Last week, a former South Carolina baseball player was traded. Outfielder TJ Hopkins, a 2023 rookie for the Cincinnati Reds, was traded from the Reds to the San Francisco Giants for a player to be named later and/or cash considerations.
This week, another Gamecock joined Hopkins among the ranks of the traded.
Right-handed pitcher Cody Morris (a two-year teammate of Hopkins with the South Carolina Gamecocks), who has been with the Cleveland Guardians organization since being selected in the 2018 MLB Draft, was on the move on Tuesday. The guardians sent Morris to the New York Yankees in exchange for former top prospect outfielder Estevan Florial.
Morris wasn't great for the Guardians in 13 career appearances over the 2022 (primarily as a starter) and 2023 (as a reliever) seasons, but he has been a dominant minor leaguer in limited action. With a perceived logjam in the outfield in New York, the Yankees used the now-expendable Florial to take a chance on Morris' high-upside right arm.
During his South Carolina baseball career, Cody Morris was a full-time starter who racked up 134 strikeouts in just 122 2/3 innings pitched. The high-strikeout stuff has been a constant for Morris as he has put up at least 9 strikeouts per inning numbers in college, in every level of Minor League Baseball, and in the Big Leagues with the Guardians.
Given his history as a starting pitcher and his recent usage as a reliever, it is unclear what role the Yankees hope to have for Morris. However, like most teams in Major League Baseball, New York has a need for pitching both in the rotation and the bullpen, so Morris could find a role with the team either way.
He joins another former South Carolina baseball teammate in New York as he is reunited on the Yankees' roster with fellow right-handed pitcher Clarke Schmidt.