Phillies Have Asked Nationals About Mike Morse

1:23pm: Heyman says (on Twitter) the Nationals are not inclined to trade Morse to the Phillies, or anywhere else for that matter. They're intrigued by the work he's done with hitting coach Rick Eckstein.

12:29pm: After losing their top right-handed power threat this offseason, the Phillies have asked the Nationals about the availability of outfielder Mike Morse according to SI.com's Jon Heyman (on Twitter). Philadelphia's lineup is predominantly left-handed with Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez, and Domonic Brown, something that might be exposed with the departure of Jayson Werth.

Morse, 29 next month, hit .289/.352/.519 with 12 doubles and 15 homers in just 293 plate appearances for Washington last year, his first regular playing time in the big leagues since 2005. He crushed lefty pitching, hitting .295/.374/.625 with eight long balls against them in just under a hundred trips to the plate. Although he has experience on the infield, most of Morse's playing time has come in the corner outfield spots in recent years. He'll earn $1.05MM in 2011, the first time he was eligible for arbitration.

The Nationals outfield is pretty crowded right now, with only Werth guaranteed a full-time job. The other two spots will go to some combination of Morse, Rick Ankiel, Roger Bernadina, and Nyjer Morgan. Jerry Hairston Jr. can also play the outfield, and the Nats have both Matt Stairs and Laynce Nix in camp on minor league contracts.


53 Responses to Phillies Have Asked Nationals About Mike Morse Leave a Reply

  1. Bob George 4 years ago

    Nobody on the Nats deserves an everyday LF job. Morse is probably the closest, but he’s also a retread. I don’t know how they can spend a gazillion dollars on Werth and then not have an even average LF’er.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      what’s wrong with morse in left?

    • I can see why you might not think so, but I think Roger Bernadina will win the job and he is going to be a very good LFer.

  2. JohnKruksWaistline 4 years ago

    I’d like it, but I don’t know why the Nats would do it.

  3. screw philly

  4. dc21892 4 years ago

    He reminds me a lot of Ben Zobrist.

    • Fifty_Five 4 years ago

      This might sound weird but I think he reminds me of Werth. They’re both freaking huge, they both took a while to break out (Morse hasn’t fully broken out yet but I have a strong feeling he will this year), and hey, they were both number 28.

  5. MannyBeingMVP 4 years ago

    To me, the Phillies already have Ben Francisco who is MLB reeady for .265-20-75-20, he should get the job and is right-handed. In the near future, they have Brown, left-handed and talented. Mayberry is a suitable backup, too.

    • myname_989 4 years ago

      The Phillies would like to have another right handed bat either way. If Francisco is playing every day, they’re losing one of their top threats off of the bench. Right now, the only other option they really have if Francisco wins the job is John Mayberry Jr., and his struggles have been pretty well documented.

    • I’m a Phils fan and I think Francisco deserves a shot, but expecting a 20/20 year from him seems awfully optimistic.

  6. That is if Bernadina doesn’t take the CFer job away from Morgan.

  7. PairFace 4 years ago

    Makes sense for both teams since Phils need a RH bat and Nats have a logjam in OF. Question is what would Nats’ asking price be? Blanton + $$$ ???

  8. Dayton_Moore 4 years ago

    Please take Melky from me. He can be had for free.

    • bomberj11 4 years ago

      Nah, I think the Royals would have to give up Melky plus another C prospect for any team to take him.

  9. jnolan33177 4 years ago

    Everyone is making a bigger deal than what needs to be out of the Phillies lefty heavy lineup. Werth is gone, 1 bat, ONE BAT replaced by a lefty. if they get a 260 avg and 20 hr’s 70 rbis, from the 5 spot, your near werths production over the last 3 seasons. Utley can hit Lefty and righty, Rollins and Victorin are switch hitters, Carlos Ruiz and Polanco are both right handed. Reallly thats 4 righties on a night vs left hand pitching and 4 lefties. On a night vs Right hand pitching they got 6 leftie bats and 2 righthies. Im fine with that!

  10. Guest 4 years ago

    why would the nats trade a potential impact guy to a rival?

    • That’s what I would like to know. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Phils fan and would welcome the move, but I do not understand Washington’s motivation for moving an affordable guy who has shown some pretty good pop in his bat.

    • They probably wouldn’t. The article just says Philly asked. They do have a lot of guys in camp for two available outfield spots, so it does make some sense for both teams.

  11. Tim Lillis 4 years ago

    Only way WAS makes this deal is if Philly swaps them Blanton. And that still might not be worth it.

    • myname_989 4 years ago

      You think Mike Morse is worth Joe Blanton? Crazy talk.

    • The Phillies would easily swap them Blanton remeber their 2 seconds away from not being able to afford their payroll.Remeber last year this is why we were talking about werth extension issues.They do not need Blanton if they swapped him they would have Halladay-Lee-Oswalt-Hamels + any 5th starter.If they really want too tthey could go get maine and he would be a much cheaper option than Blanton would anyway. I just don’t see the Nats doing this because the guy put up some pretty decent numbers last year and I dont see them strenghtening their Nl rival,unless the Nats are desperate for a starter.Grant it Blanton will give you innings but is it really worth the trade off.

  12. Jason Klinger 4 years ago

    If the Phillies sign Durbin, they will be more willing to trade a guy like Kendrick, which would be an upgrade for the Nats in the 5th starter spot. But if I’m the Nats I ask for Worley or Mathieson (doubt they want Blanton and his $17 million over 2).

  13. daveineg 4 years ago

    Why give any help to a rival in your division? I realize they aren’t expected to contend but what message does it send to Nats fans that the team is helping the Phillies when both teams are tied at 0-0 in the standings?

    • the nats ownership group just wanted to help the phils because for the 12 games or whatever the phils play down there the phils fan help them sell out the place. so they just wanted to return the favor.

  14. gmcarson 4 years ago

    Morse for Kendrick would make sense, but ya gotta think the Phils like the insurance of KK waiting in the wings for when an injury happens in the rotation.

  15. bigpat 4 years ago

    If they were going to do this trade, I could see something like a three way trade where the Nats got Blanton then traded someone like Marquis or Lannan to a team that needs pitching like STL to clear up room. Washington already has a ton of starting candidates, so bringing in someone like Blanton or Kendrick without getting rid of someone might create a problem.

  16. JayTeam 4 years ago

    Need a right hand bat? Philly may be able to convince the Jays to trade Juan Rivera. Jays wouldn’t even ask for Joe Blanton in return. :)

  17. safari_punch 4 years ago

    Oh yes. Trade for Mike Morse. Most certainly will shift the balance of power in the NL East if they were to acquire him.

    • Fifty_Five 4 years ago

      Sarcasm? If you paid any attention last year, the guy can rake.

      • Hey now, cut him a break. Clearly he doesn’t get cable in mom’s basement. Have some pity..

  18. comish4lif 4 years ago

    This sounds exactly like something that the Nats would do. They’re trying to give the LF job to Bernadina – because he’s more athletic looking. Morse is the better hitter, and if you can’t stash a poor fielder in Left, where can you?

    As for trading Morse for Blanton or Kendrick, that’s about right. Morse is about league average in left, and Blanton is about league average on the bump. Kendrick at least has some upside and fits the Nats budget.

    But as a Nats fan, I’d hate this deal. I know that Morse would come here and bash our brians in 12 times a year…

  19. LUWahooNatFan 4 years ago

    Left field right now is a platoon with Morse batting against Lefties, and Bernadina batting against Righties.

    If Nyjer doesn’t improve from the numbers he put up last year, could see Bernadina moved to CF and have Morse take the everyday job in LF, Ankiel could take the everyday job in CF, or Corey Brown(aquired from the A’s from the Willingham deal) could get called up in June or July.

    The last thing I want to do is see Morse traded to the Phillies, he’s a poor man’s Werth

  20. Morse’s numbers last year made him a better player than Josh Willingham. At this point I think you will see Morse be the starter in LF and Morgan in CF with Ankiel subbing for them regularly.

    Bernadina is all potential right now. He’ll be in Syracuse since he has an option left. The Nats have 4 guys who can easily hit 25 HR’s in Zim, Laroche, Werth & Morse with 2 other guys who could hit 15 easily in Desmond & Espinosa (who could actually hit 20-25). Their offense will be more balanced and their D will be much better.

    I wouldn’t trade Morse right now. His career path is almost identical to Werth’s. A late bloomer who changed positions and has the ability to be an impact hitter.

  21. there’s an article that says the Nationals wanted Domonic Brown in return for morse on CSNPhilly.

    • myname_989 4 years ago

      I didn’t believe you, so I went to check… and they did. Mike Rizzo is delusional. Ruben Amaro acquired Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt without trading Domonic Brown, and Rizzo thinks he’s going to get him for… Mike Morse? Wow.

      • Fifty_Five 4 years ago

        I think that’s Rizzo’s way of saying, just hang up now Reuben

        • jdr70 4 years ago

          Exactly. Why not ask for something big? Who gives a crap if they say no. Rizzo obviously thinks Morse is pretty valuable and his numbers last year back it up. The guy hit 15 HR’s in what equates to about a half a season of at bats. And he hit for average and had a very nice OPS.

          • myname_989 4 years ago

            It’s not like he’s sitting on a gold mine. The Phillies are interested and in the same division. Why not see if you can get a nice piece or two for a spare part?

      • haha I wanted to post a link for everyone else but it had to be approved by a moderator…

        Yeah, it’s a complete joke. I understand not wanting to trade a player with his potential to a division rival but seriously, asking for a top 5 prospect (in all of baseball) for a guy who’s 29 and yet to have a great season. But then again, this is the same GM who wouldn’t trade Adam Dunn for Daniel Hudson…

        • sjberke1 4 years ago

          Actually Rizzo DID want to trade Dunn, according to Tom Boswell, but Stan Kasten wanted to extend him. Ownership never resolved the deadlock and Dunn ended up walking. Kasten is gone now and Rizzo is in sole charge of baseball matters, so something like this won’t happen again.

  22. Blanton’s not mind-blowing, but he’s healthy and eats a lot of innings. Washington has a young staff, it wouldn’t be a bad move if the Phillies ate a good portion of his contract.

  23. myname_989 4 years ago

    Neither do I. We’re not exactly talking about Josh Willingham here though. There’s no reason to deal a quality MLB starter to a division rival for a fourth outfielder, regardless of his potential.

  24. comish4lif 4 years ago

    Except that the Nats don’t really have a young staff. Zimmermann is young, but after that it’s probably Livan, Marquis, Gorzellany, and Lannan. And I don’t see Blanton is a big improvement over that group…

  25. Fifty_Five 4 years ago

    Yeah I think the Nats are pretty high on him right now so I don’t think he’ll go anywhere.

  26. I would have driven to Kentucky, picked up Blanton, and dropped him in D.C. myself earlier this off-season if the Phils could have gotten Willingham from the Nats.

  27. myname_989 4 years ago

    Agreed, but it would have been a long trip for Mike Morse. Lol

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