Scouting The Trade Market: Mike Morse

A-Rod will have surgery next week, likely out until All-Star break
McCarron: Yankees have checked in on Grady Sizemore
(Jamie Squire/Getty)

Early yesterday afternoon, we learned the Nationals agreed to re-sign Adam LaRoche to a new two-year contract. The move essentially pushed Mike Morse out of the team’s plans, as his primary positions — outfield (Denard Span, Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth) and first base (LaRoche) — are now occupied by players who aren’t going anywhere. Shortly after the LaRoche news broke, Ken Rosenthal reported Washington was discussing Morse in trades with several teams. Shortly after that, we learned the Yankees have interest in acquiring him.

The fit is obvious. Morse, 30, is a right-handed hitter with power who is signed for just one more year at an affordable $6.75M. He’ll become a free agent next offseason. The Yankees need a bat and have been fixated on one-year contracts all winter, and Morse fits both bills. Given the Nationals’ reported asking price — a left-handed reliever and prospects/pitching depth — the Yankees would be hard-pressed to find a better trade fit. Before we move any further, let’s break down Morse’s game just so we all understand what he brings to the table and where his game is lacking.

The Pros

  • Morse offers big time power from the right side. He hit 18 homers in 102 games last season and 31 homers in 146 games a year ago. Nationals Park is perfectly neutral when it comes to right-handed homers according to the park factors at FanGraphs, so Morse’s power production was not inflated by his ballpark. Over the last three years, he owns a .220 ISO and a 21.3% (!) HR/FB rate.
  • Late Update: I neglected to mention this, but Michael Eder at The Yankee Analysts bailed me out. Morse does a lot of damage to the opposite field, which fits very well for a right-handed hitter in Yankee Stadium.
  • Morse does not have a platoon split at all. He’s hit .296/.344/.512 (133 wRC+) against righties and .294/.349/.517 (136 wRC+) against lefties over the last three years. He managed a 117 wRC+ against righties and a 102 wRC+ against lefties in 2012, but there are some sample size issues with the latter (barely 100 plate appearances).
  • In nearly 1,700 career plate appearances, Morse owns a .344 BABIP (.339 since 2010). It’s not a fluke at this point. He’s a ground ball (48.4% last three years) and line drive (18.9%) hitter, which tends to result a lot of base hits. Unsurprisingly, Morse is a career .295 hitter in the show (.296 last three years).
  • Morse does offer some positional flexibility. He came up as a shortstop with the Mariners (despite being 6-foot-5), but that didn’t last and he’s since settled in as a corner outfielder/first baseman. DH is also an option as well, obviously.
  • As I said before, Morse is owed just $6.75M next year and will become a free agent after the season. By acquiring him this offseason, his new team would be able to make a qualifying offer next winter and receive draft pick compensation should he sign elsewhere. A midseason trade doesn’t allow that.

The Cons

  • Morse’s plate discipline leaves a lot to be desired. He’s walked in just 5.7% of his plate appearances over the last three seasons, including 3.7% (!) in 2012. His strikeout (22.1%) and contact (75.5%) rates are both well-below-average during that time, ditto his miniscule 3.69 pitches per plate appearances average. Quick at-bats are not the Yankee Way™, but that’s what you’re getting here.
  • He’s no stranger to the DL. Morse missed most of Spring Training and the first two months of last season with a right shoulder strain, and in 2010 he missed a month with a calf problem. Morse also missed the entire 2008 season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, and two years before that he missed a few weeks with right knee surgery.
  • The ground ball tendencies became quite extreme last season. Morse posted a 55.3% grounder rate in 2012 after sitting at 44.8% from 2010-2011. That explains the .190 ISO, which was his lowest full season mark since his rookie year in 2005. When a power hitter has a shoulder problem and suddenly has a tough time lifting the ball in the air, it’s a red flag.
  • Morse offers zero speed or value on the bases. He’s 6-for-12 in career stolen base attempts and has taken the extra-base (first-to-third on a single, etc.) just 33% of the time through the years. The league average is in the 39-40% range.
  • Morse is a bad defensive outfielder. The various metrics all agree he’s been a poor defender since finally breaking out as a full-time player three years ago: -24.5 UZR, -8 DRS, -2 Total Zone, and -3 FRAA. The first base metrics are a little better, but stats on first base defense aren’t as reliable as they are at the other positions.

The Yankees continue to seek a right-handed hitting outfielder to complement their all left-handed hitting outfield, but Morse is far too good for a platoon role. He’s not an Andruw Jones-esque bench player. Morse should be in the lineup against both righties and lefties on an everyday basis, preferably as the DH. If they have to stick him in right field twice a week to give some of the older guys time at DH, so be it. They lived with Raul Ibanez out there on an almost full-time basis last summer and he wasn’t nearly as good offensively (late-season super-clutch homers aside). Morse “strongly opposes” being a DH, but that’s not really his decision to make at this point of his career.

Like I said in the intro, the Nats are seeking a lefty reliever and prospects/pitching depth in return for Morse. That lines up with recent trades involving one year of similar hitters like Carlos Quentin (White Sox to Padres) and Josh Willingham (Nats to Athletics), so Washington isn’t being unreasonable. The Yankees have plenty of left-handed relievers to offer in a trade, that’s not an issue. Boone Logan‘s name jumps out because he’ll be a free agent next winter like Morse, but c’mon, a lefty reliever shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. If the Nats want Clay Rapada (who is more effective against lefty hitters than Logan) or Cesar Cabral or Francisco Rondon instead, fine.

The rest of the package is where the haggling figures to happen. New York has some minor league pitching depth to dangle in Adam Warren, Brett Marshall, and Nik Turley, though Washington figures to push for Ivan Nova or David Phelps. Those two shouldn’t be off the table, but I think the Yankees would have to get something else back in addition to Morse. Maybe they could really expand the deal to include one of Washington’s catchers — Wilson Ramos or Kurt Suzuki. That’s a whole other can of worms I don’t want to worry about right now. The Yankees have plenty of competition because reports indicate several teams have interest in Morse, but I feel they have the pieces to get a deal done. It’s just a question of whether they’re willing to pull the trigger to acquire a player who fits their needs very well.

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A-Rod will have surgery next week, likely out until All-Star break
McCarron: Yankees have checked in on Grady Sizemore
  • Chris

    What are the rules around trading a player acquired via Rule 5 such as Cabral? Doesn’t he need 90 days on their 25 man to meet the Rule 5 requirements?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Doesn’t the recieving team just have to keep him to the same rules?

      • A.D.

        I think it’s this

  • Jersey Joe

    I’d give up Logan, Warren, along with a catching prospect OR CoJo. I think with ARod out until AS break, and Core 4 finishing careers, we should go all in this year.

    When ARod does return, Morse could bounce around the OF subbing in RF for Ichiro, and sometimes for Gardner in LF (with Grandy playing CF for that day). If Youk is injured, then Morse could step in. Same goes for Teixeira.

  • C.Roy

    I was thinking about the catcher element to this last night. Imagine how much better this offseason would look if we added Morse and Ramos in a deal. Easily goes from disappointing to an A offseason in my eyes.

    • ray-ray

      I agree 100%…Ramos more so than Suzuki though!!

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Can I send this comment to my mother?

      Love,
      Wilson Ramos

      • Slappy McWaterbug

        Hold on for one more day.

        Love,
        Wilson Phillips

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I’m going to Hollwood.

          Love,
          Phil Phillip Phillips

          • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

            Hollywood isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

            Lou ‘Baseball’ Diamond Phillips

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I realize this guy’s the current darling in a long list of PLAYERSWEHAVETOHAVERELSE, and that usually goes away the moment the next candidate steps to the plate, but I do agree that, if the price is what the Nats claim it is, you’d be silly not to consider it. I’ve been under the impression it would take a Granderson-lite deal to get this guy, but LHP plus pitching depth is certainly not that.

    I’d giggle like a schoolgirl if we could get him for Logan and Warren. I somehow still think it would take Phelps, which I’m less likely to do, but could be convinced to pull the trigger on.

    • LK

      I think Morse has enough warts (defense, baserunning, patience) where it wouldn’t take Phelps. I don’t think trading Phelps for Morse makes sense since that would be an “all-in” for 2013 move, and they haven’t really been planning that way so far.

      • Mike HC

        Trading Phelps for Morse doesn’t even qualify for “all in” in my opinion. Phelps figures to pitch probably at least another 100 innings this year and maybe more. We would be trading current pitching production for hitting production.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          “All-in” has taken some interesting definitions in the past few days.

        • LK

          I think Morse is likely to provide more value in 2013 than Phelps (who is still very unproven despite his success last year), and obviously Phelps would provide more value post-2013 since Morse is only under control for one year. Maybe “all-in” wasn’t the correct term to use, but it would be a move that sacrifices future production for present production.

          Of course, you might have a higher opinion of Phelps than me, which would change the calculus on all this.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Agreed.

          • Mike HC

            I’m with you. It would be trading both current and future pitching production for one year of hitting production. If it was one year of Phelps for one year of Morse, I would make that move pretty easily.

        • trr

          Yes, but please keep in mind Morse is likely a 1 year stop-gap for us; It all hinges on what you think Phelps future is. Personally, I’m high on Phelps, would rather include Joba in a package

    • Ted Nelson

      That’s not the price the Nats claim. Rizzo was quoted yesterday saying he wants an impact player or prospect for Morse, who is a middle of the order bat at a reasonable price, or they’ll just keep him.

      I have no idea what will happen, but I think the LHRP + SP depth is just media speculation that’s taken on a life of it’s own.

  • Mike HC

    Nice write up and analysis. Nothing much left to say.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Drew

    The DH/OF/1B/3B becomes awfully crowded when Alex returns, but as we all know injuries and poor play usually sort these things out.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Yeah. I wouldn’t be too concerned about that. I actually don’t even think I agree if it just means Youk slides into the Chavez role.

      Youk in the Chavez role. Yikes. Erica might join a nunnery.

    • Mike HC

      Based on the Post article about ARod, they won’t even know the extent of the damage until they cut him open. I’m putting ARod in the Pineda category as of now. Anything out of Pineda and ARod are gravy.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Yeah I wouldn’t worry about it. Someone else will get hurt (Youkilis?), someone will play so poorly you’ll want to scratch your eyes out (Ichiro?). It’ll work itself out.

      • Mike HC

        Definitely

      • LK

        Yeah, I think we all recall when we had too many starters when Pettitte came out of retirement last year. There’s no way this team ends up with too many quality bats unless basically everything breaks right.

        • Preston

          And if everything breaks right we’re going to be winning to many games for anybody to care about whether or not somebody is whining about not getting enough plate appearances.

  • Robert

    Nice write up on Yankee OF Prospect Slade Heathcott on Yahoo baseball,calling him the next Oklahoma kid to play Yankee OF.

    • Bo Knows

      Wasn’t he born on the Arkansas/texas border?

  • AJ

    Sorry, but has anyone even considered what the Yanks are being asked to consider giving up is just not worth the asking price for a backup OF/1B who is not a plus defender?

    Phelps or Nova are competing to be starters in the major league rotation so they are worth more than a backup by themselves. Boone Logan,considering he is the best lefty in the bullpen, I wouldn’t include him to the trade. By themselves, I would consider Rapada or Warren, but to trade both players who can compete at the major league level for a backup? I would consider it if they were going for a player who would be useful for a couple years and was a plus defender. If you can’t get him for one and maybe some cash, then I would say move on to the next idea because DH is set for a while with the sunk money into ARod for the years to come.

    • johnnybk

      I respect your opinion, but re-read the pros above. This is an everyday dh, not a back up.

      • Mike HC

        Yea, he would be a starter.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        This.
        Morse’s wRC+ and OPS over the past 3 years trail only Cano among current Yankees.
        Vs. RHP over the last 3 years, his wRC+ ranks second to Cano, and his OPS ranks 3rd behind Cano and Granderson.
        Vs. LHP over the past 3 years, he ranks in both behind only Youkilis, Jeter, and Tex.

        There’s a good chance Morse would end up as the second best overall hitter in the Yankees lineup. Definitely more than just a back up.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      You’re severely overestimating Rapada, Warren, Logan and, perhaps, even the other two.

      SSS taken into account, I’d say there are serious questions as to whether Adam Warren’s stuff would be effective in getting MLB hitters out.

      There is a strong possibility that what you saw out of Boone Logan is 2012 is the apex of what he will ever be.

      Clay Rapada grows on trees.

      I am higher on the two starters, but both still come with questions as to whether they can move beyond back-end starters. Where I agree with you is that trading potential 2014 starting pitching, when the only other guy you’ll have under contract is CC, would be making a difficult situation even harder. At that point, yes, there’s a limit to how “all-in” (whatever that means) I go in 2013.

      • MannyGeee

        Well, Clay Rapada grows on trees then why would (allegedly) the Nats be looking specifically for someone just like him? EVERY report starts with “Washington is looking for LH relief and pitching depth in exchange…”

        If you could pluck a LOOGY off any LI Ducks or Mexican League team, I would assume the Nats would start their package looking for something more difficult to find…

        That said, I agree with you that I would not want to go too all in for Morse, but these guys are not exactly throw aways…

        • LK

          To play devil’s advocate, the Nats are in a fairly unique position as (probably) the best team in baseball on paper. They have very few holes, and the strength of their roster allows them to hone in on its weaknesses in ways that many other teams cannot. A LH reliever is a primary target for them because it’s basically all they need. Morse is very expendable for them because of the overall quality of their lineup. So, they place a higher value on LH relief than any other team and a lower value on Morse than any other team, and they still want “pitching depth” in addition, which could mean any number of things. All this to say that I don’t think the reports of what the Nats are looking for suggest someone like Rapada is all that valuable.

          • 23553

            Even that need is being a bit overstated, their righties get lefties out, and Rizzo has stated that he isn’t to concerned about getting another LHRP. He recently said his top priority is upper minors pitching death, which makes sense because they have little to none.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Where hyperbole gets me in trouble :)

          My response would be that, if I were Washington, I wouldn’t be looking for the type of LOOGY who has to go out there and win his job every year, which Rapada may be a slight inch above, but really still pretty much is. I’d be looking for someone with a track record who, yes, is harder to find, and I’d be willing to sell Boone Logan on them as THAT GUY.

          This is why we allowed Billy Traber and Wayne Franklin to roam the earth for so long.

          • MannyGeee

            agreed. for what its worth, i could give a shit which LOOGY they want.

        • RetroRob

          I agree on this. There is a reason the Yankees went out and spent lots of money (relatively speaking) on the likes of Feliciano and Marte. I used to jokingly (half) say the greatest value Boone Logan brings to the Yankees is he prevents them from going out and searching and spending money on a lefty reliever. Get one solid one (and Boone turned out to be more than decent) and then it’s easier to fill in with a Rapada type.

          Yet Logan as part of a package for Morse is more than fine. The Yankees are going to part ways with Logan probably after 2013 as is. I’ll take my chances with Rapada and Cabral.

  • jjyank

    Really hope this gets done, for a fair price, of course.

  • greg

    Id give up phelps almonte and logan. we need this guy and we might have to overpay a bit to get it done. id like to add id be more upset over losing almonte, i know every is loving phelps right now but lets not forget that noise was just as good for us before he went to the mariners in the pineda deal(he sucks now). almonte hit 20 hrs in aa and missed a month of the season last year.

    • Mike HC

      I think Phelps was definitely better than Noesi for the Yanks. But agreed their Noesi’s value last year and Phelps this year is at least similar.

    • MannyGeee

      ” i know every is loving phelps right now but lets not forget that noise was just as good for us before he went to the mariners in the pineda deal(he sucks now).”

      hehe… The Yankees coulda used noise during the playoff games at Yankee Stadium, amirite?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      1) We don’t “need” this guy. It’d be nice to have him. The team will be physically capable of playing baseball without him.

      2) The final book on either Hector Noesi and/or David Phelps is far from written.

      3) You’d value the guy who is, on his best day, a B prospect in AA, over two guys who were on the roster all year last season? There’s prospect hugging, and then there’s giving the prospect a reacharound.

      • Ted Nelson

        1. The Yankees need ALL-World players at all 25 spots, so I’m not sure Morse is even acceptable.

        2. They are both Ps, so therefore their career paths must be identical. Don’t you know that?

        3. I can’t top that.

    • LK

      If you haven’t seen Almonte play live, I would submit you have no reason whatsoever to think that he’ll end up being a valuable major league piece.

  • MannyGeee

    I would love to see a Morse & Ramos package coming back.

    I would give up the LOOGY & Phelps OR Nova package going back in a cocaine heartbeat.

    • Ryan

      Adding Ramos def makes parting with nova or phelps worth it. Without Ramos in the deal they get neither. If they want the upgrade of nova over warren they have to include the catcher.

  • blake

    One other thing to mention about Morse is that he has lots of opo power…..his spray charts suggest hit goes the other way in the air a lot of if you’ve watch him play that holds true as well…..would be a great fit for YS

  • paul a

    There are ten other teams in on Morse,the way this off season has gone so far, I’d be suprised if this gets done.

    • blake

      none of them really fit as well as the Yankees and Rays do to me….the Orioles are a fit but would they trade him to a competitor in their market? The Mariners are a fit too but how much is Seattle going to give for him when they aren’t ready to contend and they just acquired Morales? The Braves and Phillies are in the same division…..

      • Jonathan

        I agree. The mariners have so many DHs that Ibanez was listed as an OF on MLBTR. They have for C/1B/DH at least Jaso/Montero/Smoak/Morales/Ibanez. Not to mention trading talent away when they don’t have a chance isn’t probably a smart idea. Trading away an expensive replaceable pitcher in Vargas for Morales is one thing but trading away anything that might help you in the future for Morse probably isn’t the right move. As for the Orioles/Braves/Phillies you covered that. It really boils down to us and the Rays. I’m interested to hear what each would be willing to give up and they too could use a catcher added into the discussion. On a random note I had a dream that I woke up and checked my email and saw we traded for Carlos Santana in a package of Sanchez/Williams/Austin/Nova/Nunez and then woke up for real but was out of it so I check here MLBTR and ESPN. Sad panda.

        • Preston

          I think you have to add the Indians to the Rays and Yankees on the short list of teams most likely to acquire him. They already have Reynolds, but you need both a DH and 1B, and the fact that Reynolds can stand at 3B and Morse can stand in the OF gives Tito some added flexibility. They’ve been really aggressive this off-season and this would make their lineup start to look pretty competitive.

          • 23553

            The Indians don’t have the payroll flexibility.

  • Hoss

    Pass. Sign Hairston. Or “think outside the box” and trade the farm for Giancarlo Stanton. Upton would not be worth it, but Stanton would.

    • Jim Is Bored

      How in the world is trading for Stanton thinking outside the box? Once the Marlins firesale started, that thought process occurred to not only every team, but every fan of every team.

      That would be as thinking inside the box as it gets.

      • Hoss

        Box=Yankee current “scrap heap” thinking…

        • Jim Is Bored

          Micheal Morse isn’t “scrap heap” thinking.

          • Hoss

            OK, new category: “mediocre rentals.”

            • gc

              Like Hairston??

              • Hoss

                With Hairston, you don’t need to give up any players in return.

                • jjyank

                  No, but you’re committing 2014 payroll to a lesser player.

                  • Herby

                    2013 Winter meetings trade.

            • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

              I’m not your bro, pal.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        It’s an itty-bitty box.

    • MannyGeee

      “Thinking Outside the Box” is a metaphor that means to think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective. This phrase often refers to novel or creative thinking. (per wikipedia)

      Trading for a young cost controlled superstar – NOT thinking outside the box.

      Getting a classically trained Golden Retriever to catch fly balls in right field and tying a super-fat wiffle ball bat to his tail so he can drag bunt and outrun the throw…. now THAT’S thinking outside the box.

      Please look up words before using them.

      • Hoss

        Geez… I didn’t realize that Matt Diaz, Ben Francisco, Nate Schierholtz, Kevin Youkilis, Scott Hairston et al were young cost controlled superstars. Guess I had the Yankee focus this offseason all wrong. Sorry about that.

        Please look up the word sarcasm before you post any further responses.

        • Jim Is Bored

          Dude, you’re the one who said the Yankees need to think outside of the box. No one else said that.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Golden Retrievers who catch fly balls grow on tress.

        #meahalfhourago

        • MannyGeee

          hehe…

          Now, getting a Cheshire Cat to do shag fly balls… THAT’S thinking outside the box!

  • Ryan

    Warren,Marshall,Logan should get the job done. If they’d rather have rapada so be it, I’d hate to give up nova or phelps though especially for one year of morse. 2014 Yankees are gonna need affordable pitchers to fill out the rotation and nova and phelps already have experience pitching successfully in NY. Nova actually had a solid first half before tailing off in the second half I’m not as down on him as most, his stats other than ERA we’re good. If morse was the final piece of a fully loaded team maybe you give up two young pitchers to win now but Yankees are hardly in that position.

    • Mike HC

      I wouldn’t be giving up on Nova either and think he can be a successful starter. But I also don’t think his ERA misrepresented how he pitched last year. He was throwing meatballs constantly last year.

      • Ryan

        I had way more faith in Nova’s 5.02 ERA than Freddy Garcia’s 5.20 ERA and the difference was far more than marginal last year. I just remember starts where he was dominating and all of a sudden he’d throw a couple bad pitches in bad counts and walla a crappy outing. I know he had starts where you could tell he was gonna get shelled from the start but he also had outings he was dominating in and made a few bad pitches. I guess I have confidence he’ll correct those mistakes more so than I think he pitched well last year. The stuff he has some nights looked too good to give up on I agree.

        • Mike HC

          I’m with you

  • LarryM., Fl.

    Mike as some folks have indicated prior excellent report.

    Morse sounds fine. He may present some problems defensively in the OF but limit his action in the OF to a couple of games. Have him give Teix. a rest for a couple of games. There is 4 in the field. Now DH him once or twice with ability to come off the bench to PH.

    Arods surgery and repair time do not sound so encouraging especially when the Dr. Kelly has a wait and see until surgery. Youk plays hard and will get his bumps and bruises so their is ample playing time for Morse.

    I would not include Nova or Phelps with Logan unless we can upgrade at catcher. Trading Nova or Phelps would not be a season ending run at the WS but I still would take Nova over Phelps with pure talent and a higher upside.

  • Greg

    we’re all assuming that the Yankees have 2013 budget room for another $7M (plus the luxury tax)

    • Havok9120

      We know they’re in on the talks, at least that’s what we’ve been told by every report. That tells us there’s apparently enough wiggle room to take on at least SOME of the money.

    • Jonathan

      Well Morse is $6.75MM and Boone is projected to get about $3MM in arbitration so it’s be about $3.75MM minus whatever else we send them. If it’s Phelps/Nova that would be fairly close to the $750K so about ~$3MM to fill the DH AND RH OF spots is absolutely about as good as it gets. Gomes is getting $5MM this year. We could then maybe sign Shoppach and one of Hafner/Thome/Giambi/Scott and if we’re really lucky Marcum if Phelps or Nova is traded. All without touching the 2014 budget and I have to think they’re willing to go a little farther this year to save 2014 bucks like they have with Youkilis etc.

  • PridePowerPinstripes87

    Looking at his offensive output, where would he hit in the order? I guess #5?

    RHP
    Jeter-SS
    Ichiro-RF
    Cano-2B
    Tex-1B
    Morse-DH
    Grandy-LF/CF
    Youk-3B
    Gardner-CF/LF
    Catcher

    LHP
    Jeter-SS
    Youk-3B
    Cano-2B
    Tex-1B
    Morse-DH
    Grandy-LF/CF
    Gardner-CF/LF
    Catcher
    Ichiro-RF

    • Jim Is Bored

      For all the bitching and moaning, it’s hard to complain about that lineup.

      • Coolerking101

        I disagree. We’re just used to thinking that names like Suzuki, Tex, Youk = superstar. They don’t anymore. If all three continue to regress (and assuming Jeter regresses to near age appropriate output), this will not be a very impressive lineup.

        • Jim Is Bored

          Find me a reason to believe it won’t be top 10, and more than likely top 5.

          I’m not assuming Tex, Ichiro and Youk are superstars.

          But here are their wRC+ from last year alone:

          Youk: 109 with Chicago
          Tex: 116
          Ichiro: 90 (114 with NY)
          Jeter: 117
          Cano: 150
          Grandy: 116
          Gardner(2011): 97
          Morse: 113

          It won’t have the superstars you’re used to, but every player in that lineup outside of catcher, if healthy, can be an above average offensive asset. And considering our two worst hitters are plus outfielders, I’m ok with the near average wRC+.

          Ichiro is the only one I’m wary will fall off the table.

          • jjyank

            Agreed completely.

          • gc

            +1

          • Havok9120

            Indeed.

          • Herby

            I’m kind of expecting for Tex to have a better year as well, he’s not going to be trying to go the other way (although I wish he would but to drive the ball more) he’s not going to be dealing with that cough, and hopefully his legs stay healthy. He’s not some ancient player and I expect last year was a combination of events going wrong.
            At least I’m hoping, his pop-ups in key situations drive me nuts, but it’s always good to go into a season at least a little optimistic.

            • Jim Is Bored

              Yeah it’d be nice to see a bounce back season from Tex.

            • Havok9120

              Yeah, at the very least I’m expecting there to be no further drop off. If he managed last year with the set of ailments that he did (especially that cough- that was crazy) then I’d expect him to be no worse and I’ll hope for improvement.

              What’s more, we can probably expect 140-155 games outta him again. He might be out of his prime years but he’s not Jeter/Andy/Mo old.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          That would probably be a top 3 lineup, or at least top 5 (in terms of runs scored), without Suzuki, Tex, Youk, or Jeter being superstars, so long as none of them completely fall of a cliff.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        Provided the Yankees get expected production from those players (I happen to think they will, if not individually, then as a whole).

        • Jim Is Bored

          Well of course. Shit happens.

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    I’d rather give up Nova than Phelps.

    Let the assault commence.

    • Havok9120

      Nah, I understand that. I disagree, but it’s not crazy. I simply think Nova has higher upside, and I always seem to prefer upside. Phelps is probably the safer bet to contribute something plus we’ve got him an extra year or two depending on how Nova’s service time wound up.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        Yeah, it would be 4 years of control of Nova vs. 6 years of control vs. Phelps. I personally agree that Nova has a higher upside, but the extra 2 years might be worth it.

    • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

      Basically what Havok said. I understand, but disagree. Even though Nova had a horrid year last year, he did have some improved peripherals, especially is K/9. I feel like he got in a lot of trouble when he left his fastball over the middle of the plate, and I think he can improve on that next year. Phelps on the other hand, even though it was SSS I think what we saw last season is the absolute best he can be, and he’ll probably never reach that again.

    • RetroRob

      I’ve been a Phelps supporter since he was in the lower minors. Like everyone else, there are fringy players who I think are better than their prospect profiles, and Phelps was one of them. CoJo for the past two years has fallen into this category, too.

      That said, I’d part with Phelps before Nova. I still like Ivan’s arm, and having adjustment issues in year two should not have been unexpected. I still think Nova can be a #3, and it would not shock me at all if he was a #2 depending on how some things play out. I don’t see Phelps as more than a total back-end pitcher in the AL East, and most likely he’s a swingman as we saw last year. That has value, and frankly more than some were predicting for him. Yet Nova still has more high-end promise. I’ll hold that.

  • Herby

    Logan is a no-brainer in this deal if Washington will have him, it’s always cringe time for me when they bring him in from the bullpen. Marshall I’d be a little less willing to give up on. Warren, Nova, Phelps all possibilities depending on the package, but not including Suzuki. I don’t think he offers a significant upgrade over what we already have.
    Morse would be good for the team, but I wouldn’t be raiding the farm for a one year rental when you can get at least 2/3rds of that production in some of the pieces you may have already picked up or something else that may be out there before the season. An interesting piece and worthwhile, but not something I’d go nuts over.

    • Mike HC

      If they are right above that Logan is in line to get paid like 3 mil next year, he might have negative trade value.

  • http://www.yankeemedicrecords.com LemdaGem

    Clearly, this is of topic…is anyone else out there concerned about our starting catcher’s ability to throw out base stealers at 2B ? Forget about OBP, in close games, the catcher with the ability to not only call a good game but prevent walks from turning into RBI’s with less than two outs is a serious impact player over the course of an entire season.
    With the parity in the toughest division in either league – The beasts from the AL East, this factor alone may make the difference between another title or even the wild card.

    • The Doctor (formerly known as G formerly known as Matt Smith fornerly known as David Tennant formerly known as etc)

      Yes, which is why Cervelli frightens us a bit. His offense can hold up as a catcher and it’s not like his game calling seems horrific, it’s just the throwing.

    • bkight13

      That’s why I would expand any trade with Washington for Morse to include Ramos, Jesus Flores or Suzuki.

      • bkight13

        my bad on Flores, he was non-tendered

  • 23553

    Hey, if the Yankees are collecting shitty catchers, I’m sure that they could get Jhonatan Solano or Sandy Leon, who at least have some degree of upside.

  • NYCSPORTZFAN

    This is the guy i’ve wanted for so long now.. It makes to much sense.. Guy hits from Right Side, has power to all fields, hits for AVG, is fairly young, comes on a 1yr deal..etc

    Honestly, were gonna let Ivan Nova get in the way of that???lol Ridiculous! Ivan Nova’s just another guy who had his flukey day to shine, just as others have had, and now the guy who was given back to us by teh padres and is coming off a more realistic over 5.00ERA is a guy who will stand in the way of aquiring Mike Morse??lol

    Why is it people want to believe that Nova was the 16game winner and not the guy wit the over 5.00ERA? Give em Nova and Logan, and lets be done with it.. Trust me, were getting the better end of the stick on that one.. At this time next yr, there will be no way a Nova/Logan duo would get anywhere near the quality hitter Morse is..