Originally written January 11, 2013 on Bronx Pinstripes:
Hal Steinbrenner and the Yankees aren’t finished this offseason. Even though Spring Training is right around the corner, Steinbrenner assured the fans that the team is not done making moves and that they’ve “got some work to do.” While sticking to the plan of getting below payroll for 2014, Steinbrenner also added that he would only let that happen if he felt the team was “championship-caliber.” He acknowledged the team’s need for another hitter, and the answer may be in the nation’s capital. When Adam LaRoche resigned with Washington, outfielder Mike Morse was thought to be available; the Yankees came calling quickly. Yesterday, it was reported that the Yanks had “nothing alive” with regards to Morse, a valuable power-bat in a scarce market. However, according to the YES Network’s Jack Curry, Washington wasn’t ready to listen to trades from other teams, but eventually, the Yanks and Nats will discuss a deal. Morse, 30, has been in the league since 2005 but was relatively unknown. After four quiet seasons in Seattle, where he played in 107 games total, he burst onto the scene in DC in 2010 when he hit .289 with 15 homers, 41 RBIs and a .352 OBP in just 98 games. In 2011, his best year, Morse went .303, 31 homers, 95 RBIs and a .360 OBP in 146 games. Morse will only make $7 million this year, and will become a free agent at season’s end. His low price tag and versatility make him a near perfect fit for the Yankees. He would platoon with Ichiro in right field, or even give Mark Teixeira a day off at first base. It was reported that Morse would heavily oppose being the DH, which is something the Yankees would probably like for him to do from time to time. However, the Nationals have said they will not “give” the man they call “The Beast” away. They’d likely want some value in return, most notably lefty-relief and solid prospects. Would the Yankees be willing to give up Boone Logan in a deal? In the coming days, expect trade talks between both clubs, as well as other teams. The Red Sox are reportedly interested as well, which could make for a fun bidding war.
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