The market for available, right-handed, power-hitting outfielders once again shrunk yesterday evening, as the Mariners finally got the bat they were looking for all winter, completing a three-team trade to acquire Michael Morse from the Nationals, less than a week after their deal with Arizona for Justin Upton fell through.
This deal means Morse will go back to the Pacific Northwest, where he spent four years with the Mariners before he was sent to the nation’s capital in exchange for Ryan Langerhans. The A’s got involved to facilitate this trade, as they received catcher John Jaso. Finally, the Nationals will receive three players, including A.J. Cole (who they traded last winter to acquire Gio Gonzalez), Blake Treinen, and a player to be named later.
Seattle has now added Morse to the mix to pair with Jesus Montero and Kendrys Morales (acquired by Seattle earlier this winter). Unfortunately for Mets fans, we once again see another proven power bat get traded, and not to the Amazins. He’s a legit power threat, putting together a .291/.321/.470 triple slash to go along with 64 homers over his last three seasons. He became expendable in Washington because the Nationals already had a crowded outfield with the acquisition of Denard Span, and once they re-signed Adam LaRoche to play first base for at least two more years, there was suddenly no room for him. It would have been great to acquire Morse, but it was doubtful from the beginning that the Nats would trade a player like that within the division.
With regard to Justin Upton, his market may be shrinking because teams could be more inclined to hold onto top prospects in case someone like Giancarlo Stanton becomes available around the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. As it stands right now, the Braves and Rangers remain to be the best fits for Upton services, and Atlanta not only have the crop of prospects available that Arizona GM Kevin Towers wants, but may also be willing to do so. The only chance for the Mets to once again re-start talks for Upton would be if the asking price goes down. If Texas and Atlanta decide against paying a premium for the right fielder, then Sandy Alderson could have the opportunity swoop in and possibly center a deal around Noah Syndergaard and Wilmer Flores. Towers says he’s not in a rush to deal any one of his outfielders before the season starts, but I think that’s a bluff and he’d really like to unload Upton or Jason Kubel, preferring to deal Upton because he could get more in return.
Although it doesn’t seem like Joe Saunders would be a fit in New York because of his preference for a three-year deal, the Mets continue to stay interested in the southpaw, just in case his asking price drops. With each day that gets closer to Spring Training, there is potential he’ll stop demanding a multi-year deal and take something smaller for this year and re-enter the market next winter. While Jon Morosi says the Twins have been in pursuit of Saunders, Corey Brock tweets the Padres haven’t been pursuing him or right-hander Shaun Marcum all winter long.
After initial reports surfacing about the Mets having an interest in Brian Wilson, it doesn’t look like the two sides will be a match, for right now. Following the reliever’s private workout, Sandy Alderson was unsure whether or not New York would extend a contract, but there was no reason as to why. Yesterday morning, Mike Puma of the New York Post revealed that Alderson and company was only willing to offer Wilson a minor league deal because they feel he’s not worth a guaranteed deal at this point in his rehab from Tommy John surgery. Obviously, The Bread prefers a Major League deal, and as long as he’s still on the free agent market, the Mets will keep a close eye on him, as Marc Carig tweets the organization hasn’t given up on the thought of giving him a guaranteed contract.