Marlins have had talks with Michael Morse

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Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins have engaged with free agent Michael Morse recently. Jackson adds that the club prefers to go the free agent route for a first baseman as opposed to trading pitching, such as Henderson Alvarez or Jarred Cosart.

With Melky Cabrera now off the board, Morse is one of only a few enticing hitters remaining in free agency. The list becomes even more dour when you limit to first basemen.

Morse would certainly be a boon to the Marlins if he’s able to replicate his production from the 2014 season. He hit .279/.336/.475 with 16 home runs and 61 RBI in 482 plate appearances.

Pirates shut down Chris Archer

Chris Archer
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The Pirates are officially shutting down Chris Archer for the season, GM Neal Huntington revealed Sunday. It’s more of a formality than anything else, but, as the Pirates are currently out of postseason contention, there seems to be no point in forcing the right-hander to accelerate his recovery from right shoulder inflammation.

Archer, 30, sustained the injury in late August and was initially projected to return sometime during September. He’s been throwing from flat ground over the last several weeks, but there had been no indication that he was ready to resume starting duties for the club. He’ll end his 2019 run with a 3-9 record in 23 starts and a 5.19 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 10.8 SO/9, and 0.7 fWAR across 119 2/3 innings pitched; not his worst performance to date, but a considerable step down from the sub-5.00 ERA and 2.6 fWAR he posted with the Rays and Pirates in 2018.

With two weeks left in the regular season, the Pirates will soon wrap up their fourth consecutive non-contending campaign. Following Saturday’s brutal 14-1 loss to the Cubs, they were mathematically eliminated from postseason qualification. They last reached the playoffs in 2015, though it’s been six years since they advanced past the wild card tiebreaker and 27 years since they advanced past the Division Series.