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Source: Red Sox had interest in Michael Morse, but price was too steep 01.16.13 at 7:44 pm ET
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The Nationals agreed to a three-way deal that will send first baseman/outfielder Michael Morse to the Mariners. The Mariners will send first baseman/catcher John Jaso to the Athletics, with Oakland sending right-hander A.J. Cole, right-hander Blake Treinen and a player to be named back to the Nationals, the organization that drafted and signed Cole before dealing the hard-throwing prospect to the A’s last year in the Gio Gonzalez deal.

The Red Sox, according to a major league source, had some interest in Morse, a 30-year-old with prodigious power. Over the last three years in Washington, Morse hit .296/.345/.516/.861 while averaging 21 homers a season (30 homers per 162 games), including a .291/.321/.470/.791 line with 18 homers in 102 games in 2012.

However, according to the source, the Sox felt that the cost of acquisition for Morse — who will be under team control for just one year (for $6.75 million) before he is eligible for free agency following the 2013 season — was “steep” given the market alternatives (including, of course, free agent Mike Napoli, with whom the Sox continue to talk about the possibility of a deal).

Given that the Nationals received a pitcher with the upside of a potential frontline starter in Cole (albeit one who struggled in the High-A California League, resulting in a demotion to the Single-A Midwest League, where he dominated (2.07 ERA, 102 strikeouts, 19 walks in 96 innings)), a comparable prospect price from the Sox might have been someone along the lines of one of the Sox’ top tier of pitching prospects, perhaps a high-ceiling pitcher far from the majors such as Henry Owens, but more likely, a pitcher like Matt Barnes, Rubby De La Rosa or Allen Webster.

Read More: a.j. cole, John Jaso, michael morse, mike napoli
Hot Stove: Rays reportedly sign catcher Jose Molina to replace traded John Jaso 11.28.11 at 10:35 am ET
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The Rays’ catching situation had been in a state of flux Sunday after they traded starting catcher John Jaso to the Mariners in exchange for right-handed pitcher Josh Lueke, but according to Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman, the Rays took a step toward replacing Jaso Monday when they agreed to terms with veteran backstop Jose Molina.

The 2012 season will be Molina’s 13th in the major leagues, and he has won two World Series championships during his career. The first came in 2002 with the Angels, and Molina most recently earned a World Series ring with the Yankees in 2009. Molina spent the last two seasons as a backup catcher for the Blue Jays.

The 36-year-old seems to be a backup option for the Rays since he has played less than 60 games in the last three seasons. Molina is not a standout slugger, as he is a career .241 batter with a .286 OBP and 29 career home runs. Despite his lackluster abilities at the plate, however, Molina remains a decent defensive catcher. He caught 27-of-70 runners in steal attempts during his time with the Blue Jays and led the league in caught stealing percentage in 2008 and 2010.

Molina is the middle brother of the Molina brothers catching trio. Older brother Bengie last played for the Rangers in 2010, and younger brother Yadier plays for the Cardinals.

Read More: Hot Stove 2011, John Jaso, Jose Molina,
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