Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Matt Morris is not going anywhere

From today's PG:

"As long as we feel there's still an ability in there to get people out, we're going to continue to let Matt be a starting pitcher for us," general manager Neal Huntington said last night. "If we get to the point where we just don't think he can compete, then we obviously have to make a move at that point."

Are they getting close?

"At this point, we're not all that close, which I know the fans don't want to hear. We're not close to deciding that Matt is done, because that's essentially what you'd be deciding. Maybe he could go somewhere else and click. We want to make sure we exhaust all opportunities right here."

I think it's got to be clear that the Pirates don't have much faith in Morris getting people out, but it's also true that there's not really much else for the Pirates to do other than let him pitch. This is being discussed in the comments below, but it's worth a mention. The Pirates have no option right now other than to eat Matt Morris's contract. They're paying it and that's the end of the story. That leaves them with the following crappy choices:

  1. Cut Morris loose. In this case, they'll be paying him to either pitch for someone else or to not pitch at all while John Van Benschoten or Brian Bullington take his spot. The problem is that neither Bullington nor Van Benschoten is an appreciable upgrade over Morris (which is hard to believe, I know). Neither is a prospect any more and neither is a major leaguer starter, which essentially make them younger Matt Morrises.
  2. Send Morris to the pen. Yeah, so we're paying him $10 million to do Evan Meek's job while Bullington or JVB start.
  3. Let Morris pitch. The only way Morris is getting traded is if he somehow pitches well. We'll still be forced to eat the salary, but at the very least we'll have a warm body in return that might turn into something.
Of course, it's highly unlikely that Morris will pitch himself into shape, and thus a trade, but why not take a shot at it? What other choices do we have?