Orioles acquire OF Morse from Mariners

08/30/2013 7:20 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Michael Morse hit .226 with 13 homers and 27 RBI in 76 games for the Mariners(AP)
The Baltimore Orioles made a pair of big moves ahead of Friday's series opener in the Bronx, acquiring first baseman/outfielder Michael Morse from the Seattle Mariners for outfielder Xavier Avery and signing first baseman Dan Johnson - who was in the Yankees system earlier this week - to a Minor League deal.

Morse, 31, was placed on waivers by Seattle and claimed by Baltimore on Wednesday. He has struggled with injuries this year, hitting just .226 with 13 homers and 27 RBI in 76 games for the Mariners. The Orioles do not have to make a 25-man roster move until Morse reports, but he will have to be added by 11:59 p.m. Saturday to be eligible for the postseason.

"We needed a little more punch in our lineup and we need it now," Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette told Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. "Morse is a big, strong, physical guy with experience. He's been in the playoffs before and he has power."

Avery, 23, entered 2013 ranked as Baltimore's No. 7 prospect and hit .259 with three homers, 35 RBI and 29 stolen bases between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. He made his Major League debut with the Birds last year, hitting .223 with six steals in 32 games.

Meanwhile, to replace Avery on the Triple-A roster in the interim, the O's signed the 32-year-old Johnson and assigned him to the Tides. Johnson was in Spring Training with the Yankees and spent the whole year at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, hitting .253 with a team-leading 21 homers and 69 RBI, but he was released at his request on Thursday and, according to various sources, he could be in the Bronx as a member of the Orioles as soon as the rosters expand to 40 on Sunday.

Baltimore also claimed outfielder Josh Willingham off waivers from the Twins this week, but the two teams could not reach a deal and Willingham was revoked by Minnesota.

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