The Yankees are looking for a right handed hitting outfielder and a DH and Mike Morse, who could fill both of those roles at the same time, has been put on the trade block by the Nationals. A perfect match? Maybe not.
A source told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports that Morse strongly opposes being a DH. That’s going to be a problem.
The ideal role for Morse with this team would be as the DH who occasionally plays in the outfield against a lefty. Kind of what Raul Ibanez was last year. Morse isn’t a good outfielder after all, he had a negative-8.9 UZR last season and a negative-13 the year before. At most he would play about 70 games in the field similar to Andruw Jones. But he would still play in 140 games or so which means he’s at least splitting time as the DH.
Morse can’t block a trade though. He doesn’t have a no trade clause and doesn’t have 10-and-5 rights yet. But the Yankees have put a big emphasis on clubhouse chemistry over recent years and wouldn’t likely want to deal for him if they thought he would cause a problem because he didn’t want to DH.
It seems unlikely to get that far, but Rosenthal speculates that it could take at least an elite prospect and a lefty reliever to land Morse. Would the Yankees be willing to take a chance with a the cost so high? They are deep in the left handed pitcher department with Boone Logan, Clay Rapada, and Cesar Cabral, but it’s the elite prospects that will be tougher to part with.
Rosenthal lists the Mariners, Rays, Orioles, and Red Sox (if the Mike Napoli signing falls through) as teams who might be interested. The Mariners, who have been unsuccessful in trading for Justin Upton, seem like the most likely candidate to land him to Rosenthal. I agree and think that the Orioles, who haven’t made any additions this offseason, could also be strong candidates.
Morse has hit .296/.345/.516 over the last three seasons since becoming a regular. He has dealt with a long list of injuries and this goes back to his days in the minors. It’s part of the reason it took him until 28 to stick in the league.