Jason O. Watson
A's part of 3 way deal with Nationals, Mariners
To quote MLBTR:
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post first reported the trade and the major teams and players involved. Earlier this evening, Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that the M's were close to acquiring Morse. Morosi and Amanda Comak of the Washington Times also added more details about the package going back to the Nationals.
The A's have completed a three way trade with the Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals, with AJ Cole going back to Washington, along with a Player To Be Named Later, with the A's acquiring Seattle catcher John Jaso. The Mariners will receive Mike Morse. So it is a home coming for Cole (back to Washington after a year) and Morse (back to Seattle after four).
Jaso was acquired by the Mariners in 2011 from the Rays, after which he had produced a wOBA of .292 in 273 PA. The trade paid off for the Mariners, as Jaso broke out in Seattle, throwing up a .372 wOBA with a 2.7 WAR. Fangraphs Fans predict the catcher to produce a 3.5 WAR in 2013, though with a .344 wOBA.
What does this mean for the A's? Having just reached an agreement with George Kottaras for $1 million in Arbitration, and Derek Norris as the seeming heir apparent, the A's suddenly have a log jam at Catcher.
Most likely, the A's will have Jaso as their starting catcher in 2013. But who is the backup? Kottaras seems to be the most likely, pushing Norris back to AAA to work on his hitting.
I am torn from the A's perspective. On the one hand, the A's are acquiring a catcher who put up an .850 OPS in a pitchers park. His breakout year is at age 28, which is when a lot of players tend to do so (see: Eric Byrnes). But this is acquiring high on Jaso, who put up his best year by far in 2012.
On the outgoing, the A's are sending their #4 Prospect and a PTBNL, a steep price.
The Nationals got a very good run out of Morse, turning the Mariner utility guy into a power producing player, throwing up wOBA's of .331, .377, .390 and .340 before being dealt for a top prospect they already are comfortable with (Cole), "a Good Prospect", and a PTBNL from the A's.
I am just hoping that that "Good Prospect" is coming from Seattle, and not us.