Justin Bour might be the Marlins' first baseman moving forward, but he will no longer be alone. Miami remains "committed" to Bour, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, but is also considering an inexpensive right-handed platoon option.
Bour, 27, did not appear to be in Miami's plans last offseason. Miami signed free agent Michael Morse to a two-year contract after he had success in San Francisco last winter, and it appeared the Marlins would not have to concern themselves with adding a first baseman for at least a pair of seasons. But Morse struggled in Miami and as a result that is now not the case.
Over 93 games in Miami in 2015, Morse batted .241/.316/.350 to complement five home runs and 18 RBIs. When he was with the Marlins, he also spent time on the disabled list. Miami opted to trade him to Los Angeles before the non-waiver trade deadline, and the Dodgers subsequently moved him to Pittsburgh. Morse's inconsistencies prove a platoon situation at first base is the best possible option for the Marlins moving forward.
While the Marlins likely did not think they would need to depend on Bour in 2015, he ended up serving as their starting first baseman. He responded to the increase in playing time, batting .262/.321/.479 to complement 23 home runs and 73 RBIs over 129 games. Bour has proven he can provide power from the left side of the plate. But against left-handed pitchers, Bour was not as successful.
Over 68 at-bats against lefties last season, Bour batted .221. He is a career .231 hitter against left-handed pitchers and as a result the Marlins would likely benefit from at least looking into potential platoon options. However, there might not be any right-handed options worth pursuing.
Mike Napoli (.205 and 35 RBIs), Mark Reynolds (.230 and 35 RBIs), and Steve Pearce (.227 with 24 RBIs) are all set to become free agents, however none of the three have had a notably successful year offensively.
In order to improve offensively in 2016, the Marlins need consistent production from their first baseman. The most productive combination would likely be Bour and a right-handed hitter.