Orioles claim Michael Morse off waivers


(Ben Margot/AP Photo)

Former Nationals first baseman-outfielder-fan favorite and current Seattle Mariner Michael Morse was claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles, according to CBS Sports. The two teams have 48 hours from the waiver claim in which to strike a deal. By some indications, the Mariners, who have a surplus of outfielders, seem willing to part ways with Morse, who has been injured and underproductive this season.

Morse, 31, has posted a triple-slash line of .226/.283/.410 with 13 homers over 76 games. That’s a hefty dropoff from his career averages of .284/.338/.479. Last season with the Nationals, the popular teammate hit .291/.321/.470 with 18 homers in 102 games.

This offseason the Nationals dealt Morse, who was set to earn $6.75 million this season in the final year of a two-year deal. Washington netted right-handed starters Blake Treinen and A.J. Cole and left-handed reliever Ian Krol as part of the three-team deal. Krol, the player to be named later in the deal, reached the majors this season with the Nationals and impressed with a 3.24 ERA over 25 innings.

The Orioles, seeking offense during a hopeful playoff push, reportedly won waiver claims on other veteran power hitters, including former National and current Minnesota Twin Josh Willingham. The non-waiver trade deadline was July 31. The Orioles at 70-61 trail the Oakland Athletics by 4 1/2 games for the second AL wild-card spot. The Mariners are second to last in the AL West with a 59-73 record. In order to be eligible for a postseason roster, a player has to be on a team by Aug. 31.

The Mariners have three options: pull Morse back, dump him and his contract on the Orioles, or agree to a trade with the Orioles. Over the next few days, the two teams may strike a deal and a familiar face could be playing nearby.

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010 and, prior to covering the Nationals, covered high school sports across the region.

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Lacy Lusk · August 29, 2013

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