The Rays are known to be shopping a pitcher and the Nationals have Mike Morse who would become expendable if the Nationals can retain the services of Adam LaRoche. With Denard Span, Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper in the outfield, there might be no room for Morse.
The Rays are in desperate need of offense and they do have a plethora of pitchers to deal to obtain some offense. Morse could fit in at first base or in the outfield and would add instant pop to a Rays lineup in desperate need of it. The Rays are currently rumored to be close to a deal with first baseman James Loney so if they did acquire Morse he could slide into the outfield if needed.
The rumors floating around the lobby of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville is the Nationals are shopping Morse and Danny Espinosa and the Rays are listening and possibly dangling James Shields to get Morse and Espinosa.
Adding Shields would bolster a rotation that is already considered one of the best in the National League. Shields would join Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, and Ross Detwiler. It would become one of the best in baseball, if not the best.
The Nationals don’t necessarily have to have Adam LaRoche on board as Tyler Moore could also play first base and has quite a bit of pop in his bat. The only question about Moore is whether he can handle the big leagues on an everyday basis. Moore did hit 10 home runs and hit .263/.327/.513 last season and will turn 26-years-old in January.
Steve Lombardozzi would be the leading candidate to replace Espinosa but the Nationals could also make a play for someone like Jeff Keppinger to fill in at second.
This is a trade that would make sense for both sides.