Must-Click Link: The Case Against Jack Morris

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We’ve seen a lot of tortured arguments in favor of Jack Morris’ Hall of Fame case.  I’d recap some of the best ones, but really, you had to be there.

Anyway, today comes what I think is the definitive case against Jack Morris.  It’s by Dan Szymborski over at ESPN (sorry; Insider only).  It’s not hysterical. It’s not polemical. It’s not disrespectful of Morris’ considerable accomplishments, nor does it approach the matter from the standpoint of “you gotta be an IDIOT to vote for Morris.”  It merely takes the arguments most have used in favor of Jack Morris and points out the problems with them. And there are a lot of them.

Morris didn’t prevent the opposition from scoring runs at anything much greater than an average clip.  He didn’t “pitch to the score” (or, if he tried to, he was not particularly successful at it).  Apart from one game in the 1991 World Series, he was nothing special as a playoff pitcher.  Despite his “best starter of the 80s” reputation, he was rarely thought of as special by Cy Young voters, who gave him the same number of Cy Young votes over his career as Mike Hampton and Dontrelle Willis.

None of which is to say that you can’t still vote for Jack Morris for the Hall of Fame if you’re so inclined.  You can.  You just need to find a reason that has not been discredited, as Szymborski discredits these arguments here. And which you apply to other starting pitchers who you consider on your ballot.

Report: Orioles re-sign Pedro Alvarez to minors deal

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The Orioles have re-signed infielder Pedro Alvarez to a minor league deal, per a report from Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. The deal guarantees Alvarez $1 million if he makes the 40-man roster and another $2 million in potential performance bonuses. The team has yet to confirm the deal.

This will be Alvarez’s third year with the Orioles. After posting decent numbers in 2016, the 31-year-old was relegated to the minors for the majority of the 2017 season and saw only 14 games at the big league level. He finished the year with an underwhelming .239/.294/.442 batting line and 26 home runs through 595 plate appearances for Triple-A Norfolk.

Alvarez is expected to split his time between first base and DH this spring, and MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli notes that he’s unlikely to experiment with another outfield role. While he isn’t too far removed from his last productive season in the majors, the veteran infielder will function purely as insurance for first baseman Chris Davis and designated hitter Mark Trumbo and will likely begin the season in the minors.