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LaRoche deal is official

Jan 8, 2013, 5:35 PM EDT

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Adam LaRoche will return to the Nationals for 2013 and 2014.

Updated at 4:20 p.m.

The Nationals' unwillingness to budge on their longstanding, two-year offer to Adam LaRoche paid off in the end. LaRoche today agreed to the deal after failing to find another club willing to give the free agent first baseman the guaranteed, three-year contract he sought all along.

The final contract, which was officially announced by the Nationals late this afternoon, guarantees $24 million. LaRoche will earn salaries of $10 million in 2013 and $12 million in 2014, with a $2 million buyout in 2015 if either side elects not to pick up a $15 million mutual option.

The Nationals had expressed interest from the start in re-signing LaRoche, who led the club with 33 homers and 100 RBI while winning his first career Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards. And the 33-year-old veteran had said all along he preferred to stay in Washington after playing a vital role in the Nats' first-ever playoff run.

But LaRoche made it clear from the beginning he wanted a three-year contract and was willing to wait it out to secure what he felt was the best offer from any club — the Nationals or otherwise — that also presented an opportunity to compete for a World SeriesRead more »

268 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    SIDE OF BEEF AND JW BLUE. We are going to have one heck of a tail gate!!!WOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!I AM THRILLED!!!!

  2. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Keep Morse in Washington. You are going to need him.Sincerely,RGIII

  3. Don - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Good news. Welcome back Mr. LaRoche! Good luck in the AL Mr. Morse.

  4. WA2CHI - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    I'm glad Adam is back, but will miss The Beast enormously. Times like this make me wish we were in the AL and had a DH slot to fill. But I don't feel like that too long.

  5. Kirbs - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Miss you Mikey….welcome back ALR!

  6. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Drake LaRoche! Nats First Pick in the 2020 Draft!!!!!I am doing a Happy Dance around my office! Thankfully, no one is here to see it! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!

  7. alexva - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    What to make of quiet winter? previous post to be deleted by author

  8. NatsLady - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    Alphabet, I wish that were possible. But if the Nats can get some close-to-ready starting pitching prospects, they probably should. And Mikey, I'm sure, in his "contract year" will want to play full time.

  9. Doug - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Locked up through 2105! 100 year Dynasty!!!

  10. SCNatsFan - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    To me this might also mean some other dominos are about to fall; Napoli in Boston and Rizzo knows what he's getting for Morse and is satified with the return.

  11. Doug - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    M's need some hitting…I think Paxton and Furbush for Morse is a pretty fair trade…Gives us a LH reliever and a solid LH starter prospect to get seasoned in AAA another year and replace Haren in 2014.

  12. Section 222 - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Initially, I favored the Morse option because I thought he plays a decent 1B and is likely to have a monster year. And I fully expected someone would offer ALR a three year deal and he would take it. But after the Spann acquisition, I came around to hoping that ALR would stay because the idea of having the best infield and outfield defense in baseball was just too sweet. Unlike a certain commenter here, however, I did not express any certainty about what would happen, or belittle those who felt differently. I was fine with either option. Most of all, I'm happy to have this resolved so Rizzo can go to work getting a decent return for Morse.

  13. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    NatsLady-Mikey doesn't get to make that decision, and don't forget he would bring back a draft pick should he walk after this year…there is your pitching prospect. The Nats are going to have injuries and Morse is going to have a HUGE year in the middle of that order.

  14. Don - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Not having to pay him $6.75M is at least part of what is sexy about a Mike Morse trade.

  15. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Yay! (Pops bottle of sparkling cider.)

  16. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    None of those clubs, though, was willing to go to a third year, in part because none wanted to give up the draft pick that would have been required after the Nationals made a $13.3 million qualifying offer to LaRoche in early November.It's doubtful that the draft pick was what kept other clubs from offering LaRoche a third year, because they would have had to give up the draft pick even if they signed LaRoche to a one or two year deal. It's more likely that the third year is what kept them from wanting LaRoche at all. The same is probably true for Bourn, Soriano and Lohse. Clubs will say "we don't want to give up the draft choice" when what they're really saying is "we don't want to pay that much."

  17. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Somebody wishes the Nats were in that junior, Sunday afternoon church 10 man softball league? BLASHEMY!!!!

  18. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Morse is worth more than starter "depth," unless that term includes a quality AAA-ready starter, or a LH RP, unless same is notably above average. I would ask permission from Toronto to try to negotiate a one-year deal w/ Darren Oliver.

  19. nats-prospects - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Even some not-close-to-ready SP prospects would suffice. I can assure you: Ain't much in the cupboard that's not refurbished ;-)

  20. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Once again.. don't play poker with Mike Rizzo

  21. NatsLady - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Beast a fun player, but no room for both, IMO. Some people have suggested keeping him (because of potential for injuries) but Morse himself has an injury history, and he will want to play full time in his "contract" year. Let's see what Rizzo comes up with, hopefully a nearly ready AAA starting pitcher (or two) because the farm system is a little thin right now… With the rotation set, it's hard to get decent guys who are willing to sit in Syracuse as backup. Christian Garcia is impressive, but you don't know if he can start. Zach Duke is already in the BP for long relief. The results for Ryan Perry are mixed and he doesn't have an option left, if I recall.

  22. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Unlike a certain commenter here, however, I did not express any certainty about what would happen, or belittle those who felt differently.Since when is expressing an opinion that differs from someone else's opinion "belittling" them?

  23. Water23 - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    I am in the group that would prefer to keep Morse. Granted, he will hate it. It will cost him $$$ on his next deal but the reality is that team loses many players throughout the season and Morse can play corner OF and 1B. Sounds like a the best option for a team that is vying for a WS.

  24. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    Sad Beast:@Dc_BEAST38 Hey everyone ,going silent for a while

  25. NatsNut - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    I'm instantly sad that losing Morse is now inevitable. How fun was the crowd singing his walkup music in the playoff games?But even if we were keeping Morse and LaRoche signed elsewhere, I would have been as instantly sad about that too. I hate this part of baseball.

  26. NatsNut - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Michele, you're killing me. I feel so bad for him.

  27. Don - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Morse has decent, but not great, value. He's not under control and he has limitations as to where he can reasonably play, plus his injury history does not help. Thump is thump though, and he has it. Rizzo should get a decent piece for him, but not some big haul or anything. I am guessing the Mariners, Yankees or long shot Astros.

  28. NatsLady - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Yes, I understand it's not Morse's choice, any more that it was for Lannan. But Morse is not a "marginal" player. When he's healthy he is a terrific asset. He didn't like being a DH, he would like it even less as a bench player and might not be as effective. You need to get the most you can for that asset, meaning you trade him to a team that will pay for that asset. If Rizzo doesn't get what he wants, yes, he can wait, and he may. Again, all he has to do is let teams come to him with their offers.

  29. sjm308 - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    I am going to go further with keeping Morse. Not only would I keep him …….. I would give him a two year extension! This keeps him happy, does not affect his trade value and might enhance it if we do decide later in the year we can get great value. One of the things I really liked about last year was how much everyone liked each other. Both Morse and LaRoche in the dugout continues that.Feel, I realize you we're 100%sure LaRoche was gone but its ok to be wrong every now and then. Trust me.

  30. livernonions - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    When would a new team need to have Morse on its roster to assure themselves a compensatory draft pick if he were not to re-sign with them after the 2013 season?

  31. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    NatsNut.. the one thing is that the Twitterverse has been bombarding Beast with support tweets, so I can see why he wants to turn off for awhile. He found his first home and on a good team. He will be missed, the big lovable lug

  32. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Morse in a contract year, and a draft pick, are worth more than they are likely to get for him. The guy hits HR's that look like Tiger Woods hitting that 2-iron stinger. You can always trade him at the deadline.

  33. BigCat - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Good deal, good deal. I don't care if it was 2 years, 3 years, or 5 years…..Adam is back with us…..where he belongs.

  34. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said… Morse is worth more than starter "depth," unless that term includes a quality AAA-ready starter, or a LH RP, unless same is notably above average.Morse is not going to bring back anything more in trade than Willingham did in the same situation. (Contract year coming off a year where he was out with injury for half the season.) Willingham brought back a AAA reliever out of options and a AAA outfielder. Don't go expecting anything more than prospects or "inventory" in return for Morse.

  35. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    That's one interpretation (sad). OTOH, could also be going off the grid for travel or so as not to engage in or respond to Tweeter speculation about his future. I'm just saying.MicheleS said… Sad Beast: @Dc_BEAST38 Hey everyone ,going silent for a while January 08, 2013 12:55 PM

  36. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    liveronions….First the team would have to make a qualifying offer which is substantially more than his current contract.

  37. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  38. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    Oh, never mind. :-)MicheleS said…NatsNut.. the one thing is that the Twitterverse has been bombarding Beast with support tweets, so I can see why he wants to turn off for awhile. He found his first home and on a good team. He will be missed, the big lovable lugJanuary 08, 2013 1:00 PM

  39. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Details:Amanda Comak‏@acomak Acc. to source, LaRoche's deal is $24 million guaranteed: $10m for '13, $12m for '14, $2m buyout of mutual opt for '15:

  40. Michael Harvey - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Still not sure how swapping out Morse for Span helps us, or that it was so crucial to "protect" Bryce by moving him out of CF.In fact I'll say that the Morse-Span swap is a step backwards in terms of offense, and probably in terms of chemistry.

  41. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    AND AN OPTION FOR 2015.. can't wait to get the full deatils.

  42. Candide - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    NatsJack in Florida said…BLASHEMY!!!!That's how you pronounce "blasphemy" when you've been drinking bourbon sans Maalox.

  43. BigCat - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    So Rizzo gambled and it paid off. He'd of had egg on his face if Laroche would of walked and Morse again came up with his mystery back ailment in spring training.

  44. The Fox - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    World Series or Bust!This is the best move for this year. If the team stays relatively healthy they should be fun to watch.Can't wait to see how Davey makes the line up. They could have a L,R,L line up with all 9 players with a righty on the mound. Rizzo won't give Mikey away but his days are numbered.

  45. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Somewhere down in Winterhaven Florida, Davey has a big giant grin on his face.

  46. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Candide….yep but no alchohol today. Just fat thumbs and a small screen.

  47. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    SJM-We are on the same page regarding Morse. The same people that say LH relief is overrated are the same ones saying to trade a guy who could hit 40 HR and 100+ RBI for relievers and SP prospects. I don't get why people care about depth in the minor leagues, most of whom have no place to play in DC, but don't think keeping a proven quantity like Morse on the big league club is of utmost importance…especially considering the World Series or bust expectations for 2013…AND you get a draft pick next year if he walks.

  48. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Feel, I realize you we're 100%sure LaRoche was gone but its ok to be wrong every now and then. Trust me.I have no problem being wrong. In case you haven't noticed, I never come on after something happens claiming "I was right, everyone else was wrong" like so many other people love to do. This is a discussion, not a competition. But if other people's egos are so fragile that they need to feel pumped up by being right on a blog discussion, then more power to them. Although if I was a psychiatrist I wouldn't be saying that, because it would be costing me work.

  49. Candide - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Hey, if you haven't already, go tweet a kind word to MM at @Dc_BEAST38. He's certainly earned it.

  50. NatsJack in Florida - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Michele….he's here in Winter Park. Lego Land is in Winter Haven.

  51. Theophilus T. S. - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    FW — A. Morse is a better hitter than Willingham. There will be more teams — including teams who need a power bat to be contenders — interested in him. B. Willingham was coming off an injury that dogged him through the end of the 2010 season. Morse worked through his injury and showed he was healthy the last half of the season.

  52. livernonions - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    Natsjack, thanks for the response. I understand the qualifying offer part, but I thought I'd read at some point that in-year acquisitions won't net a draft pick, so I was trying to see if anyone knew if that meant Morse would need to be on a roster by the opening of spring training, opening day or some other time between now and then.

  53. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    NJ.. HA! I can see Davey at LegoLand too!

  54. sjm308 - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    If we were the Yankees there would be no discussion of trading Morse.

  55. MikeinDC - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    Yeah for LaRoche and us! Know 3 yrs would have been nice but $26M should take care of the fam just fine.And I'm for holding on to Morse and trading later in the season. With health issues last year, one never knows if Morse's spot opens up before April's done.

  56. Richard Dassing - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    Excited about re-signing LaRoche, not so much about the thought of Michael Morse leaving.

  57. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    MicheleS said… AND AN OPTION FOR 2015.. can't wait to get the full deatils.Apparently a $2M buyout on a mutual option, AKA "a lovely parting gift" when his two years are up.

  58. Candide - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    BTW, getting back to the previous post, I always thought "Feel Wood" was the way Chico Escuela would pronounce "Phil Wood".

  59. NatsLady - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    My understanding (I haven't looked it up) is that as long as he is traded before the Rule 4 draft, the team he is trade TO would get the option of making him the qualifying offer. So he could get traded in April or May but not later. OTOH, as we've seen, it's better for his market value if he's traded later and doesn't have a draft pick attached to him. Very complex calculations on the part of the trading team(s).

  60. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    sjm308 said… If we were the Yankees there would be no discussion of trading Morse.Of course not, because the Yankees play in the AL and need a DH.

  61. Timothy Folk - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Deuces Span > Morse.. Got it done Mike!!

  62. Candide - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    sjm308 said…If we were the Yankees there would be no discussion of trading Morse.Or if we were any other team that could put a DH in the lineup.

  63. sm13 - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Definitely a bittersweet moment. Morse is a fan favorite and will be missed (presuming he is traded and Rizzo doesn't hold on to him as injury insurance). Adam makes our infield defense one of the best in baseball, which makes our pitching staff even better. I'm sure Bryce will be glad to see his little buddy Drake back in the clubhouse.

  64. Steady Eddie - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    NatsLady had the key phrase: that Morse will want to play full time in his "contract" year.That's also why Rizzo will not keep him unless he absolutely can't get a decent return — which is unlikely in Morse's walk year (and there should be enough competition for his services to keep the bidding at a fair level) — for the same reason he didn't try to keep and make deals for Lannan and Flores. He knew that whatever he could get in such deals would not be worth the loss of goodwill from free agents, now and in the future, who would be wary of signing with a team that tries to squeeze every last drop of marginal value out of every player rather than give those in that marginal position a chance on the FA market. To sit a true slugger on the bench during his late-arriving walk year (that Morse has spent his entire career waiting for) would not say to other FAs that this is a very inviting place to come.

  65. The Fox - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    It's not because of money that Rizzo will trade Morse it's because he won't get much playing time unless someone gets hurt.You probably would not get more for him mid-season if he has only 100 AB's or less. Morse would probably rather be traded then play part time. That said Rizzo won't give him away it could be possible that he will be with the Nat's for Spring training.

  66. Unknown - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    I have no doubt that Morse will have the superior offensive stats vs. LaRoche this year, but I am like-minded with those of you who drool at the thought of this defensive team taking the field in 2013. Wouldn't be surprised if:Laroche: .260-24-90Morse: .300-33-110But the Nationals are so strong as a team that LaRoche-even with a bit of a down year due to age–will strengthen the team with defense and leadership. Sad to see Morse go. I remember like yesterday looking up his stats after the Langerhans trade and thinking, "This doesn't make much sense." He had a .302 major league average with a .365 on-base percent in 291 at-bats and showed good power in the minors. He hit .250-3-10 in 52 at-bats his first season in DC and I wrote a story at Bleacher Report that based on that, if he got the chance to play a full season, he would hit .270-30-100.I got ridiculed for that, but in his first full season he hit .303-31-95. I got to meet him when I covered two Nationals' games in May for my local Idaho paper. In the locker room, guys that looked ripped and really big looked like guys you'd see walking down the street. But not Michael Morse. that man stood out. He seemed to be having more fun in that clubhouse than any of them. Bryce Harper (who would hit his first HR that night)looked serious, like a businessman going over a P&L statement and Tom Gorzelanny sat on the stool in front of his locker, reading a book off of a notepad. But man, you always knew were Morse was. And I think he was still on the DL at that time too. Fun guy for sure.the problem with having such a good team is that you develop close fan-player relationships and it hurts to see them leave. Farid @ Idaho

  67. sm13 - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    I'm with you Michele S — no playing poker with Mike Rizzo!

  68. NatsLady - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    Exactly. It's not that Morse is a clubhouse "cancer." But Rizzo's M.O. seems to be that he wants DC to be seen as place where free agents feel they will be fairly treated and their careers will be respected. That said, he is going to do what is best for the team, such as making Lannan sit in Syracuse, and only offering 2 years to ALR when a lot of people were saying, "Just pay the man."

  69. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Candide said… BTW, getting back to the previous post, I always thought "Feel Wood" was the way Chico Escuela would pronounce "Phil Wood".Bingo. Beisbol been berry berry good to me. Barbers and haberdashers, not so much.

  70. Section 222 - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Since when is expressing an opinion that differs from someone else's opinion "belittling" them?I'm not inclined to go to the video tape to find examples of belittling comments, but believe me, among the almost daily assertions that there was no way ALR would be back, that Rizzo had given up on him and moved on, etc., there were plenty.On Morse's value, I'll be surprised if the Nats get the kind of return we'd all like to see for a player of his talents. It has to be clear to other teams that Rizzo needs and wants to unload him. There's no room in the starting lineup for him, and he's really not a bench player. Rizzo and Davey can say until they're blue in the face that they content to keep him and have the best pinch hitter in baseball and the best National League DL, but no one will believe them. Especially when keeping him probably means that Tyler Moore goes to AAA.

  71. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    Feel, even if it's a nice parting present of $2M.. who cares, I am THRILLED to have him back.

  72. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    Fox-Someone ALWAYS gets hurt. LaRoche and Werth are no spring chickens and Span already has a lengthy injury history. Don't forget about Bryce and the 70% chance he will literally run through a wall!!! 10 games with a DH, probably at least 2 double-headers, always having a rested outfield and a good PH on the bench, and a trip to an AL park in the World Series are also pretty big incentives for me to want to keep him. Many will disagree, but I don't think Werth or Span are guaranteed anything in terms of playing time, either. See how things play out with Rendon, injuries, etc. before trading him.

  73. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Adam Kilgore‏@AdamKilgoreWP Ryan Zimmerman goes big-picture: "Amazing how things have changed. People used to not be able to get out of here. Now they want to stay."

  74. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    Its a happy day for some and sad for the extra man which is most likely Michael Morse.I'm surprised today was the day that ALR re-signed as he was waiting on Napoli.

  75. Water23 - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Fox,Agreed, it is likely that Morse may be on the spring training roster. Rizzo is smart and if there is a sweet deal to be made now then he will move Morse. But, Rizzo is certianly one capable of playing chicken with the best and may be willing hold onto him for spring training. Wait for the inevitable injury and swoop in with deal.

  76. sm13 - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Ghost — I read some reports this morning that Boston was optimistic about working things out with Napoli. Adam may have seen the handwriting on the wall.

  77. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    Theophilus T. S. said… FW — A. Morse is a better hitter than Willingham. There will be more teams — including teams who need a power bat to be contenders — interested in him.If Morse is a better hitter than Willingham, it's only marginally.B. Willingham was coming off an injury that dogged him through the end of the 2010 season. Morse worked through his injury and showed he was healthy the last half of the season.Morse was hurting in September and in the postseason.Basically, Morse and Willingham are the same player in the same situation. There's no basis for expecting Morse to bring back a better return in trade.

  78. The Fox - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Alphabet Soup,You are correct about injuries but the Nat's already have a back-up for 1st and for the outfield. MLB rumors already says 5 or 6 teams are talking to the Nat's already.I like Morse I think he could have a big year too but I think with his affordable contract and having to take only a one year risk Rizzo should get a few good offers.I'm sure if Morse has a big year and ALR regresses we will hear about it on this board ;-). Morse would rather play full time rather than part time for the Nat's especially in his walk year.

  79. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Oh, one other thing, Theophilus. I'm sorry for belittling you there.

  80. sm13 - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    By the way, my daughter tells me that Ryan Zimmerman's wedding is this Saturday. That could be a tough day for Michael…

  81. Unknown - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    I will miss Beast if/when he goes. Can we get someone to continue Take on Me (Desmond maybe?). Goosebumps just thinking about it in the playoffs.

  82. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    sm13 said… Ghost — I read some reports this morning that Boston was optimistic about working things out with Napoli. Adam may have seen the handwriting on the wall. January 08, 2013 1:40 PM That is probably it. Now that the deal is done, I didn't know for sure on this until now that the handshake deal for 2 years from Rizzo to LaRoche was open for LaRoche to grab when he was ready, and his side had told Rizzo that they were just waiting on Boston. That's probably earth shattering info but some insight into their relationship and Rizzo was true to his word.Unfortunately it cost Rizzo as the best time to have traded Morse would have been during the Winter Meetings and my hope is that Rizzo can get good return on a trade.

  83. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    Should have said "not earth shattering" info

  84. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    I read Brian Matusz for Morse rumors, but apparently the Orioles thought that was too much to give up.

  85. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    so any specific players/prospects anyone thinking of in Morse trade?I like McGee from Rays.

  86. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    Morse to Tampa Bay is the most likely destination as they were talking before. Nats would get a couple Minor Leaguers in return.The Orioles would have to blow the Nats away if he were to be traded there.

  87. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Ghost are you really sure the delay caused Morse's value to drop? I can see Seattle (good minor leagues), Rays (dealing with Friedman makes me nervous), O's (do nothing to help Angelos, NYY (rumored – but do they have a anything we want?) all to be interested. I am sure there are others as well. Heck, I am sure the Marlins would love to have him, although I wouldn NEVER want to trade anyone to Loria, Yuk.

  88. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Faraz, we are on the same page as this is just reigniting the previous talks with Tampa. Before they were discussing a #4 starter and now they can turn their attention to Minor League prospects.

  89. Diz - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    I think we will miss MM more than we think.My guess is that he will stay healthy this year and would have put up 30 HRs and +.300 AVG on this team. I know about the gap in Defense with ALR, but having him a full 2 years younger than ALR helps too. MM is still in that 5 year "prime of his career" window, while ALR is leaving his.

  90. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    part of me does want him traded to Os so I can keep seeing Morse regularly but then again, why would we (or DD) want to help Os contend next season? :P

  91. The Fox - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    My nephew in Seattle says that there is talk of Morse coming back and that a lefty Furbush is one of the players the Nat's are looking at.He is a big kid 6'5" and 215 lbs. so he sort of fits the Rizzo mold. I would expect there would be an additional player also. Not saying this is going to happen just speculation.

  92. Bzl. - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    This is great news! Somewhat sad about Mikey, but he'll flourish in the AL.Our defense is going to be just incredible!

  93. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    MicheleS, the highest value is when you have higher demand. Morse and JUpton were the 2 hottest trade chips in the Winter Meetings and since then a few teams have filled their needs.Luckily its getting done now rather than Spring Training but it should happen quickly.

  94. Candide - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    MicheleS said…Heck, I am sure the Marlins would love to have him, although I wouldn NEVER want to trade anyone to Loria, Yuk.Plus, I would never want to have to be in the position of having to root against Michael. I'd like to see him go to the AL, where he could thrive as a DH.

  95. Herb - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    For those that feel that the Nats should keep Michael Morse for backup corner outfield and first base, I think Tyler Moore will work just fine in that role.

  96. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Sweet!Playing hookie!Washington Nationals‏@Nationals OFFICIAL: The #Nats will host the #Yankees for an exhibition game at #Nats Park on March 29 at 2:05pm

  97. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Davey pretty much picked LaRoche and LaRoche it is until Rendon is ready I guess. Morse is a starter … but then so too are Tyler Moore and Stephen Lombardozzi … and Roger Bernadina … lots of potential trade bait there.

  98. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    The Fox, I hear Seattle was never serious about giving up prospects when they talked before. Maybe the Mariners see a fit. The best fit is in Tampa as Michael can fit 3 spots for them and give them time on Wil Meyers so I would think Morse to LF there and Desmond Jennings to CF. When Wil Meyers is ready, Morse can DH and play some 1st.That is a perfect fit for Tampa and they have the prospects to deal.

  99. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    peric said… Davey pretty much picked LaRoche and LaRoche it is until Rendon is ready I guess. Morse is a starter … but then so too are Tyler Moore and Stephen Lombardozzi … and Roger Bernadina … lots of potential trade bait there. January 08, 2013 2:02 PM Peric, your theory just took a 2 year backseat to my theory of Rendon to 2nd base.Time will tell.

  100. baseballswami - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    The reason Morse won't bring more in trade is that he is only a one year rental. That also means that we would have only had him one more year also, then he would be walking out the door. Don't feel too badly for him. One year from now he would have been seeking the big deal elsewhere. Yes, I will miss his personality, monster home runs and walk up music, but it's baseball. Once again, the Nats are blessed with too many good players. How ever will they cope? Now — ALR, check. On to a strategic trade, sp depth and a lefty reliever.

  101. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Ghost.. saw that Rendon has played a few games in his career at 2b (not many but a few) and that he has played some SS. Well, I am betting that like Machado, Rendon has secret practices as a 2B in the Minors all season, just in case.

  102. Doc - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Interesting that the comments focused on the Beast leaving, not ALR signing.RE: UnknownI also think that The Traded Beast will have better offensive numbers over the period of ALR's contract. Better than Willingham's!

  103. sm13 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    I wonder if Texas regrets signing Berkman, when they could have been in the mix for Morse and saved themselves several million dollars. (Of course, I really don't get the Berkman signing — how is he worth $10m+ at his age and his recent injury issues.)

  104. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    @ThomasBoswellWPSTEAL! LaRoche, 100rbi/GG, worth $40m/3yrs__JUST NOT TO NATS, overloaded at 1st. Nats admit it. Others=no guts to go 3yr & will regret it

  105. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    And Boz weighs in:Thomas Boswell‏@ThomasBoswellWPSTEAL! LaRoche, 100rbi/GG, worth $40m/3yrs __JUST NOT TO NATS, overloaded at 1st. Nats admit it. Others=no guts to go 3yr & will regret it

  106. natscan reduxit - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    … just read the great news. Without being too over-the-top, I'll simply say:YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!Go Adam! Go Nats!!

  107. Candide - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    I find there are two opposing themes/memes (could someone explain the difference to me?) going on here:1) Michael is going to be healthy and as a result, have a great contract year.2) Someone's going to get hurt; someone ALWAYS gets hurt. You just don't know who, unless Nick Johnson is still around.To keep Michael, BOTH of those things have to be true, and in the case of the second one, the injured guy has to be LaRoche.Keeping Michael on the chance that LaRoche is going to get injured is seriously hoping you're going to fill that inside straight (as long as we're using poker analogies). Especially since Adam has been pretty injury-free, apart from his injured-shoulder 2011.

  108. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Add it to my tab Ghost…

  109. Water23 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  110. Water23 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    The team this hurts the most is the D-Backs. They were hoping to get a major haul for Justin Upton or a minor haul for Kubel but Morse is right in between them. They already lost leverage in signing Ross and lose some more now that Morse is on the market.

  111. The Fox - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Ghost you're probably correct everything I read is Tampa is loaded with prospects. I looked up Furbush he did have a good year WHIP under 1 and 10.3 SO/9 and doesn't give up the long ball too often. I'll leave it up to Rizzo he has been a pretty good judge of talent so far :-).

  112. blovy8 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    The Orioles should have to give up more than Matusz. What role does he actually have in their future plans? It's BS. Maybe it stinks for Morse, but he hasn't actually established a record of consistent full season play, and he's too old to have potential. Having said that, he's still cheap for what he can give a team like the Orioles, Mariners, etc. who are in need of offense. If they think they can pull a 30HR guy off the scrapheap, good luck to them. They need to get their head out of the steroid era. Maybe they can sign Vlad again.

  113. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    I would be more open to trading him to a non-contender but then again, he could end up with a contender in July.Anyways, I have heard of Furbush on other site also. He is a bit old. and I am not sure how much you can be happy about his numbers against LH hitters since half the time he pitched in that ballpark. I am a bit skeptical about him.

  114. phil dunton - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    I wold rather keep The Beast and dump Werth but sadly with his contract and bad stats the last two years, Werth has no trade value.

  115. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    Peric-If Morse were to stay:A.) Who do you think is on the bench Opening Day (Morse, Werth or Span)B.) Who do you think should be on the bench Opening Day?BTW…just asking because I have seen you mention both Werth and Span as potential bench guys. I personally would rotate all 4 (LaRoche included) which gives everybody 3 out of every 4 games plus defensive replacements, PH opportunities, etc. The only problem is that you have Moore and Bernadina there also. Maybe Moore goes down so he can play every day. Who knows? I do know that Davey loves to have options!!!

  116. Eric - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    "With every other position on the field locked up through at least 2105"WOW! Now, that's planning ahead! ;)

  117. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    MicheleS said… Ghost.. saw that Rendon has played a few games in his career at 2b (not many but a few) and that he has played some SS. Well, I am betting that like Machado, Rendon has secret practices as a 2B in the Minors all season, just in case. January 08, 2013 2:07 PM You are correct that he has played 2nd base and he projects well there in a Placido Polanco role where he could always go back to 3rd. I see it as potentially great news for the Nats as 2nd base is the most glaring hole the Nats have as I'm not an Espinosa fan as you all know and have always been in "show me" mode with him. I expect + defense but can't get around Espi's lack of clutch aka "choke".For all the Espi supporters out there, this is his year to show that he can step up with the bat and it has to be more than cutting down on the K's, it has to be stepping up when he is in high leverage situations.

  118. Candide - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    blovy8 said…What role does he actually have in their future plans?Aren't all plans "future plans?"<…ducks…>

  119. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Candide, not if you are the Doctor.

  120. Water23 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Alphabet,Peric would say Morse and Span as the OF would be Harper, Brown and Werth!

  121. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    AS Erik, I want Moore on big league bench. His go ahead HR against Dickey and go ahead RBIs against STL reliever in Game 1 proved that he is a major leaguer.

  122. MicheleS - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Sweet, I get tickets in my plan:Tickets to see the Nationals take on the Yankees are included in all full, half or partial season ticket plans. In addition, tickets will be included in select mini and flex plans to be released in the coming weeks before single game tickets go on sale to the general public. Season ticket plans may be purchased at nationals.com/2013 or by calling 202.675.NATS(6287).

  123. Water23 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Ghost,How about dealing Morse & Espy together. Let Lombo play second for a year and groom Rendon?What would the return on a Morse/Espy package?

  124. Doug - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    @ Faraz – Paxton (#5 M's prospect, solid LHP SP prospect) and Furbish (great LH RP)

  125. NatsLady - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. They are entitled to say what they would do if they were Rizzo, they are entitled to say what they THINK Rizzo will do, they are entitled to say they think Rizzo is wrong or right, or to predict certain moves will work out or won't.Where I get off the train is when commenters say what Rizzo WILL do (or HAS done but hasn't made public)–as if there is information being shared that the rest of us either don't have or are too idiotic to figure out. There was no reason at all to think that Davey didn't want ALR back or that Rizzo had not made a good-faith two year offer. To state flatly that the public statements of both Davey and Rizzo were completely opposite to what they intended to do is carrying conspiracy theories too far for me.Also, "haters gonna hate" is not a helpful comment. In my opinion. /rant offI think Davey wanted ALR back because he wants veterans who can handle themselves (and handle criticism, as LaRoche did several times) so that he can focus on the development of his favorite youngsters (like Danny) in whom he sees talent but problems. That is nothing against Morse. Nothing at all. But I saw that as the year went on, Davey got more and more settled into his regular line-up, his rotation (which he never varied as some managers do for off-days and rainouts) and his bullpen management. He expects guys to produce in their "roles." Davey dealt with injuries and around tinkered until he "solved" the roster puzzle, and then he let it go. That might not always be best–sometimes you wished he had been more willing to go with the "hot hand"–but that's what he does.

  126. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Faraz-Moore is definitely a major leaguer, but with his approach, he is probably better off getting to play every day to start the season as a young player rather than once or twice a week in order to get his timing down.

  127. blovy8 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Candide, he went from starter to reliever. The next stop is Home Depot.

  128. Doug - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    @ Faraz – Furbush is 26….i wouldn't say thats a bit old….he would come straight into the LOOGY, middle relief role

  129. Get Some Players - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    So if Morse goes, does that open up a spot for Corey Brown?

  130. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Doug, Furbush is 26 but has approx only two years experience at big stage as a reliever. He has pitched mainly in pitchers' park so I am hesitant to rely on his numbers too eagerly. For Hammer's one year, we got HRod and Brown. I am sure we can do better than Furbush.You suggested Paxton and Furbush. I would take that but I don't know if Ms would do that.

  131. blovy8 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    It would be silly to ask for guys like Taijuan Walker or Danny Hultzen from the Mariners, but there's no reason to settle for Furbush in a Morse trade. Why not spend 3 million on Howell for a year?

  132. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    Water23 said… Ghost,How about dealing Morse & Espy together. Let Lombo play second for a year and groom Rendon?What would the return on a Morse/Espy package? January 08, 2013 2:19 PM I don't think Rizzo is going to deal Danny now and especially in a Morse package. His value was high when they were looking at JUpton and a top line starting pitcher and teams were filling their holes at shortstop.Rizzo still likes Danny. Me, I would go to Lombo if the trade value was good for Espi.

  133. Tcostant - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Don't discount Morse to Boston, I real last week that they like Morse better than ALR and can still just move on from Napoli.

  134. LoveDaNats - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    MM- I don't want you to go! Please stay! ALR- I'm happy beyond belief that you re-signed.It's like a mom having to choose between her kids. Just stinks.

  135. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Get some Players, ALR replaces Morse.AS Erik, Davey also likes big hairy-chested guy capable of swinging the game in Nats' favor by one swing off the bench. Moore is that kind of guy. I think he stays as bench.

  136. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Werth has no trade value.He also has a no-trade clause.

  137. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    GoSM, I am sure if Rizzo made espinosa available, he would have a better trade market than Morse. control and position are two things that drive espi's value, besides his production offensively and defensively.To me, trading your starting 2B now does not make sense since we have all our team set. You only move him if the return is huge and helps immediately.

  138. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    I think we are all missing another fairly obvious point here as well, in that Morse may have a very large say in where he gets traded (if he does get traded). His willingness to sign an extension will make a huge difference in what Rizzo can bring back in a trade. I don't see a team giving up much for a 1 year rental.

  139. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Tcostant, it has to work both ways with teams. Boston is rebuilding and doesn't want to give up prospects.Tampa is prospect rich.

  140. Doug - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Yea, Furbush for Morse straight up is a joke….zero chance of Rizzo doing that. The M's have way more pitching prospects than they know what to do with. I think they would seriously consider Paxton and Furbush for Morse, even though you only get 1 year of Morse, because they know they will get the draft pick when he hits Free Agency. Get the LH reliever we need this year in Furbush and a great prospect in Paxton (without the M's giving up their top 2 pitching prospects)

  141. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Erik, excellent point on a sign w/ extension like Toronto did with Dickey, but there are also some teams that really like the flexibility of a 1 year deal like Tampa.

  142. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Erik, just to also say, Morse can't dictate where he is traded to as the Nats can deal him to any team.

  143. blovy8 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Tcostant, what would you ask for from Boston?If Morse stays, you have TMoore back in AAA with options or as possibly just as big a trade piece. With LaRoche around in 2014, he's probably not going to get a decent shot either. I don't think they're in an either/or situation where they NEED a prospecty return like they did with Willingham. And if they're aren't atbats for Morse, that would be a REALLY fortunate season akin to the luck the Nats had in the rotation last year. As much as the party line is that Span is healthy, he did have concussion issues, it wouldn't be dumb to keep the depth in the majors rather than in AAA.

  144. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Out of curiosity, can Nats trade Morse to a Japanese team? I doubt it but can someone please confirm.

  145. blovy8 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Unless Morse looks like he's worth 13+ million in 2014, no one is getting a pick. That would seem to be a stretch.

  146. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said… GoSM, I am sure if Rizzo made espinosa available, he would have a better trade market than Morse. control and position are two things that drive espi's value, besides his production offensively and defensively.To me, trading your starting 2B now does not make sense since we have all our team set. You only move him if the return is huge and helps immediately. January 08, 2013 2:31 PM I agree with you and I am thinking the same way as you there. No reason to trade Espi right now unless someone blew you away with an offer.At the end of Novemeber, the thinking was different. The Nats needed an outfielder and a starting pitcher. They got Span and they got Haren and shifted Morse to 1st.The only thing the Nats readily could use is an above average LH reliever and propects and a controllable starter with MiLB options that is closer to the Majors than what the Nats currently have.

  147. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said… Out of curiosity, can Nats trade Morse to a Japanese team? I doubt it but can someone please confirm. January 08, 2013 2:36 PM Only with his permission which won't happen. This is Morse's contract year.

  148. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Morse is less likely to sign an extension now than look for a FA deal next off-season due to injuries he had this past season and his below average production at the plate. I am guessing he would like to improve his value this next season and earn more than he deserves (like everyone else in baseball except trout, harper, and stanton) next off-season.I just checked that Paxton is rated as #5 Ms prospect by MLB and FG. That's pretty high value for Morse. I don't think we are getting him.

  149. The Fox - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Doug,Didn't see your post before on Furbush, Yea I would think it would take more then just one player to make the trade. I do know Rizzo likes big pitchers.Ghost,You are correct for some teams having Morse signed for only one year is an advantage it negates the risk of maybe Morse not being a star player. I think that Rizzo could wait until seeing who loses out on the Justin Upton trade and Morse could be the consolation prize.

  150. Water23 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    Morse to Seattle makes sense. Especially, if he is willing to sign an extension as part of the deal. They might even kick the tires on Bourn as well. His asking price has to have come down and adding Morales, Morse, Ibanez and Bourn plus low risk options like Bay will go a long way towards making them competitive in the brutal AL West.

  151. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    Ghost-You are right. The problem with dealing with Tampa is that they have proven themselves to be pretty smart. Morse does fit perfectly there on a one-year deal and would make an already good team that much better. I personally would rather trade him to Seattle, Cleveland or even the O's (teams that seemingly don't really have a shot at the World Series next year), but I guess you have to take the best deal. Speaking of Dickey, I honestly think Morse should be valued at about the same price.

  152. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    Ghost Of Steve M. said… Erik, just to also say, Morse can't dictate where he is traded to as the Nats can deal him to any team.Yeah, I was speaking more of an informal conversation that turns this into a win-win for both parties.

  153. Water23 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    Alphabet,Unless Machado or Wieters is coming back in the deal there is little chance the Nats trade with the O's. With all the issues related to MASN, I cannot see who Rizzo gets the Lerners to go along.

  154. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    The Fox said… Ghost,You are correct for some teams having Morse signed for only one year is an advantage it negates the risk of maybe Morse not being a star player. I think that Rizzo could wait until seeing who loses out on the Justin Upton trade and Morse could be the consolation prize. January 08, 2013 2:41 PM Morse has a smaller contract which makes him more attractive to more teams and the asking price is lower.Morse will be traded before JUpton IMHO.

  155. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    'The only thing the Nats readily could use is an above average LH reliever and propects and a controllable starter with MiLB options that is closer to the Majors than what the Nats currently have.'That seems like a reasonable return for Morse/Danny package. The only reason I would be uncomfortable doing this is that we are assuming rendon eventually takes over espi's spot in the lineup but his health has not proven this yet. and how eager Nats FO will be letting Rendon's knees attempt same plays that danny has over last two seasons. I am not too big of a Lombo fan so I would consider having him at 2B for two seasons or more a downgrade from Espi.thanks for checking in with foreign trade bit.

  156. RickH - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    Good news! But I too will miss The Beast.

  157. Doug - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    blovy8 said…Unless Morse looks like he's worth 13+ million in 2014, no one is getting a pick. That would seem to be a stretch.If Morse plays a full season in his contract year, I don't think its a stretch to see a 300 avg and 850 OPS line with 30 HR…I would say thats worth offering the 1 year $13M and Morse declining…of course the stretch might be that he plays a full year

  158. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    Alphabet Soup Erik said… Ghost-You are right. The problem with dealing with Tampa is that they have proven themselves to be pretty smart. Tampa needs a short-term fix until Wil Meyers is ready and Morse is the perfect fit. Yep, Tampa is tough as nails to trade with when they are trading their veterans. A little easier if they are trading prospects who are blocked.Yes, its painful trading with Tampa.

  159. 3on2out - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    I was absolutely sure Adam would get 3 years somewhere. I am pleasantly surprised and happy to be wrong!

  160. JaneB - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    I am so, so sad about Michael Morse. So sad. He was the spark that kept so many people awake two years ago, in his break out season. His love for the game and the guys and DC is huge. I can't believe Denard is better than the outfield we had last year, or better than being able to keep Morse. I would have been sad about losing ALR, I guess, But not this sad. I'm surprised how much this has whammed me, even though I guessed it might come to this. ANd if he goes to the Red Sox or Mariners, that's like being condemned to losing the rest of his career. I clearly could never be a GM. So don't anybody call me names, okay?

  161. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Water, here's the conversation;Duquette: Mike buddy, we want Morse.Rizzo: Unless you are trading me Bundy, Gausman or Machado, save your voice and hangup.Dial tone…………..

  162. blovy8 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Paxton for Morse would be a reasonable deal.

  163. Section 222 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    Can we get someone to continue Take on Me (Desmond maybe?). Goosebumps just thinking about it in the playoffs.Maybe the Nats have finally found their Sweet Caroline type song for the 7th inning.

  164. Teddy Rochlis - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    lets see a Cy young winner or a power bat on a one year contract that struggles defensively i wonder which is better ?? Its not even close sorry Morse can't touch Dickey value wise

  165. The Fox - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Ghost,If Morse is traded soon, in a day or 2 then Rizzo had this deal in the wings when they signed ALR. Rizzo has time he can wait for a deal he likes, unless he really is worried about a LH reliever which I agree with you he is not. The Upton trade may never happen? I would think it is in the D-backs interest to trade him but who knows what they want and Upton is going to cost a lot more. The two probably are individual events. But sometimes the jilted party feels they need to do something for their fan base.

  166. John C. - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    I can't see the Nationals trading with the Rays, because the Rays never trade value for value. If you look at their deals, they pay pennies on the dollar. Which is smart if you can do it, but pretty dumb if you accept it. I don't think Rizzo does.

  167. Diz - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Michelle,I was told by my Nats rep that the Yankees game will be a day game on Friday. (I guess it's already up on the website (2:05 pm) and then another day game on Monday to start the season.For those of you working a day job like me….gonna make for a long weekend. ;-)

  168. Section 222 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:57 PM

    Of course, we can't be sure no one offered ALR three years. Only that if he was, he preferred to come back to DC and win some championships. Even better.

  169. baseballswami - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    What a day of mixed feelings. Also kind of a strange week in washington. The football team lost a postseason game and perhaps their superstar, hockey is back, the wizards won a game, Adam is staying, Morse is probably going. I thought the week after the holidays was supposed to be some kind of a quiet, let down week. Yikes. I truly do have mixed feelings about this event. I am glad Adam is returning, but hate to see Mikey go – trying to keep in mind that he would have left in a year anyway.

  170. blovy8 - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    Tampa is crazy if Myers isn't up after his super-2 point in 2013. They probably think 6.75m is too much to pay for Morse as well.

  171. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    3on2out said… I was absolutely sure Adam would get 3 years somewhere. I am pleasantly surprised and happy to be wrong! January 08, 2013 2:51 PM In October I thought he would, but as the market sorted out and the GMs tested the waters with these Qualifying Offers, it seemed to make it a tougher sell for an older player.Personally I would have retained Morse and waited for LaRoche to sign with someone and taken the Comp pick.Rizzo took care of LaRoche and you hope that it pays dividends.1. Span2. Werth3. Harp4. Zim5. LaRoche6. Desmond7. Espi8. RamozukiL R L R L R S R That will be tough for any opposing team to pitch against.

  172. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 8, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    Diz, I am just gonna skip work. Baseball in months against usual workday?

  173. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    Teddy-Dickey is a 1 year wonder and is 38 years old. He didn't exactly get an overwhelming contract (4 years and $41 million), in fact, I would be willing to bet that Morse will get a bigger one in 2014.

  174. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    blovy8 said… Tampa is crazy if Myers isn't up after his super-2 point in 2013. They probably think 6.75m is too much to pay for Morse as well. January 08, 2013 2:59 PM Tampa still has payroll flexibility and remember each team got a $20 million stream of new revenue from the national TV rights deals.Myers will probably be up in June I would think after Super 2.

  175. Faraz Shaikh - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    I have to agree with teddy. Paxton would be an overpay on Ms part.

  176. Drew - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Farewell, hacker of Gorse. Prediction on Mikey's next Tweet:I'll be gonein a day or twooooooooooooooooooooo

  177. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Section 222 said… Of course, we can't be sure no one offered ALR three years. Only that if he was, he preferred to come back to DC and win some championships. Even better. January 08, 2013 2:57 PM I don't think he was offered any decent deals. Of course the Orioles never materialized. ALR would have been the perfect fit for them and they couldn't pull the arm on the cash register. Sad for their fanbase. He would have peppered Eutaw Street.

  178. baseballswami - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Oh, no – that's Good Friday, major Christian holiday. Big work day for me. But opening day looks like the day after Easter :) I will definitely need some recuperation at the ball park! It is making me so happy to even be talking about this.

  179. Teddy Rochlis - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    First off Dickey is not a one year wonder look at his last 3 years, and with knuckleballers they tend to get better as they age and don't come at me with some war arguements look at the hard stats dickey is a 1 on 27 staffs the 3 he's not is the Tigers, Dodgers, and maybe rays or nats. Dickey is good and he is not a one hit number the fact you said that Michael Morse's and R.A. Dickey values are the same is laughably. Someone else help me out here

  180. JD - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:13 PM

    On MM: 1) I think he will be moved in fairly short order. 2) I think the fans are exaggerating the potential return. 3) I prefer better lower level prospects to almost ready low ceiling prospects.

  181. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    The Yankees are now delaying pulling the trigger on Scott Hairston until they can see if they could snag Morse. Interesting.

  182. JD - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    Ghost, I don't see Rendon in any position other than 3rd base for reasons I covered many times. He has not exactly been a picture of health and you don't want to put him in a position which has the most traffic on the infield. I still feel that Rendon's greatest value to the Nats will be through the trade market. I don't think that players like Bernadina or Lombo will bring back anything significant back in a trade.

  183. sjm308 - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    Back from the gym and there have been over 125 posts since I left!!It looks like even Erik has been beaten down by the rational posters. I am well aware my plan to keep Morse is not realistic but as faux GM its my plan. Again, I sign him to a two year extension to make him happy. This also increases trade value as a team won't just have a one year wonder to deal with (I do agree with Ghost that certain teams might actually like that). If Morse is happy, we are winning and everyone is getting along I just don't see how this isn't a win/win.My comment about the Yankees had nothing to do with the dh or American League. I hate the Yankees but what do they do when they need a piece? They buy it! I realize they have not had great success lately but their lineup is still stacked and that is what Morse would give us as well.I realize my idea is not a solid baseball move but I like thinking outside the box and just can't see losing Morse for prospects. That is the exact opposite of what Rizzo did to the A's. If we trade anyone, I think Moore is the guy that brings us prospects and he is now blocked for at least two more years. Soooo in recap -1. Extend Morse2. If you have to trade anyone, trade Moore3. Win the 2013 World Series.see, its simple

  184. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    I liked this quote from ALR (via Kilgore): "In no way do I consider this a bad deal. To be honest, we all make way more than we should, anyway. Either way, it's a ton of money."

  185. JD - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    The fact that this is Morse's walk year is not a negative to acquiring teams; in case you haven't noticed teams like the flexibility of 1 year deals especially at team friendly contracts. Believe me no one is rushing to give MM an extension just yet.

  186. natsfan1a - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Also liked this one (via Comak's Tweeter): "LaRoche said his kids were all in on DC. Every time another team was presented to 'em it was 'No, no, no. We want to go back to Washington.'"(Well played, kids. :-))

  187. Water23 - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  188. Water23 - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    Ghost,Or the conversation could have gone – Duquette: Mike buddy, we want Morse.Rizzo: Sure, let us out of the MASN deal and he is yours for the famed PTBNL.Dial tone…………..;)

  189. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    Water, I just fell off my chair laughing. I detest the way the Orioles do business. Duquette has to be banging his head against the wall. I think they have done nothing this off-season and waiting for the garbage to wash up along the shore like they always do.

  190. Water23 - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    Ghost,Agreed. Not sure why they didn't sign ALR? Even if it took a 3 yr deal, he would mash a ton of HRs off that short RF porch.

  191. Nattering Nat - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    So glad, yet so sad. Can't decide if it was harder watching favorite players get traded back when the Nats had very few of them, or now when it's for a "better" reason. Doesn't make it easier for me.I LOVE, LOVE. LOVE watching the Beast bat. If Dunn was a modern version of Frank Howard, the Beast has that and a lot more. And yes, my eyes are open as to what he can't do in LF. Like others, I just figure someone in the infield and/or outfield will be dinged soon enough, so I want to have my cake and eat it, too, meaning Morse stays. Odds are he will have a monster year–elsewhere. Also, as much as I like ALR, Morse to me got many more key hits, when healthy.Anyway, this is hard, as the Rizzo handwriting is really already on the wall this time, for once. Chances of Morse still being here come spring are slim and none.

  192. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    JD, we will have to see on Rendon. Side wager for 2 drinks, I say Rendon sees time at 2nd base this year.

  193. sjm308 - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    Ghost, can you imagine being an Orioles fan and hearing all the talk, year after year about signing x-y-z and in the long run all you get is Nate McClouth for 1 million dollars.

  194. Alphabet Soup Erik - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Teddy-If Dickey were as valuable as you claim, then why are guys like Nick Swisher and Edwin Jackson getting more money than he got. Not saying either is better, but both are seemingly more valuable at this point in their careers. Morse is a very good hitter. I think you underestimate what he has shown the last 3 years and what is still to come. The guy can hit. At 38, I would be very afraid of banking on Dickey to do what he did last year for 4 more years.

  195. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    sjm308 said… Again, I sign him to a two year extension to make him happy. This also increases trade value as a team won't just have a one year wonder to deal with (I do agree with Ghost that certain teams might actually like that). If Morse is happy, we are winning and everyone is getting along I just don't see how this isn't a win/win.I think it will happen as I stated above that any extension will be in the form of how Toronto handled Dickey. There would be a deal in principle contingent on the acquiring team doing a new contract.

  196. Section 222 - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    I say Rendon sees time at 2nd base this year.You mean in the minors, right?

  197. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    JD, we will have to see on Rendon. Side wager for 2 drinks, I say Rendon sees time at 2nd base this year.He'll be at third base all year … and then you'll owe me probably at least 101 drinks given the amount of grief ….

  198. Feel Wood - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    If we trade anyone, I think Moore is the guy that brings us prospects and he is now blocked for at least two more years.Moore is little more than a prospect himself. He's not going to return prospects (plural), unless you think Rizzo is Jesus and Moore is a loaf of bread and five fishes.I am well aware my plan to keep Morse is not realistic but as faux GM its my plan. Again, I sign him to a two year extension to make him happy.The only way Morse is going to be happy with a two-year extension to be a bench player is if he's getting paid starter money, probably with a markup added on to offset the unhappiness of not playing. Thus Rizzo would end up paying Morse as much or more to sit on the bench for two years as he's paying LaRoche to play. And if LaRoche falters and Morse ends up starting it's the same situation in reverse. Ain't happening.

  199. peric - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Of course with Kobernus gone through rule 5 … that would have been 2nd base at Syracuse …

  200. Nattering Nat - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    It helps to see swami's comment that Morse was probably gone in a year anyway. But then again, who knows? The Nats are going to have to get into the habit of spending big on extensions to keep the team more or less intact. They got away without doing so with Adam, but why not start with Morse? Regrettably, I think I know why, Morse doesn't have enough versatility to fit into long-term plans. I don't agree in this case, I think they still need his bat.

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