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.

4 Responses

  1. Brian

    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. Brian B.

    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.

  3. Ken

    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.

  4. Brian B.

    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.