More on Morris
He will receive a $2 million signing bonus at the end of his contract and is scheduled to make $5 million next season and $9.5 million in both 2007 and '08. The contract contains a $9 million club option for a fourth season that could go up to as much as $11 million with escalators based on performance. He would receive a $1 million buyout if the option is declined.
That's huge backloading which should free up money to get other items on Sabean's wish list: second starting pitcher, lefty power hitter, backup catcher, utility MI. Hopefully, he can fulfill some of the needs via trade, perhaps Alfonzo for Matsui as had been rumored for nearly a year, perhaps Feliz for a starting pitcher or even a lefty power hitter, though that would then necessitate signing a 3B to take over.
Notes from Morris talking about the signing:
- Giants were his first choice, and he was gratified that they pursued him from the start and was upfront with their interest.
- Talked with Matheny about the Giants, spoke well of Felipe and the team.
- Thinks the world of Matheny, coached him through some big games, a tremendous person, looking forward to being reunited with him.
- Cards made it easy, made business decision to pursue Burnett, plus was slapped in face with 2 year, $13M offer from Cards, knew it was time to move on.
- Why chose Giants: ownership, team, chances for winning World Series, nice weather, nice city, great park (dissed Cincinnati's and Phillies' parks)
- Length of contract was a factor, it's what he earned, he's aware of the market for starters heating up the past two off-seasons.
- Has made transition from power pitcher to complete pitcher: in 2001, after tommy john surgery, he got back his top velocity and used with curveball, was just 2-pitch pitcher. But it took a toll on him with power, so he has added pitches over the years, changeup, and cut fastball in 2005.
- Will push Lowry and Cain, help them out, work with them, try to get them to outperform him.
- Health question: 2004 ended with cleanup on labrum, came back faster than expected, felt better than he's felt since college in 2005, look forward to pitching here.