Langerhans vs. Morse


So this popped up on the twitter radar today.

And then again one hour later…

Of course this will bring back the memories of Morse during his time with the Mariners. It will also bring out a few of the Mike Morse supporters that were disappointed in the trade and didn’t feel we got very much in return in the form of Ryan Langerhans.

Langerhans, a sabermetric darling, has been a defensive whiz in his almost 100 games during his time with the Mariners, the past two years. Now, I’m not sure he makes the team this year. He’s got stiff competition in Guert, Gross and even Mike Wilson. But one thing is certain, he is a capable defender at any position in the outfield.

Now, Morse has thus far has shown the obvious ability to hit major league pitching and is a plus hitter. Being with the Nationals he’s got an opportunity to fight Rick Ankiel and/or Roger Bernadina for the left field starting job (with Josh Wilhemsen being traded to the Oakland A’s). He may even do some platooning with first basemen Adam LaRoche.

The biggest problem with Morse, and it’s the same problem he had here in Seattle, is he lacks positional value. Right now he’s about on par with LaRoche as far as projected productivity. But, I think I’m right there with a few others that wonder about if he really has enough power to be an average first basemen in the long term. And at 28 going on 29 his overall physical tool progression is going to be slim if there is any at all.

It’s always natural to look back and see how the trade turned out for all the parties involved. Right now isn’t a bad time to review the 2009 trade that sent Morse to the Nationals. Though I’ll admit that it might be a more interesting look when we know where the two will be playing in 2011.

But here we are.


While it could possibly be construed as a win for the Nationals, Langerhan’s played a whole 100 plate appearances less than Morse. If you were break down Langerhans PA-to-WAR ratio (0.0051 vs. 0.0051) , he’s right on par with Morse, so really it comes to how you want to put together your team in regards to preference and park factors.

The Mariners have put together a team that places a premium on defense. Something that Morse has never really been very good at outside of first base and playing that position is an obvious misfit on this team being a right-handed bat.

I honestly think that in the end this was a solid move for both teams. I still like the Mariner’s move and yet I think that the Nationals got value out of a trade that most of us thought was a pure win for our team.