Adam LaRoche is back in D.C. which means the Washington Nationals will most likely be looking to trade slugger Michael Morse. It’s no secret that the Orioles are looking for a middle of the order bat and maybe even a first baseman and Morse would fit both of those needs.
So what will Mike Rizzo be looking for in return?
Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and ESPN tweets that Washington would like left handed relief pitching and/or prospects to help replenish their farm system.
Troy Patton and Brian Matusz are two names that immediately come to mind. Although, Buck Showalter and the Orioles plan to bring Matusz, a former first round pick, to Spring Training as a starting pitcher.
Patton is coming off a career year in which he pitched to a 2.43 ERA over 55.2 innings and struck out 7.9 per 9. He’s under team control through 2016.
A guy like Jonathan Schoop, the Orioles 21 year old infield prospect, would likely have to be included in a deal to snag Morse. Schoop was rated the 82nd overall prospect by Baseball America last season and hit .245/.324/.386 with 14 home runs and 56 RBI in 124 games at Double-A Bowie in 2012.
Morse is signed through the end of the season, so if the Orioles do make a deal with Washington, a contract extension could quickly follow. He’s due to make $6.75 million in 2013.