Miami didn't waste much time before cutting ties with Logan Morrison, and the Marlins may be prepared to move on from another first baseman. Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald reported on Monday that the Marlins will consider trading Garrett Jones this offseason.
Regardless, there’s a decent chance first baseman Garrett Jones --– due $5 million in 2015 –-- will be traded or moved to the bench. If the Marlins can't find a full-time first baseman, they could find someone to platoon with the left-handed hitting Jones.
Looking to find consistency at first base, Miami was confident Jones would be able to provide power and production. However, Jones has posted a .239/.306/.403 batting line with 15 home runs and 52 RBIs. When the Marlins signed him, they were hopeful he would provide protection for Giancarlo Stanton. Manager Mike Redmond has used a variety of lineups this season, many of which included Jones batting sixth or seventh.
Miami, with the exception of a few Jeff Baker spot starts, has kept Jones at first base against left-handed pitching. In 66 at-bats against lefties, Jones has posted a .197 average.
While the Marlins rightfully want to explore options beyond Jones, there may not be many choices. Internally, the organization has discussed moving Christian Yelich to first base, where he played in high school. Moving Yelich to the infield would put the Marlins on the market for a corner outfielder, which would likely be easier to find. Delmon Young is atop the list of corner infield free agents.
Last week it was reported the Marlins are interested in free agent Pablo Sandoval, and if Miami is willing to sign the San Francisco infielder to a multiyear deal, Casey McGehee might be able to shift to first base.
Among first basemen, Colorado’s Michael Cuddyer, San Francisco’s Michael Morse (.280, 16, 61) and Washington’s Adam LaRoche (.257, 24, 86; $15 million team option) are among potential targets. Cuddyer has been limited to 42 games by injury (he’s hitting .327) but hit .330 with 20 homers and 84 RBI in 2013. He and Morse could be within Miami’s price range.
Over the course of the offseason, the Marlins have several questions to answer. Among them is who will play first base after Jones has struggled offensively.