The Nationals have dealt Michael Morse in a three-way trade, involving the Mariners and the Athletics, that brings right-handed pitcher A.J. Cole back to Washington, according to the Washington Post.

Morse was traded to Seattle – the team he played for prior to Washington in 2008 – who traded catcher John Jaso to Oakland, who then sent Cole back to D.C. to complete the three-team trade.

Rumors began swirling heavily that the Nats were looking to deal the outfield/firstbase slugger after the club re-signed Adam LaRoche and traded for Denard Span. Between a packed outfield of Span, Harper and Werth, and a hole at first plugged by LaRoche, Morse was rendered expendable.

Cole  returns to Washington after being traded to Oakland last off-season, in a deal that put Cy Young nominee Gio Gonzalez in a Nats uniform.

Morse’s contract expires at the end of this season. He is slated to earn $6.75 million in 2013.


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