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Morse could be potential fit for Rays

8

January

Update: Now FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Mike Morse is "strongly opposed" to being used as a designated hitter, citing league sources.

If that is indeed the case, could make some AL teams - including the Rays - use caution.

Developing: With the Nationals just re-signing first baseman Adam LaRoche to a two-year deal, it appears that outfielder/first baseman Mike Morse is available via trade.

And while there are several teams reported to be interested, including the Yankees, Morse could be the kind of guy the Rays look at as a potential bat.

Morse, 30, would provide power that Tampa Bay needs, whether that'd be in the corner outfield, part of a first-base platoon or at designated hitter. Morse hit .291 with 18 homers last season, and racked up 31 homers with 95 RBI in 2011.

While not known for his defense, Morse provides the kind of versatility the Rays covet, having played leftfield, rightfield, first base, shortstop and a little third base in his eight big-league seasons. And he wouldn't be overly expensive, earning $6.75 million next year before becoming a free agent.

According to ESPN's Jim Bowden, there are 10-11 teams in on Morse, with Tampa Bay, Seattle and the Yankees the "most active" in trying to acquire him. Washington is looking for a left-handed reliever and/or prospects in any Morse deal, according to Bowden. The Rays do have a strong farm system, and some lefty relievers both at the major league level and in prospects.

With a lot of teams interested, the Nationals likely have a number of options.

But the Rays have been looking to add to their offense, and Morse is a name to at least watch.

-- JOE SMITH

joesmith@tampabay.com

 

 

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 6:11pm]

    

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