Most fans knew it was only a matter of time until the Miami Marlins pulled the trigger on a Logan Morrison trade. in fact, most Marlins fans knewthat Morrisons time with the team was limited. This was known even two years ago when he and Gaby Sanchez should have both played first base thanks to their defensive deficiencies. The Marlins were simply too late to realize that Morrison needed to be dealt. Today, they salvage the rest of Morrisons trade value by sending him to the Seattle Mariners in return for reliever Carter Capps.
Had Morrison performed better from 2012 to 2013 the Marlins may have had their first baseman of the future. Instead, after three-plus seasons with the team, the once-promising prospect suffered enough injuries and disappointment to have been dealt for relief pitching. The quality of Carter Capps as a prospect is almost irrelevant. The disappointment of Morse career as a Marlin is the overriding story.
For Morrison's career, he has hit .249/.337/.427 (.335 wOBA), which is extremely disappointing for a player once considered a top-30 prospect in the game. Morrison's power never truly developed, as his frame suggested a player that would hit more than 35 percent of batted balls in the air and more than 11.6 percent of his fly balls for dingers. When he was a prospect, he promised an elite batting eye and contact capabilities. He provided good contact and walk rates in the majors, but he could not find base hits on that contact. A career 46 percent ground ball rate with his husky frame never turned into more than a .284 BABIP.
All of these problems had arisen in 2011, but at least at that time, Morrison still displayed some power. But his defensive situation was never stable in Miami. When it became clear after 2011 that Morrison could not play the outfield, Miamia should have traded one of either him or Sanchez to an inquiring squad so that the franchise could move on with one first baseman of the future. Instead, the team remained greedy and kept Morrison at a position where he could not succeed. Miami did this even when Morrison required offseason knee surgery to repair a patellar injury. The injury, combined with Morrison's hesitance to do surgery until the last minute, left him out in left field to struggle through another quiet injury that led to the second knee surgery that cut Morrison's 2012 season short. It is entirely possible that two knee surgeries and unnecessary time spent in the outfield robbed Morrison of his athleticism and led to his poor defensive play last season at first.
Miami mismanaged Morrison's defense, and this may have affected the power he once displayed in 2011. His batting may have declined because of all those injuries. He might not have ever met his expectations despite all of this, however. Morrison could simply have been another example of a failed Marlins prospect whom Miami decided to bail on before he got too expensive.
Morrison's future remains in serious doubt. The Seattle Mariners do no not have the friendliest home park, though it does not swallow lefty power as bad as Marlins Park. He may benefit from the change in scenery, as his off-field Twitter shenanigans always angered the Marlins' brass. By most accounts, one could expect Morrison to provide one win to the Mariners next year, especially given his injury concerns.
For Miami, this gives them a nice fireballing arm with upside in the bullpen. The Fish would appreciate the help, but the team has to feel disappointed even knowing how Morrison turned out. From top prospect status to an abject failure, the best the Fish can hope for is that Capps gives them decent innings. Even though Morrison is a weak player, this trade feels like it's more about the disappointment of his career rather than the return from the deal.