This Fox Sports article gave us a little hope that the Reds were among the final two bidders for the services of pitcher Matt Morris. At some point, however, the article was updated, dashing all of our hopes.

Marc Lancaster has more on the failure of the Reds to sign Morris:

The Reds made a hard run at Matt Morris, but apparently have come up short.

“We’ve been aggressive and made a bona-fide offer to him,” Reds GM Dan O’Brien said this afternoon. “But late last night there were indications that it probably wasn’t going to go our way.”

Morris is expected to sign with the Giants, who reportedly were the other finalists for the right-hander’s services. His relationship with San Francisco catcher Mike Matheny from their days together in St. Louis probably was a significant factor in the decision.

Reports had various teams offering Morris deals in the range of three years, $25 million. O’Brien wouldn’t say what the Reds offered, but noted that “We were definitely in the ballpark.”

I’m disappointed, but I’m glad to see that the Reds understand they need good pitching, and they are willing to make the effort to secure that pitching…even if that means opening the wallet. I’m starting to think that the new ownership team is going to be good for this franchise.

On another optimistic note, at times this offseason, I’ve begun to think that GM Dan O’Brien might even have a clue. Of course, in the midst of it all, he traded for Tony Womack, so I’ll hold off on the praise for now.

UPDATE: Orange has this proposed rotation:

1. Morris
2. Harang
3. Claussen
4. Williams
5. Milton

Okay, Morris isn’t going to join the Reds, but this illlustrates just how close the Reds are to being a competitive club. If the team could somehow procure an ace, the Reds would be immediate contenders.

Go get one, Dan-O.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 6 Comments

  1. Time for the Reds to not overpay for peformances already rendered. Morris has a declining K rate, and looking at ERA was only the 4th best pitcher on the Cardinals staff last year. The Reds need to find more Harang’s guys that perform for less. Eight million bucks was too much for a league average 1st sacker and it should be for Morris at this time too.

  2. I was surprised at the enthusiasm for a Morris signing. A 3-year $24/25 mil. contract for a good-reputation free agent pitcher that has put up decent won-lost records with high-scoring teams, while posting unimpressive underlying stats….stop me if you’ve heard this before.

    Next year, a reasonable projection is for Morris to put up numbers similar to his 2004 season. His outlook is only slightly more favorable than was Milton’s last year. Paranoid? Maybe, but just because you’re paranoid don’t mean they’re not after you (ha).

    I don’t think a free agent pitcher is going to do it this year – there’s just not much value to be had out there.

  3. I agree, Brian. Morris is a has-been, and there’s no reason to over-pay for him. There are plently of serviceable guys in our own system. If we want better quality, then trade for young pitcher with some kind of upside. Oh wait, that would require DanO to do something. Nevermind.

  4. I’m also relieved to see Morris take a pass on the Reds, and I think the FA market in general isn’t the best way to go about getting SP talent – trades are. Two years ago we acquired Harang and Claussen when they were young and had little MLB experience but a promising track record. We gave up solid offensive players in Guillen and Boone, but they’ve been relatively easy to replace. Hopefully Harang and Claussen will continue to progress and the Casey trade will pan out similar results.

  5. True, Ken. Well, Guillen was solid at least. People complained and complained about letting Boone go. But he really had no value at all, except his good-guy routine with the local beat writers. Claussen was a prospect with upside, which is more than you can say about Dave Williams.

  6. I think signing Carlos Hernandez(formerly of houston) to a minor league contract would be a good gamble. He’s still only 25 and has the ability to be a strikeout pitcher. And after pitching in MMP, pitching in GAB shouldn’t really be much of a culture shock for him.

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About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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Reds - General