The Washington Nationals finally got Adam LaRoche to relent yesterday, signing the veteran first baseman to a two-year, $24 million deal rather than the guaranteed three years for which he was looking.
The agreement puts coveted slugger Mike Morse on the trading block, who could be a tougher sell than expected for the Nats. It has emerged that Morse is "strongly opposed" to going somewhere to serve as their designated hitter, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
There is a problem for any American League team that intends to acquire Nationals left fielder Mike Morse and use him often as a designated hitter.
Morse strongly opposes being a DH, according to major-league sources.
The issue, sources say, will carry weight for some AL clubs.
The Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles are all interested in acquiring Morse, and all would foreseeably want to give the veteran considerable playing time at designated hitter rather than in the outfield or at first base.
One executive told Rosenthal that the Mariners are the favorites to land Morse, as they are most likely to use him in the field. A deal with the Mariners would bring the slugger back to Seattle four years after the club essentially gave him away to the Nats in exchange for Ryan Langerhans.