Following the announcement that Morse has signed a multi-year extension with the Nationals, the trade that brought his big bat to Washington two and a half years ago returns to the spotlight.
On June 28, 2009, the Nationals sent outfielder Ryan Langerhans to Seattle for Morse. At the time, it was a trade of minor leaguers who both had had a taste of the majors, but each had not been able to establish themselves..
Morse had certainly shown he could hit for average and had an outstanding spring training. He had managed just 14 games in two previous seasons for the Mariners, the final year ending early due to a shoulder injury that required surgery.
With new life in Washington, Morse took off. He played in a total of 107 games with Seattle in parts of four seasons. By comparison, Morse played in 146 contests just last season for the Nationals and 276 games overall in three seasons.
His power numbers have also accelerated since his arrival in D.C. While with Seattle, Morse connected for three homers and 37 RBIs. But with the Nationals, Morse has crushed 49 homers and 146 RBIs.
He has gone from a platooning right fielder to the everyday left fielder for the Nationals. Morse also played most of last season at first base, subbing for an injured Adam LaRoche.
What a coup for the Nationals. He can play the outfield and is a critical insurance piece at first base. What if LaRoche does not return to 100 percent form this season? Morse can play first base again.
Langerhans was a solid player, but he was not going to be a long-term solution in D.C. The Nationals were able to send him to Seattle for Morse, who the Mariners thought had reached his peak.
Langerhans played parts of three seasons and 117 games with Seattle before being dealt to Arizona at the trading deadline last July. He has not appeared in game yet for the Diamondbacks.
Little did the Mariners know then what Morse was going to do. Now the Nationals have guaranteed Morse will continue in D.C. for at least two more seasons.
This was a trade that turned into a slam dunk win for the Nationals. If Ryan Zimmerman, Jayson Werth and LaRoche can all hit well in the middle of the lineup, this will only help Morse see more pitches and potentially improve on his career year of 31 homers and 95 RBIs from 2011.