Miami is still looking for a first baseman, but has reportedly considered several options at this week's Winter Meetings. According to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, the Marlins ideally would like to add a left-handed first baseman, but are notably interested in Michael Morse and Justin Morneau.
Pedro Alvarez could be a possibility for the Marlins, however Frisaro notes he does not seem like a fit. He batted .231 and hit 18 home runs in 122 games, although age and lack of offense may have led the Marlins to consider other options.
The Marlins have been linked to Morse this offseason because he is a South Florida product. He could provide the power bat the Marlins are looking for to protect Giancarlo Stanton, and is coming off of a .279/.336/.475 offensive year during which he also added 16 home runs for the champion San Francisco Giants. With Adam LaRoche having signed with the White Sox and Brandon Moss being sent to Cleveland, the Marlins likely had to reconsider their approach.
Baltimore is among the teams also interested in adding Morse, who may request an extensive contract that would lead to an annual salary of $10-$12 million per season. Although the Marlins are looking for balance within their lineup, the fact that Morse is a right-handed hitter should not lead the club away. If anything, cost and age will likely make Miami question if adding Morse is the right move.
While Morse is among the better free agents still available, the Marlins might ask what it would take to acquire Justin Morneau from the Rockies. Miami had not been connected to Morneau before the meetings, however his .319/.364/.496 batting line in 2014 may have made him attractive. He also hit 17 home runs and drove in 82, and would not be too expensive after signing a two-year, $12.5 million contract before 2014 that includes an option year.
Morneau has been able to hit for average consistently over the course of his career, and is the kind of left-handed bat the Marlins might take interest in. Colorado may not be willing to trade Morneau, although the Marlins have several young starting pitching prospects they could be willing to offer.
The Marlins rightfully don't appear in a rush to find a first baseman. They will likely continue to evaluate all possibilities, with Morse and Morneau two established veteran options.
Other Winter Meetings notes
-Could the Marlins be interested in Aroldis Chapman? Steve Cishek has proven to be a consistent major league closer, but adding Chapman would improve the bullpen significantly.
-The Marlins have been linked to several infielders to this point, but with the exception of Justin Masterson, have yet to (publicly) reach out to a veteran starting pitcher.
-Jed Lowrie remains a possibility for the Miami.