Morris: I'm not returning to Cardinals

Updated: December 11, 2005, 1:22 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Right-hander Matt Morris has informed the St. Louis Cardinals that he would not be returning for his 10th season with the club, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Starting Pitcher
St. Louis Cardinals

Profile
2005 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L BB K ERA
31 14 10 37 117 4.11

Where will he end up? "Not the Cardinals. I eliminated them today," Morris told the paper on Saturday.

Morris, who won 101 games for the Cardinals, told the paper he hasn't decided who he'd sign with. He said he's narrowed the chase to two teams, with the indication being he's leaning toward the San Francisco Giants.

Morris acknowledged to the paper that the difference in the offers "certainly was a big consideration" and that he had figured he wasn't the Cardinals' first choice when he heard how fervently (four years, nearly $40 million) they had pursued free-agent righthander A.J. Burnett.

"When I saw them going after A.J. that hard, we [Morris and agent Barry Axelson] got it in our mind that I wasn't going to be in their plans at the time, and we started exploring some other options," the 31-year-old Morris told the Post-Dispatch. "Then I woke up on Dec. 8 and saw they had offered me arbitration. But I don't think they were serious about signing me.

"My whole career has been there, and it's been a blast with the fans and all that's happened there. But as time went on, it's been a little easier to see which path I was going to take, and now we'll see which exact path I'm going to be on."