After reports from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and Ken Rosenthal first surfaced, the Mariners confirmed that outfielder/DH Michael Morse has been traded to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for outfielder Xavier Avery.
Avery, 23, has spent most of the year with Triple A Norfolk, hitting .237 in 81 games with a .312 on-base percentage and .312 slugging percentage. Avery was taken in the second round of the 2008 draft by the Orioles out of Cedar Grove, Georgia. He turned down a football scholarship to Georgia to play baseball.
Avery did play a total 31 major league games in 2012 in two separate stints with the Orioles. He hit .223 with a six doubles, a triple and a homer and six RBI, while stealing six bases. Coming into this season, Avery was rated as the No. 7 prospect in the Orioles organization and considered it’s best athlete.
Avery will report to Triple A Tacoma and has been added to the 40-man roster
On Wednesday, the Orioles made a waivers claim on Morse ans Twins outfielder Josh Willingham. The Twins were asking too much in return for a trade for Willingham, who had another year left on his contract, and a deal was not reached. The Mariners were not in that position with Morse, who will be a free agent after the season. With the Mariners converting Dustin Ackley to the outfield and the return of Franklin Gutierrez, there was a logjam of outfielders.
Morse was not part of the team’s future. His return to Seattle was by most measures – a failure.
After hitting six home runs in the first nine games of the season, Morse was struck by a pitch on the hand, breaking his pinky finger. He rushed back into the line-up, which was a mistake. After the hand eventually healed, he suffered a severe quad strain that he tried to play through with other injuries forcing players to the disabled list. It never got better. He was eventually placed on the disabled list on June 22 and missed 31 games.
He was activated on June 28, but his bat never got going. Here’s his numbers since his return.
Morse was acquired in the offseason from the Washington Nationals in a three-team trade that sent catcher John Jaso to the Oakland A’s.