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Nationals are “definitely shopping Mike Morse”

Nov 30, 2012, 12:16 PM EST

Mike Morse Getty Getty Images

With their trade for Denard Span the Nationals’ outfield is set with Span in center field and Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth flanking him in the corners. That would shift Michael Morse from left field to first base and seemingly signal the end of free agent Adam LaRoche‘s time in Washington, but general manager Mike Rizzo might have another idea.

Jayson Stark of ESPN.com spoke to a source who says the Nationals are “definitely shopping Morse a little bit.” If they traded Morse they’d presumably re-sign LaRoche to play first base, although they certainly have plenty of competition for him on the open market right now.

Washington potentially trading Morse isn’t surprising–I wrote about the possibility just last week, and that was before the Span deal. He’s been excellent since becoming a regular for the Nationals in mid-2010, hitting .296 with 64 homers and an .861 OPS in 346 games, but Morse is one season from free agency and Rizzo may not be keen on inking him to a long-term deal at age 31.

If the Nationals can re-sign LaRoche to a two- or three-year deal and swap Morse for some prospects or help elsewhere, that would make a lot of sense. Or if they wanted to save money and get younger the Nationals could deal Morse, not re-sign LaRoche, and turn first base over to 25-year-old Tyler Moore.

  1. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Nov 30, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    There were rumors of a Morse for Upton swap last year. Obviously nothing happened with that, but it could mean that the Rays might be a potential suitor here. Lord knows we could use a 1B.

    • natstowngreg - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:46 PM

      For a team without a lot of payroll space, Morse makes sense as a one-year, win-now rental only. The Rays could afford his $6.75 million salary next year. Then Morse becomes a free agent, and could double his salary (or more) on a multi-year contract. Would the Rays sign a contract like that with a guy who will be 32 when the 2014 season starts? Doubt it.

      What the Rays could do is offer Morse a one-year contract after the 2013 season (as the Nats did with LaRoche). Then, when Morse rejects it to seek a multi-year deal, the Rays would get a pick.

  2. kkolchak - Nov 30, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    Love The Beast. Would hate to see him go, but I would understand if it happens. Whatever team gets him will be obtaining a guy with light tower power and one of the goofiest personalities around.

    Oh, and as a fan you should brush up on the lyrics to “Take on Me” for his third at bat of every home game. :D

    • natstowngreg - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:55 PM

      You just had to remind me of that song, didn’t you? :) Guess the Nats are now Norway’s favorite MLB team. Make of that what you will.

      I’d hate to see Beast Mode go as well, but he’s the biggest trade chip Rizzo has right now. Neither LaRoche or Morse is a long-term solution at 1B, but either one would do nicely for for 2013. I’d prefer LaRoche, both offensively (lefty power bat to balance out the lineup) and defensively.

  3. whatthehellisansky - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Yanks would love to have Morse and Suzuki..wonder what the Nats are looking for in return?

  4. poprox13 - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Hope Red Sox forget Napoli and make a trade for Morse.

  5. liamj55 - Nov 30, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    This guy would be a perfect fit on the Phillies. He could slide right in and bat 5th. I know the gnats aren’t going to trade to the Phills. They need to have the Astors trade for him and than snag him off there. Ruben Amaro apparently only has that team on his speed dial…. Off topic. Do people even use speed dials anymore??? (I apologize for the rambling thoughts)

    • xmatt0926x - Nov 30, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      Speed dials? Do people even use phones anymore? It’s all texting and facebook messages. God forbid anyone have any real social skills anymore. Sons of bitches….

  6. bravojawja - Nov 30, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    What the hell does “definitely shopping Morse a little bit” even mean? I sometimes look at the SkyMall on airplanes. Is that kinda the same thing? But different?

  7. 18thstreet - Nov 30, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Please tell me Tyler Moore’s nickname is Mary. I don’t ask for much. I ask for this.

    • natstowngreg - Nov 30, 2012 at 4:05 PM

      Some things are just too much to ask for. Sorry.

      • recoveringcubsfan - Nov 30, 2012 at 5:01 PM

        I believe that they actually call him “country,” or some stupid mess like that. Sigh. What’s a girl to do?

      • ptfu - Nov 30, 2012 at 5:18 PM

        What’s a girl to do? Is he single? Marry Tyler Moore!

        If they give him the 1B job, he’ll be so thrilled, he’ll be Merry Tyler Moore! Welcome to the Show!

        Thanks folks, I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your bartenders.

  8. bluesoxbaseball - Nov 30, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Morse to the Reds makes a ton of sense. RH power in LF, and only a one-year commitment.

  9. maegreen18 - Nov 30, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    The Braves could use him in left

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