Big thanks to Darrin for getting the blog up earlier while I was channeling my inner Steve Nash and didn’t know about the move.
The Mariners made the trade official a few minutes ago.
“We set out this winter to add offense to our club,” GM Jack Zduriencik said in a press release. “With the addition of Mike Morse, along with the other veteran players we have added, we believe this will help us be a more complete offensive team. We wanted to add additional right-handed power and Mike is a major step in that direction. We are looking forward to having him join our club and compete with the other members on our roster in spring training.”
While Jaso has a great approach and was a solid hitter for the Mariners last season, Morse brings a level of power that Jaso simply doesn’t possess. Obviously, the Mariners will need to bring in another catcher. There are several available, including veteran Kelly Shoppach, Rod Barajas and Yorvit Torrealba.
The Mariners also seem to have a glut of first base/DH types. Morse can technically play left field. But as I’ve always said, the roster will probably take on many different forms by the time spring training rolls around.
Morse, 30 (turns 31 March 22), hit .291 (118×406) with 17 doubles, 18 home runs and 62 RBI in 102 games with the Washington Nationals last season. Over the last three seasons with the Nationals, Morse has combined to bat .296 (353×1194) with 64 home runs and 198 RBI in 346 games. He had a breakout season in 2011 batting .303 (158×522) with 36 doubles, 31 home runs and 95 RBI in a career-high 146 games.
A versatile player who began his professional career as a shortstop, Morse has started games at six different positions during his Major League career with the Mariners and Nationals (LF – 134 G/117 GS, RF – 124 G/109 GS, 1B – 123 G/94 GS, 3B – 9 G/2 GS, SS – 57 G/50 GS, DH – 21 GS). Last season he made 102 starts for the Nationals, including 58 in left field, 35 in right field and 9 as the DH.
Morse is no stranger to the Mariners organization, breaking into the big leagues in a Seattle uniform from 2005-2008. In 107 games with the Mariners, he combined to bat .300 (90×300). He was traded to the Nationals in exchange for OF Ryan Langerhans on June 28, 2009. He was originally selected by Chicago (AL) in the 3rd round of the 2000 June draft, and traded to Seattle on June 27, 2004 along with Miguel Olivo (c) and Jeremy Reed (of) in exchange for Freddy Garcia (rhp) and Ben Davis (c).
Jaso, 29, appeared in 108 games with the Mariners last season, making 83 starts (DH – 44, C – 39). He was named the Mariners Unsung Hero by the Seattle Chapter of the BBWAA after batting .276 (81×294) with 19 doubles, 10 home runs and 50 RBI. Jaso was acquired from Tampa Bay on Nov. 27, 2011 in exchange for Josh Lueke (rhp).