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.