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This winter's most sought-after MLB player is...

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10:41 AM ET 01.13 | It is a profound testimony to how thinly spread quality talent has become in baseball -- particularly middle-of-the-order power hitters -- that all of sudden the most sought-after player this winter is Michael Morse, the hulking, injury-prone, defensively challenged 30-year-old Washington Nationals slugger whose propensity for striking out far exceeds his willingness to take a walk. There is no question Morse is a legitimate power hitter, but as with so many power hitters today, with the home runs you have to live with the strikeouts. They're a little easier to live with if you're, say, Adam Dunn, whose major league-leading 222 strikeouts last season were at least offset somewhat by his 105 walks, which also led the majors. In Morse's case, however, he walked only 16 times last year, as opposed to striking out 97 times, for a 6.1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio that was the worst in the majors for players with 400 or more plate appearances, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

New York Daily News

Michael Morse, Jamie Squire/Getty Images Michael Morse, Jamie Squire/Getty Images
January 13, 2013  10:51 AM ET

Nats should hang on to Morse. I think, ultimately, the Nats are not going to like the Spann for Morse exchange in their line up. Eventually, Morse will be back in LF, Harper in CF and Spann will be viewed as just a better hitting version of Beradina.

Comment #2 has been removed
January 13, 2013  11:43 AM ET

either morse do the walking or the striking which ever comes first, what say you morse?? discipline or unpatient at the plate???

January 13, 2013  11:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

ewed as just a better hitting version of Beradina

beradina could be traded at any time soon,

January 13, 2013  11:45 AM ET

morse would fit perfectly in boston/angels/rangers/rays/toronto/yankees??

January 13, 2013  11:47 AM ET

the nationals don't know what to expect from Span, should things go ackwards who should replace Span??? morse gone/beradina gone/ and who could help the nationals??

January 13, 2013  02:24 PM ET

I would offer that Giancarlo Stanton is more sought-after.... which is a different statement than saying that the Marlins would actually agree to move him

Comment #8 has been removed
January 13, 2013  03:38 PM ET

Morse sounds just like the kind of player the Rangers would have loved to sign in the 90's, when we tried to hit our way o championships. This is not the 90's. I don't want Morse here.

January 13, 2013  04:51 PM ET

I think I should point out that Morse is a .300 hitter about 80 points higher then Dunn. He is also a reasonable fielding first baseman who should improve with more experience.

Comment #11 has been removed
January 14, 2013  09:20 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Nats should hang on to Morse. I think, ultimately, the Nats are not going to like the Spann for Morse exchange in their line up. Eventually, Morse will be back in LF, Harper in CF and Spann will be viewed as just a better hitting version of Beradina.

I think it makes sense to keep him on the roster because I think that teams will be willing to give up more for a power hitter as the trade deadline approaches than they are right now.

I don't think the Nats will keep Morse because they think they'll actually prefer to keep him in the lineup. First off, comparing Spann to Morse isn't quite right. The better comparison should be between Werth and Morse, since Werth will now be able to hit in an RBI-producing spot in the lineup.

Second, if Spann is a better-hitting version of Bernadina, then he'll be the everyday centerfielder for sure. With the Nats' pitching staff, you need to be strong defensively, and that isn't accomplished with Morse at all. Especially considering the Nats have several players in their lineup who can generate power, and because Tyler Moore acquitted himself nicely as a backup first baseman last season, I don't expect Morse to get a lot of time at all.

January 14, 2013  09:24 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

I think I should point out that Morse is a .300 hitter about 80 points higher then Dunn. He is also a reasonable fielding first baseman who should improve with more experience.

I agree that Morse plays an adequate first base. And I would've been fine keeping Morse to platoon there with Tyler Moore if the Nationals weren't able to re-sign LaRoche. But now that LaRoche is locked down, I just don't think it makes sense to keep two veteran guys to play first base when you have the younger (and cheaper) guy on the roster who needs to get at-bats. Nevertheless, having Morse on the roster is a nice luxury for now, and the Nats shouldn't be in a ruch to part ways with him - the definitely should make sure they're getting the best offer possible.

 
January 14, 2013  03:57 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

I agree that Morse plays an adequate first base. And I would've been fine keeping Morse to platoon there with Tyler Moore if the Nationals weren't able to re-sign LaRoche. But now that LaRoche is locked down, I just don't think it makes sense to keep two veteran guys to play first base when you have the younger (and cheaper) guy on the roster who needs to get at-bats. Nevertheless, having Morse on the roster is a nice luxury for now, and the Nats shouldn't be in a ruch to part ways with him - the definitely should make sure they're getting the best offer possible.

It's Mike Rizzo - do you really think he rushes anything? They're not going to trade Morse unless they have the right package offered to them, i.e. AAA quality starting. They're not going to dump him just to dump him.

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