(ed. note - "Update 3/25 4:30 pm EDT: MLB.com's Bill Ladson on Twitter (@washingnats):"CF Nyjer Morgan on his days being numbered with the #Nats: "I'm a realist. I'm not going to sit here and be like, 'Oh, no. I want to finish my career here.’ I just think this place isn’t for me. I’m not saying there are bad people here. It’s just that, maybe, I’m not a fit here anymore. It’s time to move on.")
ESPN writer Jayson Stark, who reported last year that scouts were telling him there was no way Nyjer Morgan would play for the Nats in 2011, wrote earlier this week in an article entitled, "STRIKE TWO -- SPRING RUMBLINGS", that he had once again spoken to, "Scouts covering the Nationals," about the 30-year-old outfielder, and was told that, "...there might not be a player in baseball more eminently available than Nyjer Morgan."
"'They're trying to give him away,'" one of Mr. Stark's sources said, "'I wouldn't be shocked if he got released at this point.'" Coupled with rumors from other sources which said that veteran outfielder Rick Ankiel had won the Opening Day job in center field with the Nats, the idea that the Washington Nationals might be gauging interest in Morgan around the league wasn't hard to believe. FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) wrote today on Twitter that he'd heard there was interest in Morgan on the part of the Milwaukee Brewers. Mr. Rosenthal later reported that the Brewers had passed.
Nyjer Morgan told MLB.com's Bill Ladson (@washingnats) this afternoon that he, "...believes his days wth the #Nats are numbered. He does not expect to be with the team by Opening Day."
After a strong start in the nation's capital in which he posted a .351/.396/.435 slash line in 49 games and 212 plate appearances with the Nationals following a June 30, 2009 trade with the Pirates (which sent RHP Joel Hanrahan and outfielder Lastings Milledge to Pittsburgh in return for Morgan and LHP Sean Burnett), Morgan suffered a season-ending injury, a broken left hand hurt sliding headfirst into third in a game against the Cubs.
In 2010, Morgan wasn't the player he had been the previous season in D.C., or even the player he'd been when he was with the Pirates. The drop in production, troubles on the basepaths and defensive struggles which plagued Morgan last season were targeted this Spring as the Nationals gave the outfielder an opportunity to earn the center field job, but with Ankiel reportedly winning the job, Morgan's role has been called into question. Will the Nationals find someone who's interested in the outfielder? Will the Nats release Morgan? Will they simply send him to Syracuse and give him one last chance to get it going? One week from now if not sooner, Nats fans should finally have the answer.