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Beltway Baseball: Should the Nats sign Morse?

Oct 9, 2013, 11:01 AM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

As the Nationals look towards 2014, they will likely opt for more experience off their bench and hopefully bring with that more depth in case of injury. In this episode of Beltway Baseball, Mark and I discuss whether the Nats should look at a familiar name to fill that role, free agent Michael Morse.

Morse left the Nats looking to prove himself for a longterm contract as an everyday player, but the season didn’t play out like he had hoped. He battled injuries and hit just .215 through 88 games.

Now that the slugger finds himself entering the free agent market, should his former team take a look?

  1. Ghost of Steve M. - Oct 9, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Chase, it was announced yesterday Morse is having wrist surgery. I guess that could put him in recovery mode. When will he be back to full strength.

  2. sunshinebobby - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    They should, but they won’t. Outfield is filled and TyMo is the backup first basemen. I’d still love to have the guy just for the Mojo.

    • therealjohnc - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      It’s hard to give up a roster slot to a guy with no position, little defensive flexibility, and who is coming off of wrist surgery.

  3. acethehammer - Oct 9, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Not just yes, but heck yes!

  4. Theophilus T.S. - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    Not unless (1) he’s completely healthy (which might mean June or July); (2) they’re going to keep him and use him (it’s not an experiment); (3) he’s cheap (e.g., $1MM for one year plus bonuses per 100 AB plus an affordable option either way, including buyout); (4) he really wants to be here (which I doubt given how much behind-the-back chatter accompanied his leaving).

    They don’t need two Tyler Moores/Michael Morses on the roster if both are healthy. Which is why Morse must be completely healthy if they are to sign him. And I don’t see how he can reach that point by ST or even Opening Day. He may be so damaged he has to sign a MiLB contract.

  5. 1stwilkescountynatsfan - Oct 9, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    I like him, but like Theo said, we don’t have the spot for him unless he wants to be the big hairy chested bench guy that will only get around 200 ABs on the year. His contract year didn’t go as well as he had hoped, but he will still probably command more salary than what we can afford for a DH/PH’er.

    My guess is he will probably land a starting job in Houston.

  6. Whack-A-Mule - Oct 9, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    Mr. Morse is universally beloved, both in the clubhouse and the stands.
    When he is healthy, he can hit a ton.
    He comes with 2 “unfortunatelies” attached, however.
    Unfortunately(1) Mr. Morse is a defensive liability;
    appalling in the outfield, merely handless and clumsy around 1st base.
    Unfortunately(2) Mr. Morse is often injured, a major retardant to his career in Washington and Seattle. The net result is an American League-only Designated Hitter who might play in 2/3 of the season.

    The Nationals have several bench openings, but right-handed pinch-hitter (with a rare stint with the leather)
    is not likely one of them (Scott Hairston being under contract already for 2014). A major reason that Mr. Morse was traded away was his price-tag, being too high for a pure bench player. That has not changed; Morse is unlikely to sign a contract with the Nationals; his best bet remains the DH market in the AL, for which he is a natural fit.

    The Nationals will remain in the market for an experienced veteran left-handed pinch hitter. (Perhaps Mr. DeJesus has tired of Florida ?)

  7. dhamm6500 - Oct 9, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Uhhhh….no

  8. therealjohnc - Oct 9, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Yankees re-sign Joe Girardi as manager: 4 years, $16 million + bonuses: (http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/10/yankees-re-sign-joe-girardi.html)

    Go Girardi stays in NY, Nats’ manager looks to be between Randy Knorr, Matt Williams and Cal Ripken. According to the WaPo, Dusty Baker’s agent called the Nationals to let them know that he is interested. I may give him a coutesy interview, but if they hire Dusty I’m dumping my 20 game plan. Do not want!

  9. sjm308 - Oct 9, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    I really wanted Rizzo to keep Morse last year as that super bench guy. I was basing that totally on his offensive production and did not realize what a defensive liability he was until reading all the stats provided here and elsewhere. My thoughts echo most of the ones read here that if we can sign him really cheap and if he is healthy then maybe and I will not be upset if it doesn’t get done. I am not sure Morse sees himself yet as that bench player and that could actually do damage in the clubhouse if he sulks.. He brought great joy to fans in 2012 but he was starting and contributing. I am not sure how much joy there was in his last two months when he had a total of 6 hits and was suffering from an injury (see Espinosa, Danny). I think I pass on this unless you can get him at a minor league contract with lots of incentives. There is honestly not a spot for him on this roster at this time.

    Go Nats!!

  10. sjm308 - Oct 9, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    I do not even want Dusty Baker interviewing. Hell with professional courtesy. He is not what our young team needs right now. I don’t think I would go as far as John C because I love my baseball but that would not be the kind of sign I want from my front office.

    • texnat1 - Oct 9, 2013 at 3:41 PM

      I can’t imagine Baker would be an option. He is the polar opposite of Rizzo on handling pitchers. Would make no sense. A complete schizophrenic hire.

  11. texnat1 - Oct 9, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    If he is heatlhy and cheap, then he is certainly an upgrade to Tyler Moore. Probably not going to happen though. He would be better off getting a starting gig with a lesser team in hopes of landing more good contract the year after.

  12. chaz11963 - Oct 9, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    Sure bring back Mike Morse and platoon him with LaRoche at 1B. Given his injury issues, it’s a risk and he might end up terrible at the plate and terrible in the field… but the reality is he would be super low price right now. Sign him cheap for one year and try him part-time as LaRoche’s platoon partner. You have to acknowledge the magic with The Beast and the Nats. If it doesn’t work out, let him go. Let T-Mo see if he can put up great numbers in AAA for a while. If he does that then maybe bring him back as you can. .

  13. Sonny G 10 - Oct 9, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    I would say no to Michael Morse. We don’t have a regular spot for him and he is unproven as a pinch hitter. That is in addition to injury problems. We should be looking for a longer term solution.

  14. kirbs3256 - Oct 9, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    If I was a betting man, Big Mickey will be in Houston with Bo Porter.

  15. natsfan95 - Oct 9, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Morse isn’t going to want to be a bench player for the Nats after having been a starter. That would be like agreeing to a demotion. I think he’d be happier playing every day for another (if lesser) team. Hopefully he will have a banner 2014 and post good enough stats to snag a multi-year contract somewhere else.

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