Couldn't O's have gotten Morse?

Couldn't O's have gotten Morse?
January 17, 2013, 2:00 am
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It became clear in recent weeks that the Orioles weren’t going to make a deal with the Nationals for big bat Michael Morse. Club vice president Dan Duquette said of a possible trade, while not mentioning Morse: “There have been some other players available in a trade that I'm not sure they were better than what we had, and the cost of the acquisition has been a little pricey for us.”

However, look at Wednesday’s three-way deal the Nats made with the Mariners and A’s that sent Morse to Seattle. What did Washington get in return? Two minor-league pitching prospects, A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen, and a player to be named.

As the redoubtable Mark Zuckerman points out at, Cole, 21, started last season in high-Class A and struggled before pitching better upon being demoted to low-Class A. Treinen, 24, had arm trouble and a 4.37 ERA at high-Class A.

Yes, both are still young arms, and maybe they will develop into something. And who knows how talented the player still to be named may be? However, on the surface, the Nats’ return doesn’t look all that impressive. If this was what they were willing to settle for, couldn’t the Orioles have swung a deal with them?

The Orioles weren’t going to part with either Dylan Bundy or Kevin Gausman, but there must be other arms in the system equivalent to what the Nats got.