Mariners Acquire Morse From Nats In Three-Team Deal




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The Deal
Spurned in their pursuit of Justin Upton, the Mariners turned to the Nationals for a power-hitting corner outfielder, acquiring Michael Morse from Washington as part of a three-team deal that also involved the Athletics. Catcher John Jaso goes from Seattle to Oakland, while the Nationals acquire three young players from the A's: righthander A.J. Cole, whom they originally drafted in 2010, righty Blake Treinen and a player to be named.

UPDATE: The Nationals acquired lefthander Ian Krol from the Athletics on March 20.
 
Nationals Acquire
A.J. Cole, rhp
Age: 21. Born: Jan. 5, 1992 in Winter Springs, Fla.
Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 180.
Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: Oviedo (Fla.) HS.
Career Transactions: Selected by Nationals in fourth round of 2010 draft; signed Aug. 15, 2010 ... Traded by Nationals with RHP Brad Peacock, C Derek Norris and LHP Tom Milone to Athletics for LHP Gio Gonzalez and RHP Rob Gilliam, Dec. 23, 2011.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Stockton (CAL) HiA 0 7 7.82 8 8 0 38 60 40 33 7 10 31 1.84
Burlington (MWL) LoA 6 3 2.07 19 19 0 96 78 32 22 7 19 102 1.01

Cole established a bonus record for the fourth round when he signed with Washington for $2 million in 2010, though after two years in pro ball he's more projection than production. He recovered from a brutal April and May in the California League to find his footing in low Class A, where he ranked as the Midwest League's No. 10 prospect. Cole stands 6-foot-4, tops out near 96 mph and shows flashes of a solid slider and changeup. In other words, he has all the ingredients to profile as a major league starter.
 
Blake Treinen, rhp
Age: 25. Born: June 30, 1988 in Ossage City, Kan.
Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 215.
Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: South Dakota State.
Career Transactions: Selected by Athletics in seventh round of 2011 draft; signed June 14, 2011.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Stockton (CAL) HiA 7 7 4.37 24 15 0 103 116 60 50 11 23 92 1.35

Treinen has definite bullpen potential at the big league level with his 92-94 mph heat and mid-80s slider. He challenges hitters with a quick tempo and plus sinking action on his fastball. Treinen finished 2012 in the Stockton bullpen, logging nine appearances and striking out 14, walking four and allowing 11 hits in 13 innings.

Ian Krol, lhp
Age: 22. Born: May 9, 1991 in Naperville, Ill.
Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 180.
Bats: L. Throws: L.
School: Neuqua Valley HS, Naperville, Ill.
Career Transactions: Selected by Athletics in seventh round of 2009 draft; signed Aug. 17, 2009.
                       
Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Stockton (CAL) HiA 1 7 5.21 21 15 0 86 95 64 50 13 24 79 1.38
Midland (TL) AA 1 2 5.06 8 0 0 11 11 6 6 0 2 10 1.22
 
Krol found a home after moving to the bullpen last July with high Class A Stockton. After pitching with average velocity as a starter, his fastball began hitting 93-94 mph in the shorter stints. His aggressive mindset was a good match for the relief role as well. He mainly relied on his fastball and a sharp 77-78 mph curveball, mixing in a tailing changeup on occasion. Krol has the stuff to get to the big leagues, but he doesn't have big league command yet. He stands up too much as he finishes his delivery and struggles to repeat. The A's hadn't closed the door on making Krol a starter again but saw him sticking in the bullpen as his most likely path to the majors.
—Jim Shonerd

Athletics Acquire
John Jaso, c
Age: 29. Bats: L. Remaining Commitment: Arbitration-eligible for three seasons, 2013-15 ($495,200 salary in 2012).
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) Year AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Seattle (AL) 2012 .276 108 294 41 81 19 2 10 50 56 51 5 .394 .456
3-Year Totals
.256 306 879 124 225 52 6 20 121 140 126 10 .360 .397

Impact on Oakland depth chart: The A's designated George Kottaras for assignment, clearing the way for Jaso to platoon with sophomore catcher Derek Norris. On a per plate appearances basis, Jaso was the Mariners' most productive hitter last season, batting .276/.394/.456 (144 OPS+) with 10 homers in 361 PAs. He owes his breakout to career high rates for walks (15.5 percent) and line drives (25.4 percent), but even if he regresses to 2010-11 levels, he still hit .246/.342/.368 (100 OPS+) in 677 PAs. His departure enables Jesus Montero to log more innings behind the plate for Seattle.
 
Mariners Acquire
Michael Morse, lf/1b
Age: 31. Bats: R. Remaining Commitment: 1 year, $6.75 million.
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) Year AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Washington (NL) 2012 .291 102 406 53 118 17 1 18 62 16 97 0 .321 .470
3-Year Totals
.296 346 1194 162 353 65 3 64 198 74 287 2 .345 .516

Impact on Seattle depth chart: After crushing a career-high 31 homers in 2011, Morse missed the first two months of 2012 with a lat injury. He returned in fine form, but once the Nationals traded for center fielder Denard Span (pushing Bryce Harper to a corner full-time) and re-signed free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche, Morse's days in Washington appeared numbered. Seattle's Safeco Field has a well-earned reputation as a graveyard for righty power hitters, though with the left-field fence coming in for 2013, Morse may be able maintain most of his power as he heads toward free agency following the year.

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