The Yankees have missed out on yet another player that could upgrade their team in 2013 when the Seattle Mariners landed outfielder Mike Morse in a three team trade that also involved the Oakland Athletics.
Morse goes from Washington to Seattle, right handed pitching prospects A.J. Cole, Blake Treinen, and a player to be named later head from Oakland to Washington, and John Jaso goes from Seattle to Oakland.
This ends up being a solid deal for the Nationals, who re-stocked their barren farm system with a couple of good prospects (Cole was the 67th best prospect in MLB, according to Baseball America). Cole had an up and down year in 2012, but has an impressive 4.48 K/BB ratio in the minors and only turned 21 this month. The Yankees probably don’t have a healthy pitching prospect as good.
It’s a solid deal for the A’s too who get the high OBP catcher who will replace the production they lost when Jonny Gomes left.
It’s not a great deal for the Mariners though. They lose Jaso and get back Morse, who makes a poor defensive outfielder even worse. They can’t plan on using him much at first base or DH either to limit his defensive impact thanks to the presence of Kendrys Morales at first and Jesus Montero at DH. But they have been desperate for a power upgrade after missing out on Prince Fielder last offseason and Josh Hamilton and Justin Upton this offseason. Maybe they have new found confidence in Montero’s catching ability, but there is no evidence of that.
As for the Yankees, it seems like they just didn’t have the pieces to swing such a deal. As I said, they probably don’t have a pitching prospect that’s healthy and has a higher upside than Cole. Secondary prospects like Adam Warren probably doesn’t stack up to Treinen either (they certainly have comparable prospects as Treinen, but those prospects would more likely be the headliner in such a deal and not the secondary piece).
There were rumors that they might be interested in Boone Logan (or any lefty reliever), however this was clearly an attempt to bolster their farm system. Also, with Rafael Soriano now in the mix over there, the Nats have no shortage of of right handed relievers that are also effective against lefties as well. Losing the draft pick for Soriano was probably part of the reason they went after re-stocking the farm system.