Oct 12, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals left fielder Michael Morse (38) hits a two run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during the third inning of game five of the 2012 NLDS at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Orioles: Deciphering the Morse Code on the Nat’s Trade


When looking at the details of the Washington Nationals trade of Michael Morse this evening, my first reaction was to say, “That’s it? That’s all they got?”  Since this is an Orioles-focused page, I’ll not go into the stats of the players received beyond saying that they are merely “A” level players. Sure, one of them throws upper 90s – a skill that can’t really be taught. But wow, this does not look like much for a guy with the skills and numbers Morse has.

Though I only watch the Nationals play a fraction of the time that I watch the Orioles, I will say that Morse was one of the guys there who has always caught my eye as a heck of a talent. I love the swing and jump of the ball off his bat. It would have been great to have him on the Birds. It now looks like the price for him was not actually that high. So what went wrong?

September 21, 2012; Boston, MA USA; Baltimore Orioles general manager Dan Duquette in the dugout prior to a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

We’ll likely never know, but it seems to me it has to be one of two things. Either Duquette was really, really unwilling to part with much, or Mike Rizzo of the Nationals did not value any offer to the extent we on our side of the divide would value our own talent. I suppose that logic would suggest the former possibility over the latter. Though I’m a pretty big Nolan Reimold fan – and not getting a player like Morse gives Reimold more playing time – I would have made a trade of a Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz, or Zach Brittonfor Morse.

Presuming these speculations have any merit, I suppose it does say of Dan Duquette that he really does want to see the Orioles advance primarily through the developmental system – that he is a believer in our young guys and what they can become, not parting easily with them. I can certainly respect that.

So do any of you readers out there have any other take on this? Like maybe Rizzo wouldn’t want to trade with the poor relatives up the road? Any thoughts??

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  • Brett

    You cannot be angry at the guy until you know what the Nats wanted from us. If they asked for Matusz or Patton straight up, then I think it should have been a done deal. However, if they asked for both of them or a Matusz+1 or Patton +1, then it was probably too much. Duke was definitely considering his injury concerns and only having one year left. The guy would have been great in OPACY but you can’t give up too much for a guy like Morse.

    • Randy Buchman

      I’m not angry at the guy at all. As I wrote a few days ago, I largely support the standing pat with what we have argument. It just seems to me that the Nats got way less than any of your examples, and that somehow the Birds could have made a deal. There is the matter of the dollars involved as well. I’m just amazed they got so little for such a good player. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Brett

        I absolutely agree with you. I apologize if my comments seemed like I thought you were angry, I meant it in more of a general statement that people who are fans cannot be angry about it. They definitely did get a low haul for Morse, but who knows what they asked for from the birds. Duke values our young pitching very highly especially with our new pitching coach being able to turn them around (exp – the amazing job he did to develop tilly).

        My thought is that the MASN issue could have come into play and the owner forced Rizzo to ask for too much just because it was the O’s. Or they want to try to stay on top of this Beltway Rivalry that has started up recently.

        • Randy Buchman

          No problem… I understood what you meant. There is some story behind the scenes that we’ll never know. I’m good to go to war with our team as currently constituted.