Nats acquire Sean Burnett, Nyjer Morgan

The Nationals have traded reliever Joel Hanrahan and outfielder Lastings Milledge to the Pirates for reliever Sean Burnett and outfielder Nyjer Moran on Tuesday afternoon.  

Morgan is considered the key to the deal for Washington. He was acquired to improve the team’s outfield defense, which is one of the worst in the National League. 

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.

Morgan was playing is playing left field and batting second for Pittsburgh. Entering Tuesday’s action, Morgan is hitting .277 with two home runs, 27 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. 

The Nationals also get younger in the bullpen with Burnett on board. He will be a middle reliever for the team. Burnett appeared in 38 games and had a respectable 3.06 ERA for Pittsburgh.

Hanrahan and Milledge did not fit in the team’s long-term plans. Hanrahan lost his job as a closer twice because he was often hit hard. Most people in the organization felt that his fastball was too straight and he relied too much on his slider.

Lack of defense and inconsistency at the plate are the reasons Milledge has been in the Minor Leagues since mid-April. In seven games, Milledge was 4-for-24 with an RBI for the Nationals.            

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