Washington Nationals Rumors: Boston Red Sox Reportedly Interested In Michael Morse

Patrick McDermott

A report by FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal this morning discusses the possibility of the Boston Red Sox acquiring right-handed slugger Michael Morse, who is known to be available in the right deal now that the Washington Nationals have re-signed Adam LaRoche.

Before Adam LaRoche signed on to return to D.C., the Boston Red Sox were mentioned as a potential destination for the free agent first baseman if their reported-but-not-officially-agreed-upon 3-year/$39 million dollar deal with Mike Napoli didn't work out. The Sox were said to be one of several teams that were uncomfortable with the idea of surrendering a draft pick if they signed a free agent like LaRoche, who received a 1-year/$13.3M dollar qualifying offer from the Nationals and turned it down, guaranteeing that the Nats would receive a compensatory pick and the team that signed him would lose one.

Boston would have lost a 2nd Round pick since the top 10 picks (they're at no.7) are protected under the rules of the new CBA. In a report on the Sox' interest in LaRoche last week, Yahoo!Sports.com's Dave Brown suggested that Boston had options. They could finalize the deal with Napoli, or "... they could give up, swallow hard on the draft pick and sign LaRoche," or, "They could trade for Mike Morse, assuming the Washington Nationals eventually come to agreement with LaRoche."

Once LaRoche signed with the Nationals, taking a 2-year/$24M dollar deal that includes a mutual option for a third year, the talk turned to whether or not the Nats would keep Morse on the roster since he was essentially a man without a position after the acquisition of Denard Span and the return of LaRoche. D.C. GM Mike Rizzo told reporters earlier this week that Washington would consider trading the right-handed hitting, 30-year-old slugger in the right deal, but as the Nats' general manager explained, "He's a guy that financially we don't have to move. We'd move him in the right deal. We're certainly not going to give him away, but if we can make the right deal that works for Mike and for us as a franchise, we certainly will do that deal."

The Red Sox, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles have been mentioned as teams with interest in the big middle-of-the-order bat. FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal wrote this morning that his sources said Boston was one of the teams in contact with Washington about a potential deal for Morse. The Sox could walk away from the deal with Napoli if they found another first baseman, and Morse (at $6.75M) would be a cheaper right-handed alternative and with (as Mr. Rosenthal reported this week) Morse said to be unwilling to become a designated hitter, the Sox could play him at first with David Ortiz, "... as their full-time DH."

The Nationals' GM said they were interested in getting a, "... either controllable major league help or prospects to help [fill] the minor league system," in any deal for Morse. In Mr. Rosenthal's article on Morse earlier this week, he wrote that his sources were telling him Washington was asking for, "... high-ceiling prospects and possibly a left-handed reliever," in return. In his follow-up report on the Sox' interest this morning, FOXSports.com's Mr. Rosenthal wrote that the price Boston would have to pay ("... young talent and possibly a left-handed reliever,") would be steep considering Morse's injury history, but it would keep, "... Morse away from two interested division rivals — the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays."

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