Teams interested, but LoMo deal not imminent
Miami shopping first baseman, who could be part of package for hot corner acquisition
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- With the signing of first baseman Garrett Jones on Monday, the Marlins are actively shopping first baseman Logan Morrison at the Winter Meetings. But as of late Monday night, no deal was imminent.
The Marlins have had what's been described as preliminary discussions with a number of teams, including the Rays, Brewers, Orioles and Pirates. While the Braves are also believed to have interest, it is unlikely the Marlins would deal Morrison within the division.
Morrison is expected to be moved after the acquisition of Jones, a 32-year-old left-handed-hitting first baseman with power. But Miami might not complete a deal by the time the Winter Meetings conclude on Thursday.
In 708 career games, Jones has 102 home runs. With the Pirates last year, he batted .233 with 15 homers and 51 RBIs in 144 games. Three times in his career, he has belted at least 20 homers in a season. In 2012, Jones had a personal-high 27 homers and 86 RBIs.
Jones also offers versatility as he has played right field, but that doesn't mean the club is looking to trade Giancarlo Stanton.
Clearly, the Marlins are being proactive. They announced the signing of catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia on Friday, and on Thursday, they reached agreement on a one-year deal with Rafael Furcal, who will be switching to second base.
While Stanton's status with the club is secure, the Marlins have been willing to listen to offers on Morrison, if something makes sense.
Like Jones, Morrison is a left-handed-hitting first baseman with power. But Morrison has dealt with two surgeries to his right knee, and for the first time in years, he will enter Spring Training healthy.
Morrison opened the 2013 season on the disabled list, and he wasn't activated until June. In 85 games, he batted .242 with six homers and 36 RBIs.
Even with Jones signing, the Marlins still may be looking for first-base versatility, because the veteran has struggled against left-handed pitching. The Pirates used Jones sparingly against lefties last season, and he was 2-for-21 (.095) against them. For his career, he has hit .193 against southpaws.
Since at least the General Managers Meetings in November, the Marlins have listened to potential offers for Morrison. The team may be looking to package Morrison for a third baseman.
One thing Morrison is certain about this offseason is he is healthy. He's been actively working out since the season ended, doing plenty of cardio. On Friday, Morrison began his hitting program, which he plans on doing daily.
"I'm going to be hitting every day," Morrison told MLB.com on Friday. "I've been working out every day. All the [tests] I've been put through with my knee, I've passed with flying colors."
Morrison is in Denver, working out with an instructor at an indoor facility. He's also doing squatting exercises with weights for the first time in three years.
Morrison understands the business of the game, and says he would be honored to wear any big league uniform.
More than rumors, Morrison is training to be ready for Spring Training.
"I have no doubts in my mind that I will be back to where I need to be next year," Morrison said. "It's a process, like anything else. You've got to stick with it."
In 2013, Morrison's hitting mechanics changed a bit. He's currently studying video on his swing.
"My style changed a lot last year, where my hands would go down, and stuff like that," Morrison said. "We're going to look at film. We're going to discuss style, and we're going to look at when I was successful in the big leagues, what I did, and how to be more consistent, and more successful. Taking what I know now, and try to implement that into the hitter I was.
"You don't realize how much you need Spring Training, if you don't have it. Look at Ryan Howard. Look at all the guys who don't go through Spring Training and try to come back midway through the year. They don't have the years they should. That's going to be good, having a full offseason and Spring Training. I'm excited about it."