Baseball America has a list of players who received the rare fourth option year (h/t Bucs Dugout). We already knew two of the Pirates on the list who had received fourth options: Pedro Alvarez and Andy Oliver. One player who was unexpected was Bryan Morris.
From what I can gather from Baseball America’s description of the rules, Morris wouldn’t have the 2006 season count against him, since he was in a short-season league. The 2007 season also wouldn’t count against him, since he was injured all year. That leaves Morris with five professional seasons. The rules state that if you burn through three options in five years or less, you get a fourth option.
Morris should have been up a lot sooner last year, but the Pirates opted to go with struggling veterans like Chad Qualls and Hisanori Takahashi. He doesn’t have anything left to prove in Triple-A, and while he’s not established in the majors, he’s one of the better options in camp. The Pirates could option him to Triple-A and keep him, but the better move would be having him make the 25-man roster on Opening Day.