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The Red Sox have inquired about Michael Morse

Jan 11, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

Mike Morse Getty Getty Images

Ken Rosenthal reports that the Red Sox are one of the clubs that have spoken to the Nationals about the now-available Michael Morse.

The idea is that Morse would be a fallback/alternative to Mike Napoli who, amazingly, still doesn’t have a finalized contract with Boston despite reaching a general agreement with them over a month ago.  It’s logical to conclude that those negotiations have turned difficult, and that the Red Sox are looking for other options.

Morse, if signed, would become the Sox’ first baseman and, because David Ortiz is hanging around, wouldn’t have to do much in the way of DH duties which he loathes.

Morse has hit .296/.345/.516 over the past three years and hit 31 home runs in 2011. His defense may be shaky at first, but if he can handle it, that bat would play quite nicely, one would think.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    Would the Red Sox be willing to offer anyone decent for Morse? Bard is useless and is not an option.

    • townballblog - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      Nope, I disagree. Bard is not useless, he was overused and thus had a bad year. He’s got the stuff, everyone knows this (whether he can find it is a totally different topic).

      They also have Franklin Morales (SP/RP), Andrew Bailey, Felix Doubront (SP), and plenty of prospect OF in the minors.

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        Red Sox fans have a selective memory about Bard. His decline began in September 2011. In that month he was 0 and 4 with a very high ERA. He cost the Red Sox 4 games in a crucial month. He also walked almost 1 hitter per inning that month.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:06 AM

        The word is the Nationals are looking for left-handed relief pitching and/or prospects. Sure the Sox have OF prospects in the minors but I’m pretty sure OF prospects are the last thing the Nationals need in a trade. So scratch Bailey from their wish list and probably any OF prospects. Morales and Doubront might be a starting point Doubront was pretty inconsistent last year and trading Morales who was slated to be a starter in 2013 leaves the Sox already thin starting rotation even thinner.
        My guess is if I’m the Nationals I want Miller as part of any trade and perhaps a mid level prospect.

      • townballblog - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM

        @proudlycanadian: No selective memory at all. That’s what I meant about Bard; he was overused in 2011 and had a bad end to the year and a nightmare of a 2012. I don’t think he cost the sox four games, there is a whole bunch of players that cost the red sox four games.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        town…, overused how in 2011? In 2010 he pitched 74.2 innings in 73 games. In 2011 he pitched 73 innings in 70 games. That’s pretty consistent numbers.

        In 2012 he pretty much was terrible from game 1 with the big league club to his entire stint in the minors to when he was called back up on Aug, 31, 2012.

      • townballblog - Jan 11, 2013 at 3:07 PM

        Towards the last bit of the season he was being used pretty much every other day and his pitch counts were getting up there every time if memory serves me.

        And no, 70+ innings is not standard, it’s quite a lot.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 11, 2013 at 3:41 PM

        Town…., his pitch count in 2011 was getting up there because in 2010 his strikeout to walk ration was 3.08. Then in 2011 the year he went to hell in a hand basket his strikeout to walk ration was under 1. To be exact it was 0.88 which means he walked more batters per 9 innings then he struck out.
        As for him pitching “every” other day. I’m not sure how accurate that statement is. For example starting August 1, 2011 Bard pitched:
        Aug.: 1, 6, 7, 9, 12, 16, 18, 21, 27 and 31 (11 innings total)
        Sept.: 1, 5, 7,10, 14, 16, 17, 20, 25, 27 and 28 (11 inning total)

        That really doesn’t seem to me to be a workload that is out of the norm for a set-up guy for a team never mind a team that was trying to hold on to a playoff spot.

      • townballblog - Jan 11, 2013 at 7:45 PM

        Look at July as well. Also, 7 games in the last 14 days of the season is every other day

      • uyf1950 - Jan 11, 2013 at 8:31 PM

        Townballblog, here is Bard’s July 2011 schedule.

        July: 1, 2, 5, 6, 9. 10, 16, 17, 20, 22, 23, 25, 31st (total 12 1/3 innings). That again is hardly over worked and it’s hardly every other day.

        As for your comment of “7 games in the last 14 days of the season is every other day” How is his pitching: Sept: 14, 16, 17, 20, 25, 27 and 28 every other day when he had 2 days off between Sept. 17 and Sept. 20th and then 4 days off between his Sept. 20 appearance and his Sept. 25th appearance.

        My friend you are looking for excuses where there are none for his poor performance, in my opinion.

    • natstowngreg - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      Basically, what Rizzo would look for is a good relief pitcher or prospect. Not sure if the Red Sox have someone to deal who is any better than the Nats’ RH group of Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Ryan Mattheus, and Craig Stammen. Maybe a lefty. Rizzo has said he’s OK with having only one lefty in the bullpen, but he might not turn one down, if the Red Sox have a good one to offer.

    • psousa1 - Jan 11, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      Nobody will take Bard for anything of use. The sox do have quite a bit of LH relief pitching and they were solid – Andrew Miller, Franklin Morales, Craig Breslow and Rich Hill came back at the end of the year. If you could give them Andrew Miller – who is good and Alfredo Aceves for Morse – do it. I hope they still sign Napoli and let him catch

  2. townballblog - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    It’s perfect, absolutely perfect! He would be cheaper than Napoli and is more consistent. He’s a right handed Power-of-a-bat and would be a wonderfully perfect fit.

    *I may be a Red Sox fan….please don’t judge

    • uyf1950 - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:10 AM

      I believe much of Morse’s power is to the opposite field. Not sure but I don’t think that would play as well in Fenway as having a true left handed pull hitter.

      • townballblog - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        If that’s the case, EVEN BETTER. Dimensions of Fenway: http://www.baseball-almanac.com/stadium/fenway_park.gif

      • uyf1950 - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:19 PM

        townballblog, not really. I think you’re confusing “opposite field” power with down the line power. According to your link it goes from 302 down the line in right field to 380 pretty quickly.

        In any case I’m not sure Morse is in the Red Sox future. My guess is when all is said and done the Sox and Napoli will come to agreement. Maybe it’s 2 years guaranteed with an easy 3rd year vesting option based on PA’s or games played.

      • townballblog - Jan 11, 2013 at 3:08 PM

        uyf…380 is a cake walk for a power hitter, opposite filed or not.

    • flosox - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:11 AM

      In the words of Lloyd Christmas: “Pick em up”!

  3. xsherr - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    What would his twitter handle be?

    • townballblog - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      @GREEN_monster38

  4. xpensivewinos - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    This would be a solid move for the Red Sox……….and it gives them a guy they can re-sign at a fairly reasonable price and have at first for a few more years.

    Gotta move on from Napoli.

  5. natslady - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Nats are looking for prospects and maybe a LH reliever. Do the Red Sox have anything in the cupboard?

    • townballblog - Jan 11, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      ….”They also have Franklin Morales (SP/RP), Andrew Bailey, Felix Doubront (SP), and plenty of prospect OF in the minors.”

    • cur68 - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      I can think of a team with that kind of surplus, and it CERTAINLY isn’t the BoSox. This team has a Lefty with a pretty good ERA, contracted for 3 mil/year and he doesn’t seem to want to play for said team. Said team has prospects, too. Probably no one with huge potential on the table, but decent prospects and they are guys that Davey Johnson could work with to make something of like he did with Bernadina. You think Darren Oliver would commit to un-retiring to play for Your Boys?

      Mind you, with the development of Moises Sierra this season, My Boys probably don’t need Morse: Sierra could play 1st without much problem if Adam Lind continues to be a pumpkin. Still, if we saw an Oliver/Prospect exchange for Morse to the land of Milk & Honey (& Seal Blubber) I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.

  6. jaybird22seven - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    The Jays won’t be moving any prospects right now unless they can get a top 1st basemen. Morse and Napoli are definitely not top talent. The Bosox will take anything they can get for cheap to cover all the holes.

    • cur68 - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      AA might move on Morse just to keep him out of Boston hands. We’ll see.

  7. theskinsman - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Unless there is a Blue Jay inspired stoppage of time, it will no longer be 2011 or 2012. Bard will be reunited with Farrell and there is a chance he will regain his form,or at least be better. 100 MPH throwing relievers will get more chances to regain their control than older pitchers who lose the movement on their stuff.
    Besides, he’ll be perfect to throw into any Yankee/Red Sox game that gets out of hand either way. Gotta have someone to offset jobba the hut head hunter.

  8. hitdog042 - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    The Red Sox would part with Andrew Miller. Who’s a pretty darn good LH reliever with a nasty fastball. I would imagine that would be a straight up deal.

  9. hitdog042 - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    I would agree he’s not an exact Fenway fit. Power numbers would prob suffer.

  10. kyle7561 - Jan 11, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Anyone wondering about Morses defense, MM filled in for Laroche in the 2011 season and did very well at 1B. Hes just not a good OF.

  11. bigleagues - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston reports:

    It took the Sox 52 days to make Drew’s, five-year, $70 million deal official after including language that would have allowed the Sox to void the deal after three years if Drew had reinjured his right shoulder. … The Washington Nationals re-signed Adam LaRoche to a two-year, $24 million deal, and GM Mike Rizzo said he is not actively shopping outfielder-first baseman Mike Morse, who is a year away from free agency.

  12. bigleagues - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Also, the Boston Herald reports that the Sox have scouted Javier Vasquez for the second time in a week.

    http://bostonherald.com/sports/red_sox_mlb/boston_red_sox/2013/01/right_hander_javier_vazquez_still_radar

    Which, to me suggests that if the Sox are satisfied enough with the prospect of of a deal with Vasquez, then they could make a pitcher available to the Nationals.

    • natslady - Jan 11, 2013 at 2:40 PM

      I’m trying to understand this post, but I am failing. Why would the RS “make a pitcher available” to the Nats after they sign Vazquez. Why wouldn’t the Nats just sign Vazques????? Oh, wait, apparently they have….

      • bigleagues - Jan 13, 2013 at 5:04 PM

        Because the Nat’s priority, more so than the gluttony of another SP, remains obtaining a LHP for their bullpen – something the Red Sox currently have no shortage of.

  13. jt2663 - Jan 11, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    What about a three way deal. Morse to Sox, prospects or pitching to nationals and Ellsbury to a 3 rd team. Sox move Victorino to center and maybe include Nava as a holdover for Bradley. Ellsbury and morse both free agents next year. Sox could also look at free agent outfielders but I don’t think there is much available that they would want.

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