The signing of Adam LaRoche makes Michael Morse a valuable trade chip for Washington
Michael Morse hit 31 home runs and had 95 RBI in 2011. Last year, Morse battled injuries and hit 18 home runs with 62 RBI in 43o plate appearances.
Morse offers a 30 HR capable bat who can man first base or the outfield, and that power comes from the right side, making him a very valuable commodity.
Earlier today the Nationals announced the re-signing of first baseman Adam LaRoche to a two-year deal.
Morse became expendable and Washington will field offers from multiple teams to acquire the 30 year old slugger in a trade.
The New York Yankees are among the interested teams along with the Tampa Bay Rays, Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, and New York Mets.
Reportedly, Washington would be seeking a left-handed reliever and/or prospects in any trade for Morse.
Tampa Bay has a cadre of prospects and on paper looks like a strong trade partner.
The 30-year-old Morse will make almost $7 million this year and would stretch Tampa Bay to the upper levels of their salary budget for 2013.
Tampa Bay acquired Wil Myers and prospects from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for James Shields and right-hander Wade Davis earlier this off-season, but Myers is expected to begin the season in the minors.
The team lost B.J. Upton to free agency and the Atlanta Braves and have been looking for a cost-efficient solution to replace him.
The Rangers are another team to watch in the Morse sweepstakes, having lost out on every big splash free-agent this past off-season, and still looking for a right-handed outfielder.
Talks with Arizona about Justin Upton have proved fruitless at this point for Texas and that may force a deal for some of their prospects.
Trading Morse to the Mets or Phillies would mean trading inside the division.
Morse will be traded and Washington should do well in the deal.