The Washington Nationals and slugger Michael Morse agreed to terms on a two-year, $10.5 million contract extension. Morse’s new deal buys out the final two years of the 29-year-old’s arbitration eligibility and ensures the Nationals will have their 2011 MVP under team control through at least 2013.
Morse launched himself onto Major League Baseball’s front stage last season, posting a line of .303/.360/.550 over his 575 plate appearances. During that time, Morse tallied 31 home runs, 36 doubles and 95 RBI’s for the Nationals.
While Morse became more well-known last season, he actually started his ascent during the 2010 season. That year Morse maintained an OPS of .870 with 15 home runs over his 98 games played.
A late-bloomer, Morse was traded to the Nationals in June of 2009 for outfielder Ryan Langerhans. After only managing an OPS of .762 over parts of four seasons with the Mariners, Morse has hit at a clip of .295/.353/.536 over his three years and 276 games with Washington.
Morse appreciates the opportunity the Nationals presented him, and made it clear to his agent this offseason that he’d like to remain in Washington. Following the announcement of the extension, Morse told reporters that his new deal makes him “feel very excited and wanted”. Morse noted that he wants to remain in Washington “because of the direction the team is going in”.
Morse filled in for injured veteran Adam LaRoche last season, starting a majority of his games at first. With the return of LaRoche, Morse will now likely shift back to the outfield in 2012.
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