By Jason Shetler
The Pirates have announced that Michael Morse has been unconditionally released from the organization.
After coming over to the Pirates from the Los Angeles Dodgers at last year’s trade deadline in a deal for Jose Tabata, Morse performed at an above average level, posting a 117 OPS+ with the Bucs. Entering this season, the Pirates plan was to use a platoon at first base consisting of Morse and John Jaso. Morse didn’t get to face a left-handed starter, and was hitless in eight plate appearances, most of which came as a pinch-hitter.
Last week, the Pirates designated Morse for assignment as a corresponding move for A.J. Schugel, who they wanted up to serve as an extra pitcher in the bullpen. The decision to release Morse comes as no surprise given the fact that he probably would have rejected an outright assignment to AAA Indianapolis anyway. The Pirates will owe Morse about $5 of the $8 million for this season. Any club can now sign him to a pro rated contract for the league minimum.