Michael Morse “strongly opposes” being a designated hitter

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It’s a near certainty that the Nationals are going to trade Michael Morse, but FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal presents one issue that might affect talks with any potentailly interested American League teams:

Morse strongly opposes being a DH, according to major-league sources.

The issue, sources say, will carry weight for some AL clubs. Morse is “not a very gifted defender” and would better fit certain teams as a DH, according to one rival executive who leans heavily on advanced metrics.

Trades sometimes turn on such details.

Morse can’t block a deal, so it’s not like he’s going to have any say in where he ultimately winds up. But it’s safe to wonder whether some of the American League teams that like him might now back off for fear of adding a disgruntled player.

The Yankees, Mariners, Rays and Orioles have been tied to him so far. The Rangers may also have interest.

Morse, 30, boasts a .296/.345/.516 slash since the start of the 2010 season. He had 31 home runs in 2011.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.