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Morris, Giants agree to three-year deal


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Morris, Giants agree to three-year deal

By Rick Hummel

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

12/11/2005

 

Matt Morris will reunite with catcher Mike Matheny in San Francisco after Morris agreed to a three-year deal with the Giants.

(Chris Lee/P-D)

 

Catcher Mike Matheny long has been known for his defense, which has resulted in his winning four Gold Gloves, three with the Cardinals and his most recent with the San Francisco Giants. Now Matheny has been credited with an assist off the field.

 

Longtime Cardinals ace Matt Morris has agreed to a three-year contract worth between $24 million and $27 million with the Giants, and according to agent Barry Axelrod, Matheny played a significant role in Morris' decision.

 

"I would not discount the presence of Mike Matheny as a factor in Matt's decision," Axelrod told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It was not the overwhelming factor, but a factor.

 

"Matt has a tremendous confidence level with Mike, and they've had a good experience together in the past."

 

Matheny was the Cardinals' regular catcher from 2000-2004, a period when Morris won 22 games once and also had victory totals of 17 and 15.

 

The Giants won their pursuit of Morris in competition with the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Cardinals, Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds, with most of the other contenders, including in the Cardinals, reluctant to offer three guaranteed years.

 

Morris, 14-10 with a 4.11 earned-run average last season, is expected to earn an average of $8 million to $9 million a season with the Giants, but items such as signing bonus and deferred payments are to be ironed out.

 

"We still have some details to square away, but our focus is on the Giants," Axelrod told the Chronicle. "We basically said that assuming we get the last details worked out with the Giants, that's where he wants to go."

 

Meanwhile, Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty said he hoped to finalize the signing of lefthanded reliever Ricardo Rincon today. Rincon appeared in 67 games for the Oakland Athletics last season, allowing just 10 of 46 inherited runners to score.

 

Jocketty said he still was seeking more bullpen help, concentrating for the moment on righthanders Octavio Dotel and Braden Looper, both of whom had arm surgery this year. Looper, who Jocketty has been told will be able to pitch by the start of the season, was the New York Mets' closer for much of last season and was a first-round amateur draft choice by the Cardinals in 1996.

 

Ironically, Morris and Looper were the first two No. 1 picks in Jocketty's 11 seasons with the Cardinals.

 

As for Jocketty's other stated goal, improving the outfield, he said he might have to satisfy that need through trade rather than the free-agent market, which features the likes of Jacque Jones, late of Minnesota, and Juan Encarnacion, who played with Florida last season

 

"There are some free agents we're looking at, but I think the free agents are going to be too expensive," Jocketty said.

 

Source -- http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports/st...D8?OpenDocument

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I love this... Morris is a more seasoned pitcher than Millwood. And Paul Byrd doesn't even belong in the same sentence as these two.. I do think pitchers are getting a little too expensive, but credit this to the contract that A.J Burnett got. A.J got $10mil per season based on potential. The Giants got a proven pitcher here, for less money.

 

A rotation of Schmidt, Morris, Lowry, Cain, and whoever else (probably Hennessey) looks pretty damn good to me.

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I think you are overvaluing Matt Morris. The guy isn't very good... definitely not a #2 starter.

 

lol.. AJ Burnett for 10 mil is a lot lot better than Matt Morris for 9! I'd much rather have Millwood than Morris as well, no doubt. I'd probably rather have Paul Byrd for 7 mil than Morris for 9 as well. I saw Matt Morris pitch a lot last year.. he's far from overpowering and gets hit hard.. you never know what you're going to get when he takes the mound.

 

Terrible signing if he's your answer at SP. He's Brett Tomko for about 8 mil more per year.

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I think you are overvaluing Matt Morris. The guy isn't very good... definitely not a #2 starter.

 

lol.. AJ Burnett for 10 mil is a lot lot better than Matt Morris for 9! I'd much rather have Millwood than Morris as well, no doubt. I'd probably rather have Paul Byrd for 7 mil than Morris for 9 as well. I saw Matt Morris pitch a lot last year.. he's far from overpowering and gets hit hard.. you never know what you're going to get when he takes the mound.

 

Terrible signing if he's your answer at SP. He's Brett Tomko for about 8 mil more per year.

 

 

OK dude, to compare Tomko and Morris is just insane...

 

Morris has a career record of 101-62 with an ERA of 3.61. Compare that to Tomko's career record of 81-73 and a whopping 4.52 ERA. In addition, Morris' best year was just 4 years ago when he had a 22-8 record with a 3.16 ERA. Let's compare that to Tomko's best year, when he had a record of 11-7 with an ERA of 4.04. So if these pitchers are similar in your mind, then let's begin to compare Josh Beckett with Pedro Astacio.

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I have always been a big Matty Morris fan. He is defintiely a good #2 starter as long as the stamina problems he began to develop in the second half of last year are nothing more than just a byproduct of his surgery and will not be an issue for this year.

 

Bottom line is that he was lights out in the first half last year. Going back to his comfort zone of Matheny should only help him. Never underestimate the comfort level between a pitcher and catcher.

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Very good signing for the Giants.. you gotta remember he was unstoppable in the first half of the season.. I tend to think he came back too early as he got worn out in the last half of the season.. After he got surgery he wasnt suppose to be back til like Late May/Early June but he returned around Mid-April.. He was unstoppable and then as the season wore on, his arm wore out IMHO.

 

He's a risk easily at 9 million a year but not much more than A.J. Burnett. All Burnett has on Morris right now is 'stuff'..

 

He's probably only worth $6 million a year now at his stage in his career. He's still a solid pitcher that should help the Giants.. And also he's returning to a guy he's very much trusted ever since DK died. Morris really never found himself after that. I think part of his recent struggles is that he really has that mental problem with him still. Maybe he needed to get away from the Cardinals I really dont know.

 

I dont think it's a bad signing. Im not overevaluating Matt but I do know he was a damn good pitcher and he's now not the pitcher he once was..

 

And to even compare Matt to Brett.. that's just wrong.. i've saw them both.. :lol

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He probably will benefit from playing in SFs park.. but I agree, he's not the pitcher he once was. I don't think it was a good signing for that price but I could be wrong.. With the total lack of movement in the NL West, this is probably the biggest signing in the division and could put them over the top. I'm still skeptical but M_G could be dead on with him returning to form. You never know.

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