Updated: January 16, 2013 4:57 PM | By Ronald Blum, The Associated Press, thecanadianpress.com

Nats trade Morse to Seattle in 3-team deal



The Washington Nationals traded power-hitting Michael Morse to Seattle on Wednesday in a three-team deal that moved catcher John Jaso from the Mariners to Oakland.

The NL East champion Nationals reacquired pitching prospect A.J. Cole, dealt from Washington to Oakland just 13 months ago in the trade for Gio Gonzalez. Washington also got pitcher Blake Treinen and a player to be named.

Morse hit .291 with 18 home runs and 62 RBIs for the Nationals in an injury-plagued season, playing mostly as an outfielder. The Nationals acquired Denard Span in a trade and contemplated moving the 30-year-old Morse to first base but then re-signed Adam LaRoche. Morse played for the Mariners from 2005-08.

Jaso, 29, batted .276 with 10 homers and 50 RBIs but became expendable when Seattle signed Raul Ibanez to be its designated hitter, a move that shifts Jesus Montero from a catcher-DH split to primarily behind the plate. The AL West champion A's had Kurt Suzuki as their main catcher last season before trading him to the Nationals.

Cole, a 21-year-old right-hander, was among four players traded by Washington to Oakland in December 2011 for pitcher Gio Gonzalez. Cole was 0-7 with a 7.82 ERA in eight games at Stockton of the California League and 6-3 with a 2.07 ERA at Burlington of the Midwest League, both Class A level.

To open a roster spot, Oakland designated catcher George Kottaras for assignment.

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