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Will the Nationals look to trade Michael Morse?

Nov 20, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

Michael Morse Getty Images

If the National succeed in re-signing free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche to a multi-year deal it could lead to a first base/corner outfield logjam in the not-so-distant future and Mark Zuckerman of has an interesting article wondering if that means Michael Morse could be on the trading block soon:

Signed for one more season at a reasonable salary of $6.75 million, he’ll be poised to strike it rich next winter as a free agent. Given all the other long-term financial commitments the Nationals already have on the books (Zimmerman, Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez) and those they would like to add in the very near future (Ian Desmond, Jordan Zimmermann) there probably isn’t enough money left over to re-sign Morse.

Which is why you’ve heard some speculation the slugger could be traded this winter. Rather than lose him via free agency and receive a draft pick as compensation, Rizzo could be inclined to seek a deal now that would bring a larger return back to Washington. That would certainly be a wise long-term strategy. But if the Nationals are more interested in going for broke in 2013, they’d much rather keep Morse one more season and then let him walk away after that.

Morse’s production fell off in a big way this year and he missed time with injuries, but he still hit .291 with 18 homers and a .791 OPS in 102 games and at age 30 a team that isn’t quite as stacked as the Nationals could view him as a nice middle-of-the-order bat for a while.

Washington could in theory replace him with Tyler Moore, who looked very good in his 75-game debut as a 25-year-old rookie and has hit for huge power in the minors.

  1. kevinleaptrot - Nov 20, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Hope you’re having a nice honeymoon Michael while your future is being debated on the interwebs. I kind of like Tyler Moore at 1st if ALR doesn’t resign. That’s his natural position, and the one at which he played in the minors.

    • dcfan4life - Nov 20, 2012 at 11:55 AM

      Tyler Moore was really good. Imagine a full season under his belt. I mean the reason the Nats did so well was those fill in players. So many injuries overcome by players like Moore. If Morse is traded, it should be for a left handed reliever and a prospect. Id take that if i were the Rizzo.

  2. willclarkgameface - Nov 20, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Tell Rizzo that Morse should go, maybe to the Pirates. Might as well trade the whole team away since you pissed away the 2012 season by “protecting” Strasburg.

    • kkolchak - Nov 20, 2012 at 11:50 AM

      And the Giants only won because they had that “cheater” Melky on their team.

      See how tired such stupid comments are?

    • natslady - Nov 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      According to you, idiotface, Rizzo got fired. Oh, wait, he didn’t, and the Boston sportswriters named him Executive of the Year. You’re from around there, right? LOL.

      • willclarkgameface - Nov 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

        Boston sportswriters are dolts.

        And I’m not name calling sweetheart. Why do you have to go to that?

      • stlouis1baseball - Nov 21, 2012 at 11:10 AM

        Hahaha! “Idiotface.” I love it when women get pissed off and break out the rage.
        “Idiotface.” One word even. Well done Lady. Well done.

    • natslady - Nov 20, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      Aw, did I hurt your feelings, honey? So sorry.

      • willclarkgameface - Nov 20, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        Not at all. It’s just nice to be able to have adult conversation without resorting to acting like a 12 year old.

    • shawndc04 - Nov 20, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      What “adult conversation” are you having?

  3. kkolchak - Nov 20, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    When healthy, The Beast is one of the most fearsome power hitters around. Problem is, he’s lousy in the field and has been injury prone his whole career. I see a future DH in the making, regardless of whether he plays out his last year with the Nats.

    • natslady - Nov 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM

      Am torn on this. The price is right, where are you getting a bat like that for under $7MM? Really hard to watch him in LF, tolerable at 1B, but a statue compared to ALR. In Morse’s defense, he never had a chance to learn the position. Bottom line is, where Morse goes depends on signing ALR, which both Davey and Rizzo have said is their highest priority. Until that happens (or doesn’t), it’s speculation, and we’ve speculated on this for two months… The more near-term question is will Lannan and/or Flores be dropped from the 40-man tonight?

      • lphboston - Nov 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM

        natslady — agree with this that this is a tough one…but think you simply cannot have him at first considering the problem Zimmerman is having at third…this would be an easier decision if Morse had been healthy and put up decent numbers…but I think you have to cut bait with this guy….maybe send him to Boston where they need OFs and he won’t kill them in left field…moore looks ready to start in left and is better defensively…

    • hisgirlgotburrelled - Nov 20, 2012 at 12:43 PM

      “one of the most fearsome power hitters around”? That is quite a statement considering what Morse has actually done in his career.

      • natslady - Nov 20, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        @lphboston–that’s another tough one, Zimm’s throwing/shoulder. We are all hoping that surgery helps, but won’t know until the season starts. It may be that Rizzo does very little this off-season and keeps his prospects and his $$ for July.

      • kkolchak - Nov 20, 2012 at 1:21 PM

        Look at his career HRs per AB. Dude hits bombs like Adam Dunn, when healthy.

    • hisgirlgotburrelled - Nov 20, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      1 season of 31 HR’s and 95 RBI makes you one of the most fearsome power hitters? There are 2 other guys on that roster that have hit more than that in a season.70 total career HR’s… The “most fearsome power hitters around”: Bautista, Hamilton, Fielder, Cabrera… to name a few. Does Michael Morse belong in that category?

  4. larrymahnken - Nov 20, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    He’ll be gone in a day or two.

  5. runteddyrun - Nov 20, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    got to keep THE BEAST!!!

  6. stlouis1baseball - Nov 21, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Gonna have to clear a spot in the OF. Harper’s “Stanton campaign” is coming to fruition. No?

  7. Kevin Gillman - Nov 21, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Okay, similiar situations, and similiar doings, so I will suggest this….Shin-Soo Coo to the Nationals for Mike Morse, straight up.

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