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Expect the Nationals to trade Michael Morse

Jan 8, 2013, 12:49 PM EDT

Mike Morse Getty Getty Images

It took Adam LaRoche a couple months to cave in and accept the Nationals’ two-year offer, but now that he’s returning to Washington expect Michael Morse to be on the way out.

Morse has somewhat quietly been one of the better right-handed hitters in baseball since becoming a regular in 2010, but there’s nowhere for him to play with LaRoche at first base and Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth flanking Denard Span in the outfield.

Morse batted .291 with 18 homers and a .791 OPS in 102 games last season and has hit .296 with 64 homers and an .861 OPS in 346 games since 2010. During that three-year span his OPS ranks 15th among all right-handed hitters with 1,000-plus plate appearances, sandwiched between Andrew McCutchen and Corey Hart.

However, his trade value could be somewhat limited because Morse will be a free agent next offseason and gives back a ton of runs defensively in the outfield. But for a team in need of some right-handed pop in the middle of the lineup–and perhaps willing to play him at first base or designated hitter–Morse would make a lot of sense.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Would the Yankees want him?

    • uyf1950 - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      Could be as I said below. He’s going to make $6.75MM in 2013 and he’s a FA in 2014. It all depends I think on hat the Nationals want in return.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:54 PM

        correction: …on “what” the Nationals….

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        I would give the Nats any hat I own for Mike Morse if I am Brian Cashman.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        sabathia, that would have been a lot funny if you had posted it BEFORE i posted my correction.

  2. uyf1950 - Jan 8, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Depending on the cost the Yankees could certainly be interested. The cost is the elephant in the room in this case though.

    • dcfan4life - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      The Nats have little needs, but if anything they can strengthen their bullpen a little more, another lefty in particular, or combo Morse and Espinosa to improve their second base situation (their one truly weak position player in my opinion), or just ask for prospects. Since Cano not even an option, and the Yankees have limited lefties in their bullpen as of right now to unlikely spare one, if a deal is done with them, it would be for prospects in my opinion. I just dont see the Yankees and Nats dealing here though.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        The Yankees currently have 2 very, very decent lefty relief pitchers on their 25 man roster: Boone Logan and Clay Rapada. They could certainly part with 1. Personally I think Rapada is the better of the 2 but that’s just my opinion. With a prospect included by the Yankees (depending who) I can see the teams matching up pretty well. Of course it also depends on what some other teams might offer.

      • dcfan4life - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:59 PM

        I didnt think the Yankees would give up 1 of their 2 good lefties AND a prospect to get Morse, which i think would be the asking price of the Nationals. But i dunno the Yankees farm system as much. If they feel they can replace one of those lefties than i think that kind of deal would benefit both teams. But as this free agent market has shown, good left handed relievers are hard to come by. Thats why i would think the Yankees would be well served to keep both the ones they have.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:13 PM

        dcfan4life, I don’t know if they would either. But I think to get the bat they are looking for 1 of the lefties would be expendable. Just my opinion.

  3. jerze2387 - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Super utility role for morse. OF, 1st, came up as a SS so could back up 3rd and SS in a pinch..id like to see him stay in WAS. Especially with the way injuries and slumps go, couldnt hurt to keep an extra bat for 1 more year now that theyre on the playoff track

    • kinggw - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      They have Moore, Lombardozzi, and the Shark for reserve roles. Morse should be dealt. He deserves to be an everyday player.

      • jerze2387 - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        but he seems a big part of the chemistry also, and why mess with the chemistry of a team on the brink? he could get regular playing time i think with scheduled days off and injuries.

    • dcfan4life - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      Morse will never play SS or 3B in the majors. OF, 1B and DH are his only options. And Washington has tremendous utility men. Since theres no where to play him, no way he resigns in Washington, he must be traded. It really isnt a question of if he is but how much we get for him.

  4. bat42boy - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Would make a great fit for the Indians? They need a DH and being a right hander would make that line-up much better.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Indians should not be trading any young talent for a one year guy. Isn’t that why they dumped Choo and signed Swisher long-term?

  5. redsox32c - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    As a free agent I assume he would cost a draft pick for an team to sign him, that plus the fact that hes pretty cheap this year I would think he would be a valuable trade target for a few teams. My guess is a mid level prospect would do it so basically your trading for 1 year of Morse plus a comp pick the following year.

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:13 PM

    The Yankees need to be on this like a blogger on his mom’s basement.

    • awesomenar - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      … like a blogger on his mom’s insurance.

    • awesomenar - Jan 8, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      … like a blogger on his mom’s meatloaf.

  7. nyyanksmf - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    This would be perfect for yanks but I just don’t believe well pull the trigger he’s too young for us lol

  8. psuravens19 - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Matusz for Morse…. only if he would agree to an extension.

  9. Old Gator - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Morse to the Feesh for Tweeter, straight up. The Gnats could use an easy out coming off their bench who can play an immobile first base and knows how to run crop circles in the outfield when his knee isn’t out of kilter.

    Nyuknyuknyuk…..

  10. csndrew - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Offensively, Morse is a great LF option for the Phillies – hits for power, bats right-handed. But at 30 years old, he’s way too young.

    • dcfan4life - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      A trade to a division rival the Phillies who are in the midst of coming back from injuries and a down season? No way the Nats help the Phillies here. They would let him walk via FA before they did that.

  11. darthicarus - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Based on all the rumors swirling, Morse decided to stay silent on Twitter for “a while” https://twitter.com/Dc_BEAST38/status/288704083181834241

    That lasted 27 minutes when he retweeted some spiritual stuff, guess he just needed a few minutes to reflect….

  12. blockedshotnyr - Jan 8, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    Would love him on the Mets, but only with an extension attached…

  13. shawnuel - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Morse has become way too big to man SS or 3rd anymore. He was already a slug before bulking up.He is pretty terrible in the field at LF as well. 1B and DH are the best positions for him.

    • dcfan4life - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      His outfielding will never be as bad as Alfonso Soriano and Manny Ramirez. It will always be an option to keep him in the OF.

      • dakotah55 - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:30 PM

        Or Adam Dunn. Remember him in left? Every fly ball was an adventure.

  14. xpensivewinos - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Time for the Red Sox to stop the shenanigans with Napoli and get on horn and swing a deal for this guy.

    • lphboston - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:39 PM

      Outside of Pedroia there is no everyday player the Sox have that could start for Washington. But maybe a couple of A Grade minor league relievers might get it done

  15. paperlions - Jan 8, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Injuries happen. Without Morse, who is the next guy off the bench? If they don’t get good return for him, they are probably far better served keeping him.

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