Nationals Discussing Espinosa/Morse With Rays; Seeking Starting Pitching?


You’ve heard the rumors, but now those rumored have officially been confirmed.

Jim Bowden of ESPN reports that the Nationals have officially begun discussing Danny Espinosa and Michael Morse with the Tampa Bay Rays (via Twitter). With the Rays now deep in negotiations to make James Loney their next first baseman, Morse would likely take over in left field, with current left fielder Desmond Jennings assuming BJ Upton’s spot in center field.

The Nationals are reportedly discussing Michael Morse as well as Danny Espinosa with the Tampa Bay Rays as they look to further enhance their starting rotation. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

With the Rays’ 2012 second baseman (Jeff Keppinger) now on the open market, they’re in the market for a replacement, and Espinosa presents a solid option on both sides of the ball. Espinosa could also, in theory, play shortstop if the Rays prefer to shift Ben Zobrist over to second base and feel that Sean Rodriguez and Elliot Johnson can’t hold down the fort.

As far as a potential return goes, it sounds like James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson are the pitchers that the Rays are most actively shopping. However, it sounds like Matt Moore and David Price are also fair game, although the asking price on Price (cue the sarcastic “ha ha”s) is said to be very high.

With the Nationals said to be pursuing Adam LaRoche on the free agent market, it seems as though Morse would be the more likely of the two to go, however, the Nats do have a very solid replacement in Steve Lombardozzi should they choose to deal Espinosa. It seems as though both are very much in play, though that’s just a writer’s speculation.

Please check back on District On Deck as we continue to bring you the latest from this story as well as all the offseason’s biggest news and rumors.