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Mariners pick up Michael Morse from the Nationals as part of three-team, five-player trade

Jan 16, 2013, 7:08 PM EDT

morse getty Getty Images

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has the story:

The Nationals traded slugger Michael Morse to the Seattle Mariners in a three-way trade that netted them right-hander A.J. Cole, the pitching prospect who last winter served as the centerpiece of the trade that brought Gio Gonzalez from the Oakland A’s to the Nationals. The Mariners sent catcher John Jaso to the Oakland to complete the deal.

Morse boasts a .297/.343/.515 batting line since the start of the 2011 season. He also has 49 home runs and 157 RBI in that span. But the 30-year-old isn’t a good defensive player and is currently slated to become a free agent in November. He’ll presumably serve as the Mariners’ starting left fielder and part-time designated hitter.

Jaso, 29, hit .276/.394/.456 with 10 home runs and 50 RBI in 108 games last year for Seattle.

Cole, 21, had a 4.04 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 89 innings last season between two levels of Single-A.


UPDATE, 7:14 PM: CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler says the Nats will will also get two additional prospects.

UPDATE, 7:48 PM: Blake Treinen is one of those prospects, according to the Nationals. The other will be a player to be named later. Treinen, a righty, had a 4.37 ERA in 103 innings last year at High-A Stockton.

  1. Reflex - Jan 16, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Guess Montero is a catcher after all. Clearing space for Zunino soon too…

  2. whmiv21 - Jan 16, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    Over/Under: 10 DH/1B by the end of the offseason.

    • paul621 - Jan 16, 2013 at 8:05 PM

      10 DH/1B what?

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 16, 2013 at 8:29 PM

        on the Mariner’s roster: Kendrys, Montero, Morse, Carp, Ibanez…Russel Branyan, Jack Cust and Travis Haffner are all available to add to the pile.

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 16, 2013 at 8:11 PM


    • mmason0071 - Jan 16, 2013 at 8:42 PM

      Hope Jack Z isn’t done. Right now the M’s lineup will have 4 infielders, 1 outfielder, 4 DH’s and no catchers.

  3. biasedhomer - Jan 16, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Don’t understand why the A’s trade a top prospect for Jaso. Surely they could have done better.

    • mianfr - Jan 16, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      Yeah, seriously… Granted, their catching situation wasn’t good and they have a lot of pitchers, but they could have probably traded a different prospect and still received John Jaso.

      I guess he’s your old school Moneyball type player, at least. Maybe those guys became inefficient again?

    • butchhuskey - Jan 16, 2013 at 7:53 PM

      Apparently having three catchers is the new market inefficiency

    • IdahoMariner - Jan 16, 2013 at 9:37 PM

      jaso is good, not great, but he is berter than morse and we didnt need another 1b/dh (i used to love morse, but he is a defensive black hole)….this is not good for the ms.

      • IdahoMariner - Jan 16, 2013 at 9:38 PM

        ugh. better than morse. not berter.

  4. joecool16280 - Jan 16, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Well there goes his stats.

  5. jdl1325 - Jan 16, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    Why the hell would the A’s do this deal? They already have Norris and Kotteras to split time sucking at catcher.

  6. shawnuel - Jan 16, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Jaso was Seattle’s best hitter last season. As an M’s fan, only the inclusion of Cole keeps this from being a total suckfest. Wedge never seemed to like Jaso, which speaks more to his incompetence than to any flaw Jaso may have had. Also interested to see what prospect(s) Seattle may have given up. Morse’s comps as a hitter entering his age 31-2 season are pretty atrocious as well. Yuk to this deal!

    • scatterbrian - Jan 16, 2013 at 7:48 PM

      Cole goes to the Nats, not the M’s.

  7. butchhuskey - Jan 16, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Do you think the Mariners will have… (puts on sunglasses) buyer’s re-Morse? (yeeeeaaaaahhhhhhhhhh)

    • paint771 - Jan 16, 2013 at 8:20 PM

      Burn in hell.

      • Old Gator - Jan 16, 2013 at 9:59 PM

        “Go to your room” would have been quite sufficient.

  8. scatterbrian - Jan 16, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    This is a weird deal for the A’s. They now have three catchers–two lefty and one righty–and, along with Seth Smith, two lefty DHs. I have to think there are other parts moving before the season begins.

    • butchhuskey - Jan 16, 2013 at 7:58 PM

      Billy Beane’s best moves are the ones that make no sense at the time but then look genius in retrospect

      • paperlions - Jan 16, 2013 at 8:02 PM

        That was my first thought. He seems to be better at evaluating his own talent than you are…and better at evaluating your talent then you are. I agree that this makes no sense for the As (even after Cole’s struggles last year) right now.

  9. voteforno6 - Jan 16, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    I saw the reactions of Mariners fan on one of their forums…not happy. I’m not sure about what the M’s gave up, but as a Nats fan, I really like Morse. He always seemed like one of the more accessible players on the team, who seemed to enjoy interacting with fans. He also looked like he had a lot of fun out there. That, and he’s a pretty good hitter.

    • IdahoMariner - Jan 16, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      he is a good hitter…but so is jaso (not hrs,but otherwise) and we have a crap ton of 1b/dhs. if morse was great defensively, it would be more palatable, but we just gave up a cheap guy under team control for three years who could (if wedge pulled his head out of his orifice) give us 120-150 games at catcher….now we have this year of morse, who provides what kendrys morales provides already, and we still need catching…

      • kinggw - Jan 16, 2013 at 10:55 PM

        Jaso is career .255 hitter who overachieved at .276 last season.Why do M’s fans keep acting like they lost Edgar Martinez?

      • IdahoMariner - Jan 17, 2013 at 12:38 AM

        because we don’t need another 1b/dh, jaso was fun to watch, and …. we just pulled another boring stupid deal that doesn’t meet any ofmour actual needs, given what else has been done thus far this season. now, if this were before re-signing raul, and signing bay….well, I would have hope that jack had a plan that involved a halfway decent catcher…but jaso, right now is in top half of catchers and we have morales, so wtf?

      • scatterbrian - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:05 AM

        Those are just the M’s fans who understand that batting average is a crummy way to evaluate a hitter, and who know the value of having a good player under team control.

  10. paint771 - Jan 16, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    I am a big fan of Mike Morse – I think he’s got years of really productive slugging offense in him, defense be damned.

    I am ALSO a fan of Jaso, who is one of the most underrated hitting catchers in the game, I think, and who was criminally undervalued by Wedge et al. He’s got bad platoon splits sure (which I think will even out as time goes on), but he’s a machine of a hitter against right handers and I tell you what, capable catchers, + left handers who can hit for average, do not either one of them grow on trees, nevermind together.

    So, I think this actually isn’t a bad deal all around. The Mariners really need a middle lineup slugger and I think bought low on Morse, the Nationals had a logjam and needed a return, and the A’s…well, a bit harder to figure their piece of it, but clearly they’re valuing a possible long term solution at catcher over a possible but much further away rotation piece. Which isn’t crazy, but more of a risk.

    • paint771 - Jan 16, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      At the same time, somehow, in a three way trade it kind of feels like everyone sold low.

    • voteforno6 - Jan 17, 2013 at 7:47 AM

      I think the A’s piece of it is pretty easy to understand…this is the fourth trade that they’ve swung with the Nats over the past couple of years, so obviously there’s a comfort level there between Billy Beane and Mike Rizzo. Considering that they’re giving up a few players, it seems to me that they do value Jaso quite a bit. But then again, maybe the A’s (and Nats and Mariners) realize that you have to give up something to get something.

  11. fearthehoody - Jan 16, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    Hope we get the clean Morse from Washington, and not the PED drug failing Morse from Seattle’s farm system years

  12. xpensivewinos - Jan 16, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    ……while the Red Sox are still dickin’ around trying to sign a one-legged Mike Napoli, huh?


  13. vegagreenleaf - Jan 16, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    Why is it that there is no mention of Morse returning to the Ms – where it all began?

  14. jt2663 - Jan 16, 2013 at 10:17 PM

    Red sox should get soak.

  15. tc4306 - Jan 16, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    Kottaras was dfa’d by Oakland. M’s could put in a wc and then platoon Kottaras and Montero at catcher until the date for Super Two status passes.
    At that point, they bring up Zunino and they’d have:
    LF or 1B-Morales
    1B or LF-Morse
    That is a lot more pop than the Rays have in their lineup.
    If Hultzen and/or Walker are ready to step in alongside King Felix,
    Iwakuma and Ramirez, they could make a run at a wild card.

    • kinggw - Jan 16, 2013 at 10:58 PM

      As a Nats fan, I will miss Morse and his “Take on Me” at bat music, I will not miss his defense. You DO NOT want him left field.

    • jyoung1891 - Jan 16, 2013 at 11:00 PM

      I doubt that Morales’ ankle would hold up in left field.

    • scatterbrian - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:10 AM

      Morales is not an outfielder. And where does Ibañez play?

  16. riverace19 - Jan 16, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    Beane knows more about Cole then probably anyone… Might be something wrong.. Otherwise it makes no sense.

  17. abbeyleeishot - Jan 17, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    Any A’s fan who doesn’t like this trade needs to go back at watch Norris play defense in game 5. After you are done getting sick from watching a grown man block balls worse than a little league catcher then you will know why tjis needed ti be done. I love this trade because it is a trade ” to win now” . Everything Beane has done has been so the A’s can keep last year rolling into this year. I’am sick of always waiting for tommorow . Cole turn out to be a good pitcher someday but we have a ton of gus who are good pitchers today. what we needed is a catcher who can hit and play some D and that what we got. He is young and under control for 5 years. If Jaso can gel and improve than we will have a guy who can griw with the staff like Hernandez did with the ” Big 3″.

    • scatterbrian - Jan 17, 2013 at 1:10 PM

      A few things:

      1. The A’s do not make moves based on defense in one game. If they did, Coco would be gone.
      2. Norris rates as a better defensive catcher than Jaso.
      3. Jaso is not terribly young (he’s 29), while Norris is about to turn 24. For perspective, when Jaso was 23, he was in A ball.
      4. Jaso has three years left of control, not five.

  18. suckmyhawk2012 - Jan 17, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Go M’sszzzzzzzz…

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