The Miami Marlins were apparently approaching a variety of teams yesterday with the goal to trade incumbent Logan Morrison. Morrison has been a part of numerous trade rumors as of the last week, and those rumors have escalated to full levels now that the team has signed Garrett Jones to replace him at the position.
In fact, yesterday, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark was saying that a Morrison trade could come "shortly."
Marlins now telling teams they WILL trade Logan Morrison shortly. One team that appears very interested is the Rays, to replace James Loney— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 9, 2013
In the tweet, Stark mentioned one interested party being the Tampa Bay Rays, who were rumored to be willing to deal infielder Sean Rodriguez and a pitcher for Morrison. But later on, Joel Sherman of the New York Post stepped in to say that the Rays were, in fact, not interested in Morrison at all.
Given the easy pairing of an underperforming, cost-controlled, young player with upside and the eternally cheap Rays, it is not surprising that their name came up or has probably persisted. Do not be surprised if the Rays get involved before the Morrison deal is made.
A few other teams popped into the conversation alongside the Rays and Milwaukee Brewers, who have been there since the beginning. The Pittsburgh Pirates apparently have interest in Morrison or Adam Lind to help out at first base opposite lefty-mashing platoon partner Gaby Sanchez. The most appealing part about this trade is the ironic re-pairing of the Marlins tandem that shared one good season in 2011 and promptly fell apart in 2012.
The Toronto Blue Jays may have interest in Morrison as a first baseman or DH, depending on their opinion of incumbent Edwin Encarnacion's defense. The Baltimore Orioles were another AL East team interested in a potential DH upgrade, and the Fish do have a natural target on the Orioles' side in Miami native Danny Valencia, who hit .304/.335/.553 (.381 wOBA) in limited play last season.
As close as Miami says it is to a deal, it does not sound like teams are all that excited yet about a potential trade. Miami's zeal to make a move here stems from their Garrett Jones signing and their desire to secure the roster as early in the offseason as possible. The Fish would like to have all of the major roster roles cleared up before January and February likely. But the first base market still has legs left, with two important free agents still considering their options in James Loney and Corey Hart, plus another trade candidate in one of the Ike Davis / Lucas Duda pairing from the New York Mets.
There are still options in the market for teams looking for a first baseman or DH, and these teams still searching may still play the first baseman musical chairs for a little while, especially if recent contract demands from the likes of James Loney do not back down. Miami may want to make a move by the end of the week, but that is no guarantee.