Morse and Marlins finalize $16 million, 2-year contract
MIAMI (AP) Michael Morse and the Miami Marlins have finalized a $16 million, two-year contract.
Morse gets a $1 million signing bonus and salaries of $7 million next season and $8 million in 2016 under the agreement announced Wednesday. He can earn a $250,000 performance bonus each year for reaching 550 plate appearances.
The Marlins expect Morse to replace Garrett Jones as their first baseman and to bat cleanup.
Morse hit .279 with 16 homers and 61 RBI in 131 games for the World Series champion San Francisco Giants this year. He batted .300 in the postseason and had four RBIs in the World Series.
The Marlins have been aggressive this offseason in trying to mold a contender in the NL East. They signed slugger Giancarlo Stanton to a record $325 million contract, and traded for All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon, right-hander Mat Latos and right-hander Dan Haren, who has indicated he might retire.
The move to Miami represents a homecoming for the 32-year-old Morse, who grew up in nearby Broward County. He's a career .281 hitter with 99 homers in 10 seasons with the Mariners, Nationals, Orioles and Giants.
Miami considers Morse an upgrade over Jones, who will now be on the trade market. Last season Jones hit .246 with 15 homers and 53 RBI in 146 games and led all major league first basemen with 13 errors.
The Marlins opted for Morse after free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche turned down their offer and instead signed with the White Sox.
Morse can also play left and right field. The right-handed hitter is projected to bat behind Gordon, Christian Yelich and Stanton.