The Pittsburgh Pirates have traded Jose Tabata for Michael Morse and cash, according to Jon Heyman.

Nothing yet on the money exchanging hands, but here are the contracts for each player:

Morse – Making $7 M this year, with about $2.5 M remaining. $8 M in 2016

Tabata – $4 M in 2015, $4.5 M in 2016, $250,000 buyout in 2017

Obviously the base salaries have the Pirates taking on money here. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dodgers send enough to even this out.

Morse batted .213/.276/.313 in 160 at-bats this season for the Marlins, who just dealt him as part of a much bigger deal to the Dodgers, who then immediately designated him for assignment. He had an .811 OPS in 131 games for the Giants last year, then had some big hits during their World Series playoff run, including a game-tying homer in the deciding game of the NLCS, helping to eliminate the Cardinals.

The Pirates have been looking for a platoon guy, and Morse will probably be used in that role. Unfortunately, he’s struggled in that department this year, with a .291 OPS against lefties in just 25 plate appearances. Last year he had an .827 OPS against lefties, while also posting an .803 OPS against right-handers. This got him his two year, $16 M deal, and now the Pirates will have to hope that he can bounce back to that point. If he does, then they not only have their option against lefties this year, but they also have their replacement for Pedro Alvarez next year until Josh Bell arrives, along with an upgrade over Alvarez this year.

Update 6:49 PM: The Pirates have officially announced the deal. Morse will join the team on Monday and a 25-man roster move will be made then.

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49 COMMENTS

    • How can you not like this move? Tabata out of sight forever. We get a guy who performed in the playoffs in the clutch. He is 6’5” 245 and is nicknamed “The Beast.” Now go get Snyder back off waivers and we have two guys good in the locker room. Snyder is a good cook, the Beast is supposed to be fun. Now if the Reds, Nats and Cards want to throw at Cutch, Marte and Kang we have the Beast and hopefully Snyder to lead the charge from the bench.

  1. Saw this one coming, can’t say I’m proud of my prediction but he is a right handed first baseman with good pop and defence, now rodriguez is freed up to assume the role he was brought here for instead of solely a late inning replacement for pedro. Gotta admit I did not see the tabata move coming. ( or going in this case) solid move by neal.

  2. Trade a poor but not useless option from the outfield “depth”, and they now have a poor but not useless option at a position of need.

  3. I think this trade is pretty funny. I didn’t think they would ever be able to move Tabata’s contract. Hey, maybe Morse can even help a little.

  4. I like this trade. We get a righty power hitter to platoon with Pedro this year, and next year. Last year Morse was very good for the World Champion Giants and he had some great years for Washington. The added bonus is that the Jose Tabata era has ended. Now we can pick up Travis Snider who was released by the O’s and put an end to the complaints about the trade.

  5. Not a bad gamble…Morse could help if he gets healthy and is motivated….addition by subtraction possibly…

  6. On a different note, the Orioles just DFA’d Travis Snider. That trade for 2 minor leaguers is looking pretty good right now.

  7. Right handed 1B/OF, called this move last week. Not sure how much I like it, but Morse does fit our needs, if his hitting comes back around.

          • Absolutely, there are players that rise to the occasion and those who don’t. For instance, how many of Cutch’s homers seem to either tie the game or take the lead? Yesterday – tied, wednesday in MN – took the lead, before the break against STL – walk off… see a pattern there. Pedro… all his homers come when we’re losing 15-5. We’re down 1 in the 9th with guys on 2nd and 3rd and Pedro’s up. What does he do? K’s on 3 pitches.

            • If you look at the stats over real samples most good players are good, and bad players bad in most situations. Very few guys can be called clutch or chokers yet fans and announcers do it anyways relentlessly. Someone like jeter or George Brett have earned their clutchness. Even a guy like arod who has been labeled a choker has had monster post season series’.

            • My answer would be because Pedro stinks and cutch is good. Pedro had a monster postseason a few years ago. Small sample aberration as his career stats approved have proved.

  8. This is kind of a bizarre move to me, but Morse has been a good hitter in the past and isn’t ancient, so he could bounce back for us.

    If he does, since for his career, he doesn’t really have platoon splits, he could be a semi-regular player, especially if Pedro struggles.

    In any case, he’s probably better than Ishikawa, and he can “play” the outfield.

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