be assumed that the depressed offensive environment of Safeco was a factor in his decision.

With the fences brought in, it can be assumed that the stadium plays to a more offense-neutral environment, but how by just how much? Last season saw severe run production, so we may already have expected regression back to historical numbers. With the fences in left center brought in, the time seems right to see a right handed power hitter attempt to beat Safeco. Enter Morse.

With nobody on the team looming as a right handed power threat(aside from the unproven Jesus Montero), it would make sense that a righty with big time power would be needed to attempt to change public perception of Safeco's run suppressing environment. The team was (obviously) linked to having interest in Giancarlo Stanton, as well as their attempt at Upton and eventual acquisition of Morse showed the team having interest in every publicly available right handed power bat available, even (as we saw with Morse) if it meant having to overpay.

If Morse can have a successful year, he might just make Safeco a more viable and friendly option for potential free agent bats.

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