The Miami Marlins said they would be trading Logan Morrison "shortly," but that rumor turned out to be a little bit of smoke and mirrors from the club, as a number of teams had checked in on Morrison but had not bitten hard just yet. Miami's primary goal in the 2013 Winter Meetings is to trade Morrison, but after one day, the Marlins still have the 26-year-old on the roster.
That is not for a lack of supposed interest. Miami apparently found interest not only in the Milwaukee Brewers, who have shown interest before, but also in teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, and Baltimore Orioles. Having said all of that, the bites on Morrison in Day 1 of the Winter Meetings have been light, according to most sources.
#Pirates approached #Marlins about Logan Morrison last week. "Mild interest" at this point, I'm told.— Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) December 9, 2013
#Rays are not the team close to acquiring Logan Morrison, sources tell me. Never engaged #Marlins on the 1b.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 9, 2013
@ChrisCotillo @JCRMarlinsbeat They are not on verge of acquiring him, according to #Brewers GM Doug Melvin.— Tom (@Haudricourt) December 9, 2013
So though Miami wants to get this deal done quickly, it seems the rest of the first base buyer's market is interested in holding off to see what free agents like Corey Hart and James Loney do.
One Morrison trade option that Joel Sherman of the New York Post shot down was the interest from the Tampa Bay Rays. The Marlins and Rays had previously been rumored to be discussing a Sean Rodriguez-Logan Morrison swap that would include a pitching prospect coming to Miami.
Another first baseman on the market is free agent Michael Morse, who had a terrible season split between the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles last year. Morse hit just .215/.270/.381 (.286 wOBA) with 13 homers in 330 plate appearances. Oddly enough, rumors surfaced that the Marlins were interested in Morse, even after signing Garrett Jones to a two-year deal.
With Napoli off boards clubs such as #Rangers #Rockies #sfgiants #marlins getting more serious on Mike Morse. Struggled last yr but (cont)— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 8, 2013
Joe Frisaro of MLB.com shot down that rumor, however.
The #Marlins are not in pursuit of Michael Morse. Club is looking for other right-handed hitter options.— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) December 9, 2013
Presumably Miami is looking for a righty option to face lefties for Jones, who has a terrible platoon split. However, Miami might look elsewhere for that player, though it would be foolish to add a third first baseman to the roster given the presence of Jones and fellow lefty Greg Dobbs.
One player that has definitely signed with Miami is free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was announced as a Marlin officially yesterday. "Salty" was sporting a clean beard (as per Marlins policy) and was excited to join the team and its young pitching staff.
"I'm more excited now to come and catch bullpens and see these young guys," Saltalamacchia said. "With Boston, I was with a lot of veteran guys who had been around the league a long time. This is a young corps of pitchers who are still trying to figure themselves out."
Saltalamacchia mentioned that Miami could make a run just like his 2013 Boston Red Sox team did, going from worst to first place and an eventual World Series championship. Let's not jump the gun, Salty.
President of baseball operations Michael Hill had this to say about Saltalamacchia.
"I thought we were going to have to get offense elsewhere and go with a defensive-minded catcher," Hill said. "And it worked out where you can get arguably the best offensive catcher on the market. You compare him with McCann and what McCann does offensively, they're different animals, but with his doubles, his home runs and his run production, [Saltalamacchia] is a productive player."
Over the last three seasons, Saltalamacchia and McCann have almost identical batting lines.
While the first day of the 2013 Winter Meetings was quiet on the trade front, there was plenty to talk about yesterday, and even more to discuss today. Stay tuned to Fish Stripes for all your Marlins needs!