The latest reports are that the Marlins are adding Garrett Jones to the roster to take over at 1B for 2 years at about $8M total. If this deal follows through, it is most likely tethered to a trade of Marlins’ 1B Logan Morrison.
LoMo has underperformed and a lot of it is tied to his two knee operations over the past two seasons. This offseason, Morrison is healthy and looking forward to having a productive season. The Marlins are looking to possibly bank on his potential with the market in search of good bats, there are rumors circulating that Morrison could be dealt for a pitcher or even a 3B.
One potential match could have been the Boston Red Sox, as the Marlins have mentioned their interest in Will Middlebrooks. Mike Napoli resigned with the Red Sox though to a 2 year deal ($32M), so most likely the Marlins will be finding another trade partner at this point. The Brewers may be another potential suitor:
Sources: Red Sox and Brewers among teams that have checked in with Marlins about Logan Morrison. @FOXSports1
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 6, 2013
One can get the feeling that LoMo is going to go on and be a Kevin Millar type of player somewhere, no matter where that is. The Marlins will be banking on his potential to yield a return. LoMo’s defense won’t be missed at all.
Signing Garrett Jones, who hit 15 home runs last year with a .233/.289/.708 slash line, means less playing time for Morrison – if he is retained. As mentioned before, this deal most likely came in the wake of kicking the tires on Napoli and turning up nothing. The Marlins find a value-type player in Jones, and now, with lots of interest in Morrison, move to shed his talent for a potential upgrade at 3B.
In Jones, the Marlins get a guy who has hit 100 home runs over the course of 5 years with the Pirates. He has power but does strike out quite a bit; Jones also can hit doubles which with his lefty bat could be a great run-producing factor at Marlins Park.
This is a move that may seem curious if taken in a vacuum but this is most likely part of a tandem deal. The Marlins are not going to replace Morrison with an older player in Jones who has similar offensive projections, although with a bit more power potential. Also, Jones was non-tendered by the Pirates and signing him to a 2 year deal doesn’t make sense (1st year is estimated to be about $2.5M and $5M in ’15) but the Marlins may have had to overpay in order to lock in his services given their more recent track record. Ultimately though, this deal must be understood in regards to who they get in return for LoMo.
The Marlins have retooled the infield under their new front office regime. Gone are Logan Morrison, Donovan Solano, and Derek Dietrich who are all being replaced by Rafael Furcal and Garrett Jones. The recent signing of Jarrod Saltalamacchia gives stability and offense behind home plate. It seems the Marlins are finding their stride with low risk value players and are banking on bigger seasons from young guns like Marcel Ozuna and Christian Yelich. The key to grading their offseason will be seeing what solution they find for 3B.