Mariners Acquire LF Mike Morse from the Nationals in 3-Team Deal
UPDATE: Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 7:50 p.m. ET by Pete Schauer
In addition to right-hander A.J. Cole, the Washington Nationals will receive two more prospects in the Michael Morse deal, according to CBS Sports' Danny Knobler:
Nationals announce deal. They get AJ Cole, Blake Treinen and PTBN for Morse— DKnobler (@DKnobler) January 17, 2013
---End of Update---
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.
The addition of Morse is a great move for the Mariners, who had one of the MLB's worst offenses in 2012. They finished the season ranked last in batting average (.234), last in on-base percentage (.296), last in slugging percentage (.369) and 27th in runs (619).
Meanwhile, the 30-year-old Morse has established himself as a solid hitter. He has hit at least .289 in each of his last three seasons, and although his production dipped slightly in 2012, he was still very effective.
Morse is also familiar with the Mariners organization, having played for Seattle from 2005 to 2008 before joining the Nationals.
After re-signing first baseman Adam LaRoche, the Nationals no longer had a need for Morse's services. They traded for center fielder Denard Span earlier this winter, and with Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper roaming the rest of the outfield, Morse no longer had a position in Washington.
Morse has one year and $6.75 million left on his current contract.
Cole is a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher that can hit the high-90s with his fastball. He went 0-7 with a 7.82 ERA when the A's started him at high-A Stockton. After a move to low-A, Cole improved and went 6-3 with a 2.07 ERA.
He was originally a fourth-round draft choice by the Nationals back in 2010. Though his hiccup at high-A Stockton diminished his stock, Cole should bring some potential back to a Nats farm system that lost Alex Meyer to the Twins in the Span trade and Brad Peacock and Tommy Milone to the A's in the Gio Gonzalez trade last offseason.
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