Pirates Claim Brent Morel Off Waivers From Toronto

The Pittsburgh Pirates have claimed third baseman Brent Morel off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. This is the second time this off-season that Morel has been claimed off waivers. He was previously claimed by Toronto from the Chicago White Sox in December.

Morel has a career .229/.276/.333 line in 669 plate appearances in the majors. He’s a right-handed hitter who has been better in his career against lefties, although he only has a .684 OPS in the majors against left-handers. He has been a decent defender at third base, with a career 0.2 UZR/150.

As I wrote earlier today, the Pirates don’t have many options beyond Pedro Alvarez at third base. Morel isn’t a good option, but he’s a natural third baseman, which beats the alternatives of playing Gaby Sanchez at third, or shuffling the lineup to have someone like Jordy Mercer, Neil Walker, or Russell Martin play third base if Alvarez goes down.

Morel does have one option year remaining, so the Pirates could stash him in Triple-A, rather than starting him off in the majors. He will probably battle Josh Harrison for an infield bench spot, although Harrison would have more value due to his ability to play second base and the outfield. Morel’s main value is depth at third base if Alvarez goes down.

The Pirates will need to make a corresponding roster move to create a spot for Morel. They are expected to announce that move later tonight.

UPDATE 3:28 PM: Morel seems happy about the move:

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Hoptown

    Highly likely that Andrew Oliver is the one that goes off the 40-man.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sean.epstein1 Sean Epstein

    Or Hughes. If Oliver has lasted this long they must think he has some upside. That said, I wouldn’t give up either guy for Morel.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sean.epstein1 Sean Epstein

    It would seem Hague would be a better option as well. If Morel is gonna be in Indy anyway why would you add him now. Hague is already there and would not take up a spot on the 40 man.

    • https://profiles.google.com/107500598404660809214 Kerry Writtenhouse

      In order to add Morel to the roster, it has to be on the 40 man.

  • CalipariFan506

    Hopefully this sends Harrison to AAA. I’d bring back Inge as 25th man before Harrison.

    • joe g.

      Really?

      • Jake Oswalt

        Are you serious? What did Inge contribute to the team? Don’t even say “veteran leadership.” Harrison provides a good bat vs LHP, can play 2B, 3B, SS, and corner OF, and pinch run.