Mariners Insider

In three-way trade, Mariners get Morse, lose Jaso

Post by Darrin Beene / The News Tribune on Jan. 16, 2013 at 4:13 pm with 17 Comments »
January 16, 2013 4:23 pm

The Mariners continue to upgrade their offense, adding slugger Mike Morse in a three-way trade with the Washington Nationals and Oakland A’s.

The Mariners send catcher John Jaso to the A’s, who traded right-handed pitching prospect A.J. Cole to the Nationals.

Morse, as you might remember, was traded by the Mariners to the Nationals in 2009. He was a man without a position in Seattle, but blossomed with the Nationals while playing first base and left field.

Last season, Morse hit .291 with 18 homers and 62 RBI in 102 games. His best year was 2010 when hit compiled this line – .303-31-95. Over the past three seasons, Morse compiled an .861 OPS and 64 home runs. Morse turns 31 on March 22.

Morse has one year remaining on his contract and will make $6.75 million this season. He became expendable after the Nats resigned first baseman Adam LaRoche and acquired outfielder Denard Span from the Twins in November.

Jaso, 28, had his best season of his three-year career last season with the Mariners. In his first year in Seattle, Jaso – who came to the team in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays – hit .276-10-50 in 108 games.

Cole is an interesting story. He was traded by the Nats to the A’s last winter as part of the teams’ Gio Gonzalez trade. Drafted by the Nats in 2010, Cole, a 6-foot-4 right-hander, went 0-7 with a 7.82 ERA when Oakland started him at high-A Stockton. After a demotion to low-A, Cole improved and went 6-3 with a 2.07 ERA the rest of the season.




Leave a comment Comments → 17
  1. Palerydr says:

    So um not impressed another typical move by the M’s. Guessing this clears the way to bring Zunino up to start the year in the bigs. Sure hope they don’t wreck him.

  2. I like it… Morse was always good here ,just couldnt crack the field. He went to Washington and only was an All star. Solid trade. I liked Jaso , real clutch hitter. But now there is more room for Montero behind the plate because Morales is the stud 1st base power hitter we need. Plus our rook catcher will be up real soon . Morse can play left field, and hit for power behind the plate. Finally we might have some efffen offense. Without giving up the farm. Nice move.

  3. …leaving Montero as the only catcher on the 40 man roster. Morse is an injury-prone, terrible defender who doesn’t want to DH and was busted for steroid use in 2005. I don’t get it. How is he better or more interesting than Casper Wells?

  4. bbnate420 says:

    Morse’s best year was in 2011 actually.

    I wouldn’t count on Zunino in the bigs in 2013. He still hasn’t played a full professional year or played above AA, where he played 15 games and some playoff games. Also, they have super-two issues to worry about. The M’s are going to sign a veteran C. Take that to the bank.

    I guess this means that Morse will be playing mostly in LF. He is a defensive liability out there, but he is far and away a better hitter than anything else we have for that spot. There is significantly less room out there in LF now, which should help a little. Saunders and Guti will cover a lot of ground in CF and RF as well, assuming Guti is ever healthy. He can also play 1st when Morales doesn’t if either Carp or Smoak doesn’t step up.

    tbaier, Casper Wells? Really? I guess you’ve never heard of or looked at these things called hitting statistics? Casper Wells, LOL.

  5. imjustagirl says:

    Terrible trade! Morse stinks and is nothing better than we already have. Jaso was a team leader and star in the making. He’s a textbook Billy Beane Moneyball player, which means he’ll be fantastic in Oakland. He was the M’s best and most clutch hitter. Anyone who paid attention also knows that Jaso mentored and improved the young pitchers on the team. He has a great baseball mind and calls games better than most catchers in the big leagues. He called Felix’s perfect game, well, perfectly. Felix never shook him off. There’s a reason he bacame Felix’s catcher. He’ll be a manager some day. The Mariners pitching staff will suffer. Montero is stiff and doesn’t know what the heck he is doing behind the plate. He called games terribly and never “set up” hitters with pitches. Fastball, Fastball, Curve was tiring and hittable. Way too many games where the pitcher was frustrated with having to shake him off. He’ll be in Japan in 2 years, watch.

  6. bbnate420 says:

    Jaso is awful defensively as well. I don’t know what you’ve been watching. I probably could’ve called Felix’s perfect game with the stuff he had that day. Ask any scout about Jaso’s defensive prowess, or lack there of. He is a pretty good hitter, but he can’t hit lefties and he has never come close to putting up the numbers that Morse has in a season. As a 1 for 1 trade, I like it. Morse should produce if healthy. They didn’t give up any good prospects. Jaso only caught like 39 games last year anyways. Some people need to look at the data becfore they post.

  7. bbnate420 says:

    As far as Montero being in Japan in 2 years, AHHHHHHHHHHHAHAHAHHAHA. I guess we don’t know for sure, but that’s almost surely ridiculously wrong. He just turned 23. Teams don’t give up on players with his kind of power before the age of 25. Just doesn’t happen.

    As for Morse, he had 31 homers and a .910 OPS in 2011. Feel free to name another hitter on the M’s that isn’t named Kendrys Morales or isn’t 40 years old that has posted a season anywhere close to that. I’ll save you time. You can’t, because there aren’t any. BTW, Raul has never posted a .900+ OPS.

  8. imjustagirl says:

    bbnate420 —

    Number 1, Morse is okay but he’s sooo good that Washington essentially traded him for a pitcher who hasn’t played any higher than A ball with marginal stats. The reality is Morse was the fourth best outfielder on the Nationals and the backup first baseman. How is that better for the Mariners?

    Number 2, Since you’re into stats, Jaso’s fielding percentage was 1.000. You’re right he’s “awful.” Come on. Montero couldn’t figure out whether to turn his glove down or up on every pitch. I just hope Zunino makes the team at this point.

    Number 3, have you ever caught or pitched before? I played ball, pitched and caught, for years. There is a strategy to locating and throwing the right pitches to each batter at the right time, not just throwing a great pitch. If you paid attention to the nuances of the Mariners last year you would have seen how much better Jaso was than both Olivo and Montero at calling a game. It’s a skill you can’t teach.

    Number 4, the following article is totally accurate about Jaso. He is a major league starting catcher but Wedge pigeon holed him into a backup. I’m telling you Billy Beane knows it. You don’t give up 3 prospects for a backup catcher and send a power hitter to a division rival unless you are confident you’re getting a future all-star in Jaso.

  9. imjustagirl says:

    And another thing to the one who believes I should “think” before i post — The Mariners record with each catcher when they started last year:

    John Jaso 20-19
    Miguel Olivo 30-38
    Jesus Montero 25-31

    The Mariners were above .500 when Jaso started, below .500 when the other two started. Montero can thank one of his wins on Jaso’s clutch hitting as well. Enough said. He will be a star Oakland.

  10. Palerydr says:

    While Jaso isn’t the PB/WP machine that Olivo was he doesn’t have a strong throwing arm. He gave up 27 steals in 34 attempts for a 20% caught stealing the league avg last year was 25%. He had 5 passed balls and 17 wild pitches in his 39 starts/GP. He had 5 hits in 42 AB against LH pitchers last year. Those are not the kind of numbers an All Star puts up he’s got a way to go before that happens. Overall I don’t like the trade because Morse is a liability defensively in LF and there is no guarantee he will continue his offensive production from the last 2 years. We now have a glut of 1B/DH/LF types Morse, Ibanez(please don’t play him in the field), Morales, Smoak and Carp. I don’t see all these guys on the opening day roster I agree we need another veteran catcher but look at the FA available YUCK! Possibly we trade for a decent one but I have no clue who that might be.

  11. bbnate420 says:

    Yes, I’m into stats, but you also have to be intelligent enough to analyze and use the right statistics. Not just list off some fairly irrelevant stats like a computer.

    The record while they were catching is just stupid. Who was pitching those games? Who were they playing? How did the rest of the lineup hit? There’s a lot more that goes into winning than who was catching. Fielding percentage wouldn’t be high on the list for any intelligent scout when determining the defensive ability of a catcher. He made no errors. Whoopdy friggin do. How good was he at throwing runners out? A pathetic 21%. He had 5 passed balls in 39 starts. Not good. Just because he looks decent next to Montero doesn’t mean he isn’t awful behind the plate.

    Yes, I did play the game. And I didn’t play some sorry fast pitch either.

    I never argued that Montero was any good defensively, so you bringing that up is just a straw man argument. He is however only going to be 23 and still has time to improve. I doubt he will ever be great defensively, but he has the ability to become a better hitter than Jaso could ever dream of becoming. Zunino is already a better defensive catcher than Jaso and will be here within the next 2 seasons. Whatever veteran catcher they sign will be better defensively than Jaso. I also didn’t tell you to “think” before you posted. I said to look at the data. So please learn how to read and quote me correctly if you’re going to do so. You even contradict yourself in your own post. You say that, “Washington essentially traded him for a pitcher who hasn’t played any higher than A ball with marginal stats.”, and then you say, “You don’t give up 3 prospects for a backup catcher” later in the same post. They traded 1 pitcher for Jaso, not 3. Washington traded Morse because they have a good OF and they have LaRoche at first.

    Morse is better than “okay” when he is healthy. He is a very good hitter. Something the M’s sorely need. He is awful defensively. No argument there. But the M’s have had good pitching and defense the last million years in a row and it has resulted in them being losers.

  12. Palerydr says:

    Also I liked The intangibles Jaso brought to the clubhouse. I would not have made this deal.

  13. bbnate420 says:

    Palerydr, check out the numbers on Kelly Shoppach. Has a little pop and good defensively. Threw out 41% and 33% of runners the last 2 seasons. He’s not great, but he’ll only be catching half the time or so. Just a place holder until Zunino arrives. After Shoppach, yuck is right.

  14. bbnate420 says:

    Morales, Smoak, Morse, Carp and Ibanez won’t all make the team, but I would bet there’s an excellent chance that 4 of them do. Excluding injuries, I think that Smoak and Carp are competing for that last spot. Ibanez is a spot starter and the late inning pinch hitter that Jaso was last year.

  15. bbnate420 says:

    The M’s still need to sign Millwood, Shoppach, and Bourn IMO. That would make a successful off-season.

  16. bbnate420 says:

    And Palerydr is right, you can’t be an all-star if you can’t hit better than .119 against lefties.

  17. Palerydr says:

    OK I sign Shoppach for a 1 year deal which most catchers at his stage of their career would do. I figured Ibanez for just that spot starter and LH PH. We also need to address Pitching as in at least 1 more veteran starter.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0