Mariners pick up Michael Morse from the Nationals as part of three-team, five-player trade

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Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has the story:

The Nationals traded slugger Michael Morse to the Seattle Mariners in a three-way trade that netted them right-hander A.J. Cole, the pitching prospect who last winter served as the centerpiece of the trade that brought Gio Gonzalez from the Oakland A’s to the Nationals. The Mariners sent catcher John Jaso to the Oakland to complete the deal.

Morse boasts a .297/.343/.515 batting line since the start of the 2011 season. He also has 49 home runs and 157 RBI in that span. But the 30-year-old isn’t a good defensive player and is currently slated to become a free agent in November. He’ll presumably serve as the Mariners’ starting left fielder and part-time designated hitter.

Jaso, 29, hit .276/.394/.456 with 10 home runs and 50 RBI in 108 games last year for Seattle.

Cole, 21, had a 4.04 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 89 innings last season between two levels of Single-A.

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UPDATE, 7:14 PM: CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler says the Nats will will also get two additional prospects.

UPDATE, 7:48 PM: Blake Treinen is one of those prospects, according to the Nationals. The other will be a player to be named later. Treinen, a righty, had a 4.37 ERA in 103 innings last year at High-A Stockton.

Nick Markakis leads all NL outfielders in All-Star voting

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I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.

Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.

The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.

Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.

Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.

The rest of the voting: