The Orioles attempted to claim just about every corner outfielder/DH on the waiver wire this week, but they've ended up with Mike Morse. In return, the Mariners will get Xavier Avery, who is a 23 year old outfielder currently playing for AAA Norfolk. More analysis on him to follow.
The Mike Morse trade wasn't a total disaster, but it was close. Morse provided a bunch of homers right off the bat, and then he started to fall into old habits once again. He got hurt, and was bad when he came back. He got hurt again, and was bad while playing hurt. He was hobbled, and then finally went on the disabled list, where he took a long time to come back, and then he was bad again. Morse only ended up playing 76 games, struck out 80 times, and finished with a .226/.283/.410 line.
The Orioles hope he'll get back on track after being healthy for a bit, and maybe he will. Morse, when healthy, is a dangerous bat, and he'll be at designated hitter, where he belongs. There is a perfect storm of events in which Morse is a pretty good baseball player, and it happened in 2011. If the Orioles get the kind of production from Morse that he provided then, or even what he provided in the first two months 2013, they'll be happy. Baltimore has had miserable production from the DH spot all year long, so Morse doesn't have to do much to be an upgrade.
The Mike Morse/John Jaso trade has been discussed so much on this site that I won't subject anybody to another lengthy analysis of how poorly it worked out. Now that it's over, it's really simple.
Mike Morse compiled -0.9 WAR for the Mariners this year. Nothing else matters. Forget how long Jaso is controlled for, forget how well Jaso performed this year, forget what happened to Jesus Montero. It doesn't matter. Mike Morse was nearly a win below replacement value this season, and he played less than half of the year. By all accounts, he was horrible. He didn't hit well, he didn't field well. He was the 0 WAR player he was in 2011, but worse. There was very little upside to acquiring Mike Morse, and instead the Mariners experienced every single bit of downside there was to have. Even if things went exactly like 2012, this trade would have been a loss.
Putting all of the analysis aside, Mike Morse did provide a good amount of entertainment at the plate for a few months, and I will miss watching him when he was dialed in. Morse can be a tremendously dangerous hitter when he's hot and everything's clicking, but it rarely is. He'll be a free agent within two months, and somebody else will take a chance on his eternal tease. Farewell to the beast.