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Report: Nats shopping Morse

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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?

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2017 ballpark foods that are way better than peanuts and Cracker Jack

2017 ballpark foods that are way better than peanuts and Cracker Jack

Back in the olden days, cotton candy or a plate of nachos were considered bold ballpark snacks. Thankfully, the olden days are over, and a new era of ballpark food has begun.

And in this era, a menu item isn't considered complete until it's fried, sandwiched between something else and then finally drizzled with some sort of sauce. 

So, what's on the menu for 2017? Well, peanuts, hot dogs and apple pie nachos, of course.

CLICK HERE TO FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE CRAZIEST BALLPARK FOODS YOU'LL FIND AROUND MLB THIS YEAR

With a new season about to begin, CSNmidatlantic.com has identified 10 of the most eye-popping and artery-clogging foods available around Major League Baseball in 2017. To see them, simply click on the link above or below to open our gallery (no fork and knife necessary).

After all, while peanuts and Cracker Jack are cute, they simply can't match up with a hot dog topped with bacon and a fried egg. 

CLICK HERE TO FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE CRAZIEST BALLPARK FOODS YOU'LL FIND AROUND MLB THIS YEAR

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Nationals Ace Max Scherzer will not be team's opening day starter

Nationals Ace Max Scherzer will not be team's opening day starter

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team's opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation. 

Scherzer has been the team's starter on opening day for the past two seasons, but a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger caused him to miss the start of spring training, and the World Baseball Classic. 

Scherzer did, however, make his first MLB spring training start of 2017 on Wednesday. The 2016 NL Cy Young award winner allowed two earned runs on five hits over 4.2 innings. He added four strikeouts and one walk, and reportedly looked just like you would expect from Max Scherzer. 

"To be out there competing, throwing all my pitches, throwing them for strikes, that's a great first outing," Scherzer told Eddie Matz of ESPN after the game. "Finger's good. Finger feels like a finger. I'm getting through that injury. It's behind me now."

With Scherzer set to open the season as the third starter in the rotation, that likely means that Stephen Strasburg will start on opening day against the Miami Marlins, and Tanner Roark will slot in behind him. 

While it's nice to have your ace pitcher starting on opening day, it's not a huge deal to have Scherzer start the season third in the rotation, especially because the Nationals starting rotation is the strength of the team

RELATED: Nationals' Tanner Roark pitches four scoreless innings to help Team USA beat Japan in WBC