The Nationals have traded Mike Morse to Seattle for pitcher A.J. Cole in a three team deal. According to FOX Sports, Seattle sends catcher John Jaso to Oakland. The Nats also receive minor league pitcher Blake Treinen and a player to be named later.
Cole was part of a package sent to Oakland by Washington a year ago to acquire Gio Gonzalez. Morse came to the Nats from Seattle back in 2009 in a trade for outfielder Ryan Langerhans. The move adds top prospects back to the Nats farm system, after the club traded away young, upcoming talent not only in the Gonzalez deal, but for Denard Span this offseason.
Morse became expendable when the Nats re-signed free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche. That move, coupled with the trade for Span, left Morse as the odd man out. Bryce Harper is expected to slide over to left field, with Jayson Werth in right field, flanking Span in center.
The 21 year old Cole struggled in High-A last season, but pitched very well after getting bumped down to Low-A. Overall, Cole had a 3.70 ERA with 133 strikeouts in 133 and two-third innings across the two levels. A fourth round selection in the 2010 MLB draft, Cole was rated the #4 prospect in the Nationals farm system by Baseball America, prior to getting dealt to Oakland. MLB.com has already moved Cole and rates him third overall in the Nats farm system, behind only 3B Anthony Rendon and CF Brian Goodwin and the Nats top pitching prospect.
Treinen is a 24 year old right handed pitcher out of South Dakota State University. The 6'4" 215 pound Treinen was selected by Oakland in the seventh round of the 2011 draft. Treinen was 7-7 with a 4.37 ERA with Stockton of the California League last season.