First, it was Scott Hairston.
Then, it was Vernon Wells and even Lance Berkman.
Now, there's a new name that has entered the Hot Stove of rumors involving the New York Yankees.
With a little over a month to go until pitchers and catchers report, the Yankees' search for a bat continues.
Wallace Matthews of ESPN has reported that the Bombers are interested in acquiring Michael Morse from the Washington Nationals.
Yankees interested in Nats' Morse, sources say espn.go.com/new-york/mlb/s…
— wallace matthews (@ESPNNYYankees) January 8, 2013
Morse became expendable after the team acquired Denard Span from the Minnesota Twins and re-signing Adam LaRoche to a two-year deal this week.
With Span, Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth, the Nationals' outfield got overcrowded with Morse.
If the team didn't re-sign LaRoche, the team could have transitioned him to first, but his re-signing took care of that, which put Morse on the trade block.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports also tweeted that there are several teams in on Morse, which also includes the Yankees.
Source: #Nationals speaking to 5-6 teams about Morse. Earning $7M this season, then eligible for free agency.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 8, 2013
Jim Bowden of ESPN said that the Nationals are looking for a left-handed reliever and/or prospects in any deal involving Morse.
Nationals looking for LH relief help and/or prospects to help replenish farm system in a Michael Morse swap according to #Nats source
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) January 8, 2013
In 102 games for the Nationals, Morse hit .291 with 18 home runs and 62 RBI while playing first base and both left and right field in 2012.
If the Yankees did get Morse, they could use him as a fourth outfielder and also as a DH since nobody is in that spot due to Raul Ibanez returning to the Seattle Mariners as a free agent.
If the Yankees have the chance to land Morse, they should make the move, as it would only add $6.75 million of salary for 2013.
However, with other teams vying for Morse as well, it'll be interesting to see if the Yankees can land him or someone else beats them to the punch.
Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.