Justin Bour has had a fair amount of success in the 2015 and the Marlins have taken notice. Miami does not have a notable amount first base depth, and according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald,Bour is expected to be Miami’s starting first baseman moving forward.
So what’s the Marlins’ long-term plan at first base with Michael Morse having been traded? "We’ll give Justin Bour every opportunity," Marlins executive Michael Hill said.
Bour, 27, has posted a .252/.333/.447 batting line to complement ten home runs and 31 RBIs through 75 games. He thrived with the Marlins over 39 games last season, posting a .284/.361/.365 batting line in addition to one home run and 39 RBIs.
After trading Michael Morse to the Dodgers on Thursday, the Marlins have turned to Bour to produce consistently. Miami signed Morse, a South Florida native, to a two-year, $16 million deal last winter but he struggled offensively (.213 through 53 games) before being dealt.
If the Marlins want to explore other first base options this winter, Jackson adds, the organization might have to get creative. Beyond 2015 first round draft pick Josh Naylor, the club does not a consistent first baseman in its minor league system. Chris Davis will almost certainly become a free agent and might prove to be an ideal option after batting .243 with 24 home runs and 65 RBIs to this point in 2015.
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. Adam Lind could be a possibility if the Brewers do not pick up his $8 million option for next season and Edwin Encarnacion could be realistic if the Blue Jays do not exercise his $10 million option for 2016. A trade involving a first baseman might be possible for the Marlins. The club was thought to have interest in Yankees prospect Greg Bird before the non-waiver trade deadline.
The Marlins are relying on Bour for the remainder of 2015 but might consider other options throughout the offseason. Lacking depth, the Marlins might be in a position to add some.