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.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.