Nationals trying to acquire Nyjer Morgan [update]
Looking to improve their outfield defense, the Nationals are trying to acquire Pirates outfielder Nyjer Morgan, according to a baseball source.
The Nationals see Morgan as a center fielder/leadoff hitter. The Nationals also like his hockey attitude. He once played with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League during the 1999-2000 season.
Currently, Morgan is playing left field and batting second for Pittsburgh. Entering Saturday’s action, Morgan is hitting .267 with two home runs, 27 RBIs and 18 stolen bases.
“It is most definitely [flattering that another team wants me] because it means that I opened up some other team’s eyes and they think that I can help out their organization, too,” Morgan said. “But I really can’t worry about that. I can only worry about what I can take care of here with the Buccos.”
Published reports indicated that Washington is willing to part with outfielder Lastings Milledge, who is currently playing in the Gulf Coast League. But the Pirates don’t need another outfielder. They are looking for a starting pitcher or a middle infielder in return.
Right-hander Craig Stammen’s name has been mentioned in trade talks, but it seems unlikely that he will be dealt. He is considered a major part of a young rotation that includes John Lannan and Jordan Zimmermann.
Don’t look for middle infielders such Alberto Gonzalez or Danny Espinosa to be dealt, but second baseman Anderson Hernandez could be part of the deal. Another source said that the Nationals are going to look for a second baseman after the season.
Morgan is the not the only outfielder the Nationals are looking at. They have interest in Braves outfielder Jordan Schafer. He began the season as Atlanta’s everyday center fielder, but was sent down after the team acquired Nate McLouth from the Pirates.
The Nationals have been unhappy with their outfielders for quite some time. They have come to the come to the conclusion that Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham belong in the American League as designated hitters and Elijah Dukes makes too many mental mistakes.
Only Willie Harris and Austin Kearns have played solid defense, but they are not part of the team’s long-term plans.