The Atlanta Braves are attempting to add another Upton to their outfield according to several reports this afternoon which say they're trying to acquire Justin Upton from the D-Backs after signing his brother B.J. earlier this winter. The arms race in the NL East continues to escalate. There are even rumors that Michael Bourn is talking to the New York Mets. [ed. note - "Don't laugh."] The Phillies added Delmon Young. [ed. note - "Seriously, stop. This is why fans around the country think the Nats, their executives and fans are arrogant."]
The Washington Nationals were comfortable enough with their outfield of Bryce Harper, Denard Span and Jayson Werth with Roger Bernadina, Tyler Moore (and maybe Steve Lombardozzi?) backing up if necessary, that they were willing to trade away 25-30 HR, .290+ AVG slugger Michael Morse after Adam LaRoche decided to return to D.C. making Morse expendable with the outfield full and first base covered. Morse was dealt back to the Mariners last week in the three-way deal that sent catcher John Jaso to the A's with the Nats receiving RHP prospects A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen and a PTBNL.
• Michael Morse Top 3 HR's Of 2012 No.3 - Citizens Bank Park Bullpen Blast (451 ft):
Told by Seattle-based radio host Mitch Levy of the Mitch in the Morning show in an interview yesterday that Mr. Levy's father had contacted him in Washington state from his home in the nation's capital, where he's a season ticket holder with the Nationals, and told him to take care of "our" Michael Morse after the trade to the M's, Morse thanked the host's father and explained why he thought he'd broken out and become something of a cult favorite in Washington, D.C. over four seasons with the Nats in which he had a .294/.343/.514 line with 68 doubles and 67 HRs in 378 games and 1,353 plate appearances.
"When I got traded over there," Morse said, referring to the June '09 trade that brought him to the Nationals from the Mariners for veteran outfielder Ryan Langerhans, "I went to Triple-A. Ryan Langerhans went to the big leagues. So, I got traded over, I did good in Triple-A, I got called up to the big leagues and I got to play a little bit. The next year, I started playing more and I got to just relax and to have fun. And I went there and they were there with open arms. The team, I felt like I belonged. The ownership, the Lerner family, [GM] Mike Rizzo, they all made me feel like I belonged and they really let me just relax and let my talent come out."
Michael Morse Top 3 HR's Of 2012 No.2 - Red Porch Shot (aka Longest. HR. Ever. In Nats Park 465 ft):
"D.C. was going through the same thing the Mariners are going through right now," Morse explained in discussing the attitude he wants to bring from Washington to Seattle, "And I was lucky to be a part of it at the time I got traded and I can say that I helped keep that locker room relaxed. And the biggest thing as a player is that you want winning to be such a great thing that after games it's like a party, so the next day you want to win even more and you just want to keep winning. And it's not about personal stats, it's not about what you did that day, it's about getting those Ws and whatever it takes to win and you know what? It adds up at the end."
Michael Morse remains the confident player he was in Washington over the last few seasons and he told reporters after he was dealt to Seattle that he wasn't concerned at all about the dimensions in Safeco Field or the fact that the Mariners had decided to bring the outfield walls in. Morse has power to all fields when he's 100%, hitting 14 of 18 HRs to center or the opposite field last season and 14 of 31 to the right of center field in 2011 with the "Average True Distance" of his HR's the last two seasons (according to Hit Tracker Online) at 412.5 ft in 2011 and 402.8 in 2012. "'If you ask me,'" Morse said, as quoted in an AP article at USA Today, "'I feel like I can hit the ball out of the Grand Canyon. The fences are not a problem for me.'"
• Michael Morse Top 3 HR's Of 2012 No.1 - Morse Hits Imaginary HR, Runs Bases):