There is supposedly “nothing alive” in trade talks between the Yankees and Nationals for outfielder Mike Morse yet, according to Chad Jennings of the Journal News. However, the Yankees have already called and even though the Nationals were not yet ready to talk trades at that time the two teams will eventually get together to discuss it, says Jack Curry of the YES Network.
Morse has been on the trade block since the Nationals re-signed Adam LaRoche and the Yankees are seen as a good fit. Not a wonderful outfielder (he had a negative-8.9 UZR last season), the Yankees would likely use Morse as their regular DH against right handed pitching and in the outfield against lefties.
The one problem is that Morse is supposedly against being a DH. He doesn’t have a no trade clause so there isn’t anything he could do to stop a trade, but the Yankees would be weary of trading for a player who could become disgruntled if he’s forced to play a position against his will.
If that weren’t a problem there is still the price tag to consider. Morse will earn $7 million next year and then will be a free agent. From there it is hard to tell if the Yankees will be in a position to re-sign him as Morse could be in line for a big payday if he has a healthy and productive season in 2013. Normally it wouldn’t be a problem for the Yankees, but they have tightened their purse strings as they head toward a $189 million budget and there might not be room to re-sign him.
That would mean they can only count on Morse playing in Pinstripes for one year if they traded for him. The rumor is that he’s going to cost at least an elite prospect plus a lefty reliever to acquire. A lefty reliever is no problem, with Boone Logan, Clay Rapada, and Cesar Cabral they have that covered. The problem is that they might decide that the cost is too much for one year of Morse as dealing an elite prospect will also hurt them toward their budget goal.
Don’t expect them to get lucky and grab him on the cheap. It will take a lot more than Adam Warren and Logan to swing this deal. At least five teams are already interested in him with the Red Sox and the Rays both in the mix so far.
Injuries limited Morse to just 102 games last year, but he still hit .291/.321/.470. Since becoming a regular in 2010, he has hit .296/.345/.516. He’s a poor defensive outfielder, but he can also play first base which is good considering the Yankees don’t really have a backup for Mark Teixeira at this point.