Nyjer Morgan Traded to Milwaukee Brewers: MLB Fantasy Baseball Fallout

Eric StashinSenior Writer IMarch 27, 2011

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Nyjer Morgan #1 of the Washington Nationals against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on September 15, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The rumors have been out there for at least a week, but finally we got an end to the saga that is Nyjer Morgan and the Washington Nationals.

According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, Morgan has been sent to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for prospect Cutter Dykstra and cash considerations.

Dykstra, a former second-round pick, is the son of former Major Leaguer Lenny Dykstra. 

Unfortunately, he has never lived up to much, with a career .274 average to go along with 16 HR and 49 SB over 831 AB. He hasn’t played above Single-A and doesn’t appear to be much of a factor for the Nationals.

The real story is Morgan, who had already lost the Nationals' starting center-field job (to Rick Ankiel) and appeared likely to open the year at Triple-A.

Now, he goes to Milwaukee and should be given every opportunity to beat out Carlos Gomez for regular playing time, though they could share time early on. 

Gomez has always been better known for his defense than his offense. A career .246 hitter, he does have speed (though only once has he stolen more than 20 bases in a season). 

With a career strikeout rate of 23.9 percent, an inability to draw walks (5.1 percent) and no power to speak of (17 HR), there should be no reason to think that Gomez will do anything to beat out Morgan.

With Gomez, you have a player locked into the seventh or eighth spot in the lineup, limiting the depth.

Morgan, on the other hand, is just a year removed from hitting .307 with 42 SB between Washington and Pittsburgh. Last season was a down year, as he hit just .253 with 34 SB though his season was marred with on-field incidents leading to suspensions. 

Morgan also suffered from a little bit of poor luck (.304 BABIP), especially for someone with his speed.

The questions surrounding Morgan have never focused solely on his offensive ability, but rather on his attitude and maturity.

If he can get his act together and hits atop the Brewers lineup, he could be in store for a monster season. Just imagine how much better things would look with the dynamic Morgan at the top:

Nyjer Morgan – CF
Corey Hart – RF
Prince Fielder – 1B
Ryan Braun – LF
Casey McGehee – 3B
Rickie Weeks – 2B
Yuniesky Betancourt – SS
Jonathan Lucroy – C

Obviously, a lot can change. Maybe it’ll be Weeks hitting second and Hart sixth. Or maybe it’ll be Hart fifth and McGehee sixth. 

The fact of the matter is that if Morgan can get his act together the Brewers lineup becomes significantly deeper and more dangerous.

Yes, Morgan has many issues, but if he can get his attitude/on-field issues in check, you would think everything else would fall into place.

Is he going to be an excellent option? Of course not, considering how often he has been caught stealing in the past (34 times total the past two seasons). However, if he gains regularly playing time and hits leadoff in Milwaukee, he certainly will be worth owning in five-outfielder formats. 

There should be plenty of runs and stolen bases, which gives him value.

In Washington, it appears that Ian Desmond will hit atop the lineup, with Ankiel hitting seventh. Desmond clearly is the biggest winner if he sticks in the leadoff spot hitting in front of Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman and company. 

In his first full season, he hit .269 with 10 HR and 17 SB in 525 AB. Yes, he needs to learn to draw a few more walks (4.9 percent in ’10), but with those guys behind him the numbers should improve across the board (only 59 R in ’10).

What do you think of the trade? Who is the biggest winner? What is the biggest fallout from the move?


Make sure to order your copy of the Rotoprofessor 2011 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, selling for just $5, by clicking here.

Also check out our 2011 rankings:

Top 15 Catchers

Top 15 First Basemen

Top 15 Second Basemen
Top 15 Third Basemen

Top 15 Shortstops

Top 30 Outfielders

Top 30 Starting Pitchers

Top 15 Closers