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  1. Nitpicking, but Morse actually prefers to go by “Michael” since the 2010 season, which was reflected in all the Nats’ press releases and MASN visuals. You guys can call him whatever you want but you should know his intent.

    Comment by Glomp — January 8, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

  2. Is Chris Perez too much to give up for Morse?

    Comment by Stuck in a Slump — January 8, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

  3. Nats don’t need another RHP in the pen. They need a LHP or prospects.

    Comment by David — January 8, 2013 @ 4:36 pm

  4. how about rex brothers for morse?

    Comment by wade — January 8, 2013 @ 4:40 pm

  5. The Mariners could stand to accrue another half-dozen or so 1B/DH types, so I’m sure they’re interested.

    Comment by Westside guy — January 8, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

  6. I doubt Jack Z will be trying to reacquire him after making the original mistake of trading him to the Nationals for Ryan Langerhans.

    Comment by Atari — January 8, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

  7. Giancarlo Morse

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — January 8, 2013 @ 4:59 pm

  8. I think Perez is a pretty good fit, not perfect but good. Clippard in particular has so much mileage on his arm the past 4 seasons that it never hurts to add bullpen talent.

    The O’s prob represent another good fit. Brian Matusz or Zach Britton might be a match though that gives up a lot of control yrs.

    Comment by Spike — January 8, 2013 @ 4:59 pm

  9. Wait, there are worse baserunners than Paul Konerko?! What does that even look like?

    Comment by Eminor3rd — January 8, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

  10. Perez has fairly neutral splits (.288 vs R .294 vs L, 3.90 FIP vs R 3.94 vs L) but higher K rate vs LHH. It’s quite possible that he could be the best overall RP potentially available, and an even better chance that he’s better than most LOOGY’s

    Comment by Stuck in a Slump — January 8, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

  11. As an O’s fan, I’d do Troy Patton for him, but no more.

    Comment by O's Fan — January 8, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

  12. 2012 left-handed batters versus:

    Tyler Clippard .166/.260/.259
    Craig Stammen .197/.274/.331
    Craig Stammen was actually noticeably better against lefties than righties.

    Career left-handed batters versus Drew Storen: .222/.287/.297

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — January 8, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

  13. For the most part, it looks a lot like Paul Konerko with various ethnic undertones.

    Comment by steex — January 8, 2013 @ 5:09 pm

  14. Eric O’Flahrety for Morse? EOF will be gone at the end of the year anyways, and the chance of Morse re-signing for Atlanta would likely be larger, should they want to bring him back. His defense shouldn’t be as much of an issue with Upton and Heyward in the same OF.
    EOF put up numbers in ’11 that were unrepeatable. He put up good numbers in ’12, which are virtually unrepeatable. His peak has been reached, and the Braves should look to sell high.
    I would trade EOF, and take my chances that a bounceback from Venters, paired with an acquisition of Jordan Walden would provide every bit of value (at a lower price, plus Morse) than EOF.
    The only block would be the Nats’ willingness to trade in the division. But if he is only a bench bat to them, I think EOF will blow them away.

    Comment by Spencer — January 8, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

  15. But he’s not “just a bench bat” to them. If they hadn’t resigned LaRoche, he would be their cleanup hitter. It would make the Braves too much better to justify that if they only gave up O’Flaherty.

    Comment by Glomp — January 8, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

  16. Only if you don’t factor in the mouth. ;)

    Two years of control, 1.18 career whip.
    Three years righty OPS – .631, lefty – .624.
    2012 salary, $4.5M.

    Doubt Dolan will take on the Morse salary, though.
    He’d rather see Brantley hitting fifth again.

    Comment by fjtorres — January 8, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

  17. The defense will still be horrendous. Morse played alongside Harper and Werth last year, and those two certainly didn’t help him. You’d regret it, trust me.

    Comment by Sam — January 8, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

  18. Perhaps to distance himself from his two minor league PED violations.

    Comment by Llewdor — January 8, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

  19. Which side would win a Matusz for Morse trade?

    Comment by Kevin — January 8, 2013 @ 6:23 pm

  20. I doubt the Nats would trade Morse to the Braves since they are an in-division rival.

    Comment by Jeff H. — January 8, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

  21. I’m not sure how you doing Troy Patton would help.

    Comment by Shrewd Cat — January 8, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

  22. Matusz + a meh prospect for Morse would actually be a nicely balanced trade for both sides, and therefore will never happen because it makes too much sense.

    Comment by Esoteric — January 8, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

  23. Brad Hawpe Career
    Home .279/.371/.498 .342BABIP
    Road .272/.366/.462 .332BABIP

    Didn’t Dave just write an article about H/R splits?

    Comment by Tomcat — January 8, 2013 @ 6:59 pm

  24. Take on Morse’s salary? They’re projected to make about the same money

    Comment by Stuck in a Slump — January 8, 2013 @ 7:19 pm

  25. Since they passed on paying a slew of LHRPs out of FA (without needing to trade anyone) at decent prices, I don’t see them trading for someone they’ll also have to pay similarly for more lefty relief. Since the rest of their roster is pretty much set, the one angle I see making sense is for SP depth, either of the “prospect” (higher upside, questionable floor) level or of the MiLB-but-near-MLB replacement type (lower upside, higher floor) level, both of which are needs since they’ve traded so many of their MiLB arms of late. The former would restock the pool of potential for the future, while the latter would give them depth were they not to be so lucky as last year in terms of their SP rotation’s health. Right now, they don’t have much of anyone to plug in if (and likely when) Stras, Gio, JZ, Detwiler and/or Haren go down, so that is the only reason I see them signing a career-vanilla 1B for twice the years and almost twice the dollars as Morse… letting the latter, then, give them a trade chip for the SP depth they lack, since if what they really felt they needed was a LHRP they would have bought one in the readily available likes of Howell, Burnett and others.

    Personally, I’d have preferred Morse straight-up over LaRoche because the former was clearly hurt by injury last year and before that by not getting much of a chance as a full-timer, while the latter clearly had an outlier of a year in his age-32 season. So I just hope they feel this is a way to re-stock the SP farm rather than think ALR has more talent or better odds to be more valuable than Morse. Because if they both chose LaRoche over Morse and decided not to pay one of many LHRPs out of FA, only to trade Morse for another LHRP, it just wouldn’t make much of any sense to me.

    After all, having the whole stadium sing the ridiculous falsetto that is “Take on Me” after his walk-up music ended blaring over the PA isn’t an “intangible” for Morse, then nothing is!

    Comment by Will H. — January 8, 2013 @ 8:09 pm

  26. I came to the same conclusion. Don’t think it’d be crazy for the Nats to make that deal either.

    Comment by leapfrog — January 8, 2013 @ 8:19 pm

  27. and the stench of seattle talent evaluators.

    Comment by bavasi — January 8, 2013 @ 8:32 pm

  28. that’s actually a really, really good offer.

    Comment by shane — January 8, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

  29. I would think O’s Fan would do Rex Brothers for Morse.

    Comment by Daniel Tuttle — January 8, 2013 @ 8:52 pm

  30. Can you explain this statement: “Morse is a little more prone to BABIP fluctuations than this group, since they walked twice as often as he does.” Has someone looked at guys with better plate discipline and determined that they are more likely to repeat a high Babip?

    Comment by Dan — January 8, 2013 @ 10:24 pm

  31. I think he was trying to say babip matters more for Morse because, with his plate discipline, hits are about the only way he gets on base. The Youkilis types can remain valuable because of their broader base of secondary skills. Awkward phrase though.

    Comment by Sam — January 9, 2013 @ 12:10 am

  32. The Nats would be satisfied with a RP’er for Morse? Really?

    If so, the Red Sox would be all over him and forget about Napoli.

    Comment by pft — January 9, 2013 @ 1:01 am

  33. The glove is not a big deal. Power is at a premium and has been all off-season, with nothing available on the horizon. To carry one weaker glove will not hurt a team as much as it can help the lineup. Many world series winning teams had a stiff in left field. I am actually surprised that all they want is a lefthanded reliever. Did you look at the players he was being compared to? Not exaclty average players. I would love my team to get him for the lineup, but I’m afraid they are too cheap to take on the salary. My team? (hint: the general manager in November confessed to not having a single major league outfielder on his roster).

    Comment by CCTexasGus — January 9, 2013 @ 1:28 am

  34. Dave – What reports are you getting that they want just the best RP they can get? If Rizzo wanted that, he could have spent 2-4 million for 1-2 years per and gotten some pretty good ones in FA. Rizzo has only talked about depth, but while that could be bullpen depth, he has specifically mentioned farm-system depth and MLB-ready SP depth in the past.

    Comment by Will H. — January 9, 2013 @ 5:19 am

  35. What about the Mets? Not sure they have the bullpen help Washington is reportedly seeking, but I can’t think of a team more in need of a power RH bat in the outfield. Then we’d get to see a major league OF with both Morse and Duda in it.

    Comment by hernandez17 — January 9, 2013 @ 8:24 am

  36. I think Matusz plus a caving in for few million more in the MASN negotiation should be the goal for the Nats from the Orioles.

    Comment by mockcarr — January 9, 2013 @ 9:00 am

  37. I agree with this assessment, but it may be that Morse isn’t worth much more than they got for Willingham a few years ago.

    Comment by mockcarr — January 9, 2013 @ 9:02 am

  38. How about LHP Mike Montgomery from the Rays for Morse? No way the Rays are trading Jake McGee straight up.

    Comment by JKB — January 9, 2013 @ 9:08 am

  39. Dave (or anyone for that matter), you brought up Morse’s baserunning inadequacies, which was actually a broader problem of the entire Washington Nationals team.

    Their 2012 team BsR was -17.6, which is 6th worst by a team in the last 8 years. It’s a bit odd, because the Nationals are a young, fast team. In 2011, they posted a 9.7 BsR with nearly the identical team (basically everyone except Harper). What’s the result of this? Is it bad baserunning instructions from the 3rd base coach (now the Astros head coach, Bo Porter), or is it just a coincidence? How stable is BsR? Can one be ‘talented’ at BsR? For example, Morse has been -2.9, -0.1 and -6.1 over the past 3 seasons. He’s certainly a bad baserunner, but is he -0.1-bad or -6-bad? Can we make any reasonably accurate projections about how he’ll perform next season?

    Comment by Will — January 9, 2013 @ 9:48 am

  40. I think the Nats should try for the best return they can get regardless of position, and I wouldn’t think twice about just keeping Morse if no one went high enough. Payroll is probably not an issue, it’s more just having an efficient roster. They’d have to decide if 200-300 Morse at bats isn’t better than what they get back. He’s not making much more than Lannan did last year, and they similarly screwed that guy’s value by keeping him all year as Strasburg insurance. Morse has established his bat and injury history so a year as a part time guy shouldn’t change any evaluation of him. It’s not like Span, LaRoche, and Werth haven’t missed time in recent years and you could just keep Moore in AAA getting more playing time and maybe popping enough homers to get a poor team interested in his team-controlled years if you need that extra starter or reliever in July.

    While I’m not sanguine about Bill Bray being the loogy answer, they could have matched any of the offers out there for LH relievers and probably could have locked up Howell much earlier on if they felt he was the answer instead of letting the Dodgers get him. I don’t think Sean Burnett got a more than he was worth either, although they clearly did not want to sign a multi-year reliever deal. That makes me think they could either don’t think of a LH matchup guy as a necessity, have some undervalued pitcher in mind, or are considering converting a struggling LH starter in their system to some similar role. The depth of starting pitching in the minors is an issue, but will be filled to some extent with the experiments they are doing with stretching out relievers Christian Garcia and Ryan Perry, and the rehabs of Solis, Purke, Giolito, etc. They still have replacement-level Maya under contract for another year at AAA too. I don’t expect the two converted guys to be a reasonable option early in the season, nor would Maya be all that, but they could still get a retread down there just as easily who could be ok for three starts. Even just a bullpen start with Duke and Stammen each taking a turn through the lineup isn’t catastrophic if they bring up another reliever for a bit. If Morse isn’t worth more than what they got for Willingham, I’d keep him, and with the available tradeable outfielders around, that might be the case.

    Comment by mockcarr — January 9, 2013 @ 9:53 am

  41. W

    Comment by Nick — January 9, 2013 @ 10:46 am

  42. The Mets need outfielders, not DHs who happen to stand in the outfield

    Comment by Nick — January 9, 2013 @ 10:48 am

  43. Yeah, this. Don’t think the Nationals will pay Morse $6.7 million to be their RH 1b/OF swing guy, depth, PH and DH for the 10 games they play in AL parks? They paid Lannan $5 million to play in AAA Syracuse. More importantly, they were glad they did because Lannan saved their bacon by coming up big in what may have been the most critical game of their regular season.

    When Rizzo says they aren’t going to trade Morse just to trade him, believe it. He’s been down that road before and stuck to his guns.

    Comment by John C. — January 9, 2013 @ 6:26 pm

  44. Just search for some video of Jesus Montero running… it’s almost hypnotic. He’s well earned his nickname QWOP.

    Comment by CheeseWhiz — January 10, 2013 @ 3:10 am

  45. I am impressed with the effort you have so obviously put into this content. I am also impressed with your point of view on this topic, especially since you have made your points so clear.

    Comment by bed alarms — March 17, 2013 @ 2:11 am

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