By Shannon Drayer
The trade has yet to be officially announced but I have confirmation that the Mariners have sent John Jaso to the Oakland A's and acquired Mike Morse from the Washington Nationals in a three way deal. Washington will receive RHP A.J. Cole and a player to be named from the A's.
More moves are sure to be coming as Jesus Montero is the only catcher currently on the 40-man roster. I don't believe this will speed up the process with Mike Zunino however. While he has had great success in just a few months in the organization, talk of him making the team out of spring training has been greatly tempered by both Jack Zduriencik and Eric Wedge this winter. Wedge seems to firmly believe that Zunino will benefit from at least some time in the minors this year.
This move does have an element of sting to it as Jack Zduriencik gives up a strong left handed bat, and perhaps his best at bat on last year's roster in John Jaso to get a much needed right handed outfield bat in Mike Morse. It appeared to me in looking at the roster with the new additions this winter that it was going to be tougher to get Jaso at bats this season with Raul Ibanez, Jason Bay and Kendrys Morales needing significant time at DH.
What he gets in exchange is someone with legitimate middle of the order experience that Wedge can put in the lineup every day if he so chooses. Defensively, that will be interesting, but this move clearly was not about defense.
I will have more once I have a chance to talk with Zduriencik.