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Michael Morse Signs Multi-Year Extension With Nationals

The Nationals avoid arbitration with the first baseman/outfielder.

The Washington Nationals announced on their official Twitter account Friday that they have signed first baseman Michael Morse to a multi-year contract extension to avoid arbitration. Length and terms of the new contract are not immediately available.

The multi-year element of this deal should certainly raise some eyebrows with the Nationals reportedly hot in pursuit of free agent first baseman Prince Fielder. Signing on for more than one more year of Morse gives Washington plenty of security at first base and will take significant resources, so it will be interesting to see how this news affects the talks between Fielder and Nationals management. Of course, Morse can play the outfield, too, so in the event that Fielder signs, there would be room for both the Nationals' starting lineup.

Morse had a breakout season with Washington in 2011, hitting 31 home runs and driving in 95 runs while posting a .303 batting average and .910 OPS. He's spent part of seven seasons in the Majors with the Seattle Mariners and Nationals, but 2011 was his first season of true duty as a regular.

For more on the Nationals, be sure to check out Federal Baseball, SB Nation's Washington Nationals blog.