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 Rosaor Allen Webster.
Another day, another option taken away. It seems like Mike Napoli and the Red Sox are destined to be together because at this rate, there may be no one else for the Sox to grab. Peter Abraham mentions Mike Carp could possibly work since the Mariners now have four people that can play first. Of course, Carp would be the fourth option for the Mariners behind Kendry Morales, Mike Morse, and Justin Smoak. He'd be the backup since we're all about 80% sure Mike Napoli is signing with us. If he doesn't...well then first base would be a problem in 2013.
Abraham also mentions bringing back an old friend in Casey Kotchman, the same person who went .218/1/7 in 39 games after trading him for Adam LaRoche back in 2009. He went .229/12/55 last year in Cleveland, so here's hoping that they just sign him as a backup/really crappy insurance policy. This is what's left for the Sox to pick and if they continue to just sit around then they may not even have a chance to scrape the bottom of the barrel.
Rest of the Links: Globe: Could Mike Carp be a good fit for the Sox? | Herald: With Morse deal, alternatives to Napoli keep dwindling | CSNNE: Shortstop of the future | Padilla headed to Japan | No Morse, No Cook for Sox | WEEI: Napoli resolution by next week