Source: Deal would guarantee Morris $27 million

Free-agent pitcher Matt Morris and San Francisco are on the verge of agreeing to a three-year deal worth a guaranteed $27 million, a baseball source told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick on Sunday.

Pending a physical exam, the deal is expected to be finalized early this week, the source said.

Morris won 101 games in eight seasons with the Cardinals. The 31-year-old right-hander was also pursued in free agency by Texas, Seattle and the Dodgers.

The Cardinals offered Morris a two-year deal worth about $13 million and threw in a club option for a third year that would have pushed the offer to $20 million, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Saturday.

He acknowledged to the Post-Dispatch that he figured he wasn't the Cardinals' first choice after hearing how fervently (four years, nearly $40 million) the club had pursued free-agent right-hander A.J. Burnett, who recently accepted a five-year, $55 million deal from the Blue Jays.

"When I saw them going after A.J. that hard, we [Morris and agent Barry Axelrod] 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," Morris told the newspaper. "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."

In San Francisco, Morris would be rejoining former Cardinal teammates Mike Matheny, Steve Kline, Mark Sweeney and Jeff Fassero.

Earlier in the offseason San Francisco made a serious run at free agent Esteban Loaiza, but the right-hander accepted a three-year, $21 million contract with Oakland.

The addition of Morris would add much-needed experience to the Giants' staff. After shedding veterans Brett Tomko and Kirk Rueter following the 2005 season, the rotation at this time includes veteran ace Jason Schmidt (12-7 in 29 starts) and 25-year-olds Noah Lowry (13 wins in 33 starts) and Brad Hennessey (5-8 in 21 starts).