Miami officially announced it signed Michael Morse to a two-year contract on Wednesday night, and as a result, the club could look to trade Garrett Jones. According to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, Jones is drawing significant interest from several teams throughout the league.
Part of the Marlins' offseason plan included upgrading at first base, and as a result, the club likely knew Jones may not be on the roster in 2015. The Marlins were confident they had found a consistent first base option when they signed Jones last offseason, but his .246/.309/.411 batting line in 2014 likely proved otherwise. He posted 15 home runs 53 RBIs, but Miami was hoping he would be able to protect Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup. Jones was the ideal left-handed hitter, however offensive inconsistencies led to him seeing time at the bottom of Miami's order for much of the season. Casey McGehee replaced him in the cleanup spot.
In addition to his inability to get on base consistently, Jones also had trouble defensively at times. He saw time in the outfield in Pittsburgh, and as a result, had trouble with routine plays at certain points. With Adeiny Hechavarria and Dee Gordon comprising the Marlins' middle infield, the team rightfully sought an established first baseman. Both have distinct speed which allows them to make plays average infielders may not be able to make.
The biggest challenge the Marlins could have with regard to moving Jones pertains to his salary. He is owed $5 million next season, and in any deal, Miami might have to pay a large part of it. Keeping Jones as a left-handed bat off the bench could be valuable because of his experience, but the Marlins most likely would not pay Jones to play in such a capacity. A platoon situation is not expected either. Ultimately, Justin Bour, who has first base experience could be the Marlins' lefty pinch hitter.
Adam LaRoche and Morse were the top free agent first baseman, and Justin Morneau and Pedro Alvarez could be available. Teams seeking first base depth could be interested in Jones, and the Marlins might be just as content with having him moved as they would be with any potential return. Adding Morse was an upgrade, and keeping Jones on the roster should not be ideal. If the Marlins are able to move him, they should be pleased with their offseason as a whole.