Report: Nats shopping Morse

morse_8-9.png

Report: Nats shopping Morse

In acquiring center fielder Denard Span, the Nationals now have to figure out what they do with Michael Morse. Do they bring him back into the infield and place him at first? This is only if they are giving up on retaining Adam LaRoche.

The other option is to trade Morse and, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, it appears that is their first option. Stark spoke to an American League source who says the Nats are “definitely shopping Mike Morse a little bit.” 

Morse will be 31 on Opening Day and has one year left on a two-year deal. After 2013 a move to the A.L. would be logical, especially with his size (245 lbs) and style of play. It is not surprising the Nats have contacted American League teams to gauge interest. 

Morse is a fan favorite, but the power-hitter’s value could be at an all-time high. The Nats are unlikely to re-sign him after 2013 and trading him now is better than midseason. The slugger has become a star in Washington, but could benefit long-term by changing leagues.

But trading Morse all relies on the ability to bring back LaRoche, a situation the team has less control over. For LaRoche to return, it depends on him accepting a deal. To send Morse out the door all the Nats have to do is find a trade partner. This would suggest a deal gets done with LaRoche, either in Washington or elsewhere, before the team makes a move on Morse.

LaRoche is the best first baseman available in this year’s free agency, but if Morse is to be had, he could present a better option for some teams at the position. They would likely have to give up prospects to trade for him, but Morse is younger than LaRoche and won’t require a new contract until 2013. Of the teams looking for a first baseman and being tied to LaRoche, will they now consider Morse?

The asking price for Morse, however, is probably pretty high. Teams with deep farm systems would seem to have the edge. That may eliminate some teams that have been linked to LaRoche. Take for example the Red Sox and Orioles, neither team would seem willing to part with their young building blocks. And neither are deep at pitcher which the Nationals are still looking to secure if Edwin Jackson signs with another team.

Neither option for the Nationals, re-signing LaRoche or trading Morse, will be as easy as it sounds. But both players give the Nats good options at first base. Only one of them will be back in 2013, but which one will the Nationals keep?

Nats open highly-anticipated series with Cubs looking to make statement

chasenationalsrefframe_1.jpg

Nats open highly-anticipated series with Cubs looking to make statement

Nationals (19-8) at Cubs (20-6)

After a successful road trip the Missouri whichs aw the Nationals best the reigning world champion Royals and the always dangerous Cardinals, they must do battle with MLB's best team: The Chicago Cubs.

The Nationals and Cubs are both considered top contenders to win the 2016 World Series, and while that is still months away, their first encounter will provide a small sampling of how the two teams stack up.

On top of that, Ben Revere, who suffered an oblique strain in the first week of the season, is expected to make his return to the roster in Chicago.

First pitch: 8:05 p.m.
TV: MASN
Radio: 106.7 The Fan, XM 869
Starting pitchers: Nats - Joe Ross vs. Cubs - Kyle Hendricks

NATIONALS

CF Michael Taylor

3B Anthony Rendon

RF Bryce Harper

1B Ryan Zimmerman

2B Daniel Murphy

LF Jayson Werth

C Wilson Ramos

SS Danny Espinosa 

RHP Joe Ross

 

CUBS

CF Dexter Fowler

3B Tommy La Stella

RF Kris Bryant

1B Anthony Rizzo

2B Ben Zobrist

LF Ryan Kalish

SS Addison Russell

C Tom, Federowicz

RHP Kyle Hendricks

Follow along with GameView here

VIDEO: Carlin walks off over 'contract year' argument with Brian Mitchell

contractyearbmitchrobrefframe_1.jpg

VIDEO: Carlin walks off over 'contract year' argument with Brian Mitchell

Watch the full exchange from SportsTalk Live in the video player above, which will begin momentarily.

Stephen Strasburg is off to a strong start with the Washington Nationals as he sets the foundation for how much his next contract will be worth. 

That became a point of contention Wednesday night on SportsTalk Live when co-host Rob Carlin brought up the idea that, if Strasburg indeed finishes strong, the Nationals will need to discern whether this is the start of a sustainable uptick in production or the product of a contract year. 

Brian Mitchell took exception to that entire notion, saying that it is illogical to think that players play better simply because they are in a contract year. 

The argument evolved from there until Carlin couldn't take it anymore -- and walked off the set. Watch the exchange above.

Revere expected to return to Nationals for series vs. Cubs

2016-05-04t02-58-11.252z-1280x720.jpg

Revere expected to return to Nationals for series vs. Cubs

By DAVE SKRETTA

TRAINER'S ROOM:

OF Ben Revere (right oblique strain) will join the Nationals in Chicago on Thursday and be evaluated before being activated. He played nine innings in centerfield for Triple-A Syracuse in his fifth rehab game on Tuesday.