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Detroit Tigers Links: Justin Verlander to miss World Baseball Classic & Nationals trade Michael Morse to the Mariners in 3-team deal

The Tigers have hired a baserunning consultant, Justin Verlander will not pitch in the World Baseball Classic, and the Nationals traded Michael Morse to the Mariners as part of a three-team trade. These stories and more in today's Morning Prowl.

Ezra Shaw

Justin Verlander, other Tigers not likely to play in World Baseball Classic
The Detroit News, Tom Gage

"But other than Miguel Cabrera, who has already said yes to the Venezuelan team, no Tiger has yet committed to playing in the WBC."

Wait, the Tigers have a baserunning consultant? (update)
Beck's Blog, Jason Beck

"Leyland has mentioned several times over the years that he’d like the Tigers to become a better team on the basepaths, smarter and more aggressive if not actually faster."

The Unusual Career Path of Champ Summers
Tiger Tales, Lee Panas
An excellent profile of the fan-favorite Summers from the old days.

When Will Justin Verlander Collect His First Hit?
Motor City Bengals, Matt Snyder
Prediction: his next no-hitter comes first.

Washington Nationals Reportedly Trade Michael Morse To Seattle Mariners; Reacquire RHP A.J. Cole In Three-Team Deal With Oakland A's
Federal Baseball, Patrick Reddington
Mariners fans aren't happy at all, Nationals fans have mixed emotions, and A's fans are about as lukewarm as I would be about acquiring a catcher who -- walk rate be damned -- has a brick for a glove.

Who wins with the Rafael Soriano deal?
Baseball Nation, Grant Brisbee

"The Nationals, then, are the winners here. They were good, and they got better. Every marginal improvement counts for a team expecting to make the playoffs. Considering the state of the lineup and rotation, there probably wasn't a single free agent remaining who could have improved the team more."

David Price beats fiscal cliff deadline by signing clever $10 million contract with Rays
Big League Stew, David Brown
A breakdown of Price's one-year contract and how the Rays once again appear to have one of the smartest front offices in baseball.

On the Effect of the Marlins’ Home Run Sculpture
FanGraphs Baseball, Jeff Sullivan
We have now reached the point of the offseason where people are discussing whether a sculpture is having a major impact on a baseball game. It's time for Spring Training to start.