Logan Morrison Rumors

Blue Jays Rumors: Lind, Loney, Moreland, Morrison

Earlier today, we heard from Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi of FOX Sports that a trade agreement between the Rangers and Blue Jays fell through when a player involved in the deal failed his physical. The FOX duo reported that Sergio Santos would have been sent to Texas in the swap, and Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca adds another detail, revealing that the agreed-upon trade would have seen the Blue Jays land a starting pitcher. Here's more on the Jays from Orlando:

  • The Pirates approached the Jays about Adam Lind, but talks quickly fizzled when Toronto countered by asking about Neil Walker, according to Davidi.
  • While the Jays aren't necessarily looking to move Lind, the team has asked around about other first base options like James Loney, Mitch Moreland, and Logan Morrison, in case a Lind deal presents itself.
  • GM Alex Anthopoulos didn't comment specifically on whether the Blue Jays would bid on Masahiro Tanaka, but said, "I think it’s safe to say any good starter that’s out there we’re going to be active, we’ll try to be involved and see if it makes sense for us."
  • Anthopoulos added that the Jays are "having some dialogue" on a smaller deal that would add a right-handed bat to the team's bench.
  • Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com passes along a transcript of manager John Gibbons' conversation with the media today, which includes plenty of discussion about possible holes on the roster and potential moves to address them.

Marlins Telling Teams They Will Trade Logan Morrison Shortly

3:50pm: The Brewers aren't on the verge of acquiring Morrison, GM Doug Melvin tells Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (on Twitter).

3:16pm: The Orioles have also checked in on Morrison, according to Morosi (on Twitter).

3:11pm: The Rays are not close to acquiring Morrison, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter). Sherman takes the report a step further noting that the Rays never engaged the Marlins on Morrison.

2:49pm: ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that the Marlins are telling other clubs they will trade Morrison shortly. Stark again lists the Rays as a possibility.

2:33pm: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that interest in Morrison is picking up and adds the Brewers and Blue Jays to the list of interested parties (Twitter link).

2:07pm: The Pirates' interest in Morrison is "mild" at this point, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Twitter link). Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets that the Rays are also interested in Morrison.

11:55am: The Pirates are discussing first base upgrades and the names of Logan Morrison and Adam Lind have come up recently, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link).

Pittsburgh was first connected to Lind last week. Those reports also connected the Buccos to James Loney, but Morosi specifically notes in his tweet that they're currently looking at the trade market (perhaps the result of Loney's three-year, $30MM target on the open market). Lind struggles tremendously against left-handed pitching, but the Pirates possess an in-house platoon candidate in the form of Gaby Sanchez. Lind's left-handed pop would play well at PNC Park, amplifying his career .286/.343/.508 line against right-handed pitching.

Morrison, 26, is likely to be available on the trade market now that the Marlins have finalized their two-year deal with Garrett Jones. LoMo has clashed with the Marlins' organization on numerous occasions and is expected to be heavily shopped this week. Morrison has batted just .236/.321/.387 over his past two big league seasons after slashing .259/.351/.460 through his first two Major League campaigns.


NL East Rumors: Marlins, Morrison, Rodriguez

Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison is drawing serious interest from clubs around baseball and a source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter) that roughly ten teams have checked in.  Miami is reportedly willing to listen and the Red Sox and Braves are among the clubs that have called.  Here's more out of the NL East..

  • The Marlins are fans of Rays third baseman Sean Rodriguez and have discussed him internally, a league source tells Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Frisaro wonders aloud if Morrison for Rodriguez and a pitcher could be enough to get a deal done. Miami may be looking for a stop gap solution at third base until Colin Moran, the sixth overall pick in last year's draft, is ready, which could be in 2015.
  • Braves GM Frank Wren says he has had plenty of talks with agents and teams so far this winter, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  "[We're] putting ourselves in position to add pieces we feel like would help us best," the GM said.
  • Wren added that he's targeting starting pitching, bullpen help, and some bench upgrades, but wont' look past anything that can help the team, O'Brien tweets.
  • The Braves might be willing to trade some prospects in right deal, but not their premium prospects such as Lucas Sims and Jason Hursh, O'Brien tweets.
  • Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News wonders if there's a realistic chance of the Phillies trading Jonathan Papelbon.
  • Frisaro runs down multiple reasons why the Marlins are likely to trade Morrison.


Marlins Exploring Morrison Trades; Interested In Garrett Jones

5:35pm: The Red Sox and Brewers are two of the teams who have checked in on Morrison, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports (Twitter link).

12:13pm: The Marlins will listen to offers for first baseman and former top prospect Logan Morrison next week, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The Marlins could look to move Morrison in order to acqure a third baseman — a need that remains a high priority for the team. Jackson adds that the Fish are so open to trading Morrison that they've already had "serious discussions" with Garrett Jones, who was recently non-tendered by the Pirates.

Morrison, 26, has batted just .236/.321/.387 with 17 home runs in 178 games over the past two seasons after hitting .259/.351/.460 with 25 long balls in his first 185 big league games. Morrison's tenure with the Marlins has been rocky to this point. He's come under fire for his prolific and sometimes controversial Twitter presence and filed a grievance against the Marlins in 2011 after he was sent to the minor leagues in controversial fashion. The Marlins cited Morrison's batting average as their reasoning, despite the fact that he ranked second on the team in homers and third in OPS at the time. More telling was that Morrison had recently elected not to attend a meet-and-greet with season ticketholders after veteran teammate Wes Helms told him he was not required to attend. Shortly after, Morrison was demoted and Helms was released.

Morrison is still young, and though his production has fallen off recently in the cavernous Marlins Park, his road numbers have remained solid. Interest in Morrison would figure to be high, though his trade value has certainly taken a hit in recent years due to the diminished production. He can be controlled through the 2016 season before he hits free agency.

Jones, 32, was designated for assignment by the Pirates before being officially non-tendered on December 2nd. The veteran owns a career .254/.316/.458 slash line across six big league seasons. The first baseman/outfielder had a down year in 2013, however, hitting .233/.289/.419 in 440 plate appearances. Jones was due $5.3MM in arbitration this winter, according to MLBTR's Matt Swartz, making him a non-tender candidate. Still, Jones has cleared 20 homers in three of his five seasons with the Bucs and can offer solid power as a platoon bat.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


NL East Notes: Lincoln, Coghlan, Morrison

Yesterday’ Brad Lincoln acquisition by the Phillies is precisely the type of move that Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. needs to continue to make, opines CSNPhilly.com’s Corey Seidman. “Lincoln for $600,000 or less is a better gamble than an Edward Mujica-type for three years,” writes Seidman, who praises Amaro for buying low on a talented arm at “the perfect time.” Here’s more out of the NL East…

  • The Marlins are making an effort to re-sign former NL Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan, who they non-tendered on Monday, president of baseball operations Michael Hill told the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer (Twitter link).
  • The Brewers are expected to pursue Logan Morrison as a trade candidate this offseason, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reported earlier in the week. He notes that other teams like the Rays and Red Sox could jump into the mix as well.
  • Now that Jarrod Saltalamacchia is on board, the Marlins‘ next target will likely be a third baseman, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel.
  • Nationals GM Mike Rizzo spoke with reporters yesterday regarding the team’s acquisition of Doug Fister, stating that Fister was one of their primary pitching targets from the get-go this offseason. The Nationals’ scouts and sabermetricians both love Fister, and when those two agree as strongly as they did in this instance, “it’s a good day in the Nationals’ office,” said Rizzo, according to Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com.

East Notes: Orioles, Yankees, Marlins

Jason Coskrey looks at the history of the posting system in an article for The Japan Times, arguing that it offers little for Japanese players in its current incarnation. "The [Japan Professional Baseball Players Association] thinks the current system is like an auction in which players are treated as if they’re products," Executive Director Toru Matsubara says. The posting system is a hot topic as of late, as a retooling of the arrangement is currently being negotiated by MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball. However, if Japanese players seek more favorable terms, they'll have to fight for it, Coskrey says.

Let's take a look around the AL and NL East:

  • Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun dismisses suggestions that the Orioles should trade J.J. Hardy and Matt Wieters before they reach free agency, writing that the defense they provide up the middle has been invaluable to the team's recent run of success. Instead, baseball operations head Dan Duquette is likely to look to supplement his current club with a midlevel free agent starter such as Tim Hudson, Schmuck writes.
  • Derek Jeter could consider a more limited role for the Yankees if doing so helped the team, his former manager Joe Torre suggests in an article by Brendan Kuty of NJ.com.
  • While painful, the 2012 trade that sent Marlins star Jose Reyes and others to the Blue Jays has positioned the team well for the future, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com says, writing that players such as Jake Marisnick could emerge as franchise cornerstones.
  • The Marlins aren't considering trading righty Nathan EovaldiFrisaro writes in his Fish Pond blog, and told teams so at the recent GM meetings. Starter Jacob Turner and first baseman Logan Morrison could become trade chips, however. The team is also considering whether Cardinals third baseman David Freese is an option for their third base job, Frisaro says.

Marlins Links: Morrison, Qualls, Cishek, Hill, Abreu

Yesterday, MLBTR's Matt Swartz detailed why he projects Giancarlo Stanton will earn $4.8MM in arbitration this offseason.  It's a number that could fluctuate, as Swartz notes that Stanton's salary could range between $4-6MM and that he could earn more from a new team if he's traded, as his new club would likely want to avoid "breaking rapport with an ugly negotiation."  Here's some more on the team from South Beach…

  • Logan Morrison is receiving a lot of trade interest, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi report (Twitter links).  Morrison was Miami's most asked-about player at the GM Meetings besides Stanton, and while no deal is close, the Marlins are listening to offers.  Morrison is projected to earn a modest $1.7MM in his first time through the arbitration process and hit .242/.333/.375 in 333 PA last season.
  • The Marlins are interested in re-signing right-hander Chad Qualls, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports.  Qualls posted a 2.61 ERA, 2.58 K/BB, and 7.1 K/9 in 62 relief innings last season, and the veteran reliever "is weighing all of his options" in free agency.
  • Also from Frisaro, closer Steve Cishek is "not available as a trade piece."  The Marlins were adamant about keeping Cishek last summer and it appears their stance has not changed, even though Cishek will get expensive as a Super Two player.  Cishek is projected to earn $3.2MM as a first-time arbitration eligible player this offseason.
  • Michael Hill, the Marlins' president of baseball operations, told The Miami Herald's Clark Spencer that his club would prefer to acquire experienced players who still have three or more years of team control remaining.  That Major League experience is key, Hill said: "We want talent, but we’ve done our prospect deals. We’re trying to get better and acquire players that help us now, and in the future."
  • Hill also seemed to hint that Justin Ruggiano could be a trade chip this offseason.
  • The Marlins weren't very close to signing Jose Dariel Abreu, Spencer reports.  Miami "dropped out of the bidding early" after they "made a legitimate initial offer" for the Cuban slugger.  Abreu eventually signed a six-year, $68MM deal with the White Sox.

Marlins Unlikely To Make Major Trades

The Marlins have improved greatly over the course of the season, as evidenced by their 22-17 record since May 31. MLB.com's Joe Frisaro writes that the team attributes the success to a young core coming together and isn't likely to sell significant pieces to jeopardize that core.

According to Frisaro, Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn are all considered building blocks and are likely to stay put with the Fish. All of that could change if the Marlins are overwhelmed by a team willing to overpay, but even a package for Cishek would have to start with a team's No. 1 prospect, according to Frisaro. As it stands, the 27-year-old closer is not available.

Ryan Webb and Chad Qualls may still be dealt, as could position players Placido Polanco, Greg Dobbs and Justin Ruggiano. That quintet of veterans has less team control than the untouchables listed by Frisaro, and those players likely aren't seen as core members of the team going forward. It's likely that the Marlins' biggest July trade has already occurred in the form of the Ricky Nolasco trade. The Marlins, according to Frisaro, may be more active on the August waiver trade front than before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

While a deal sounds unlikely, the team has still received plenty of hits on Stanton as well as its many bullpen arms. Ruggiano has also drawn some interest from teams like the Rangers and Yankees, although he's another player the team isn't in a rush to trade.


Cafardo On Norris, Crisp, Papelbon, Vazquez

Now that the draft is over, teams are focusing more on bolstering their rotations with one more piece, writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  No one more aggressive in the pursuit of pitching than Orioles GM Dan Duquette who knows that one veteran starter could make all the difference.  While they're anxious to improve their starting five, it doesn't sound as if the O's will be in the mix for someone like Cliff Lee.  “We’re looking for a starter and a reliever,” said Duquette. “We’d like to solidify our pitching all around because that’s the name of the game, really. We have to look at everything. Don’t think we’re going to be in the market for a big-money pitcher, but there seem to be some guys out there that we might focus on and see where it takes us.”  Here's more from today's column..

  • The Astros will craft a game plan early this week for how to approach their veteran assets.  Teams are already calling about Bud Norris, who has a cheap $3MM salary, but won't be cheap to acquire. The Orioles, Giants, and Pirates have kicked around the idea of acquiring Norris, but one National League exec says there will be about a dozen teams interested before all is said and done.
  • It seems like a no-brainer for the A’s to pick up Coco Crisp's 2014 option for $7.5MM, but he'll be in demand if they don’t.  Even though he's 33-years-old, there aren’t many top center fielder/leadoff hitter types out there.  Jacoby Ellsbury will be the No. 1 guy in that department, but , one American League special assignment scout said Crisp might be a better low-cost option because “he can do everything Ellsbury can do. Neither of them have an arm, but Coco is still fast, a very good outfielder, and can still be a game-changer.
  • The Phillies believe there are at least three teams — Red Sox, Tigers, and Cardinals — that may have some interest in Jonathan Papelbon at the trade deadline and the Phillies are scouting those teams with a potential deal in mind.  General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said last week that he’s not ready to “blow up” the Phillies, but a Papelbon trade could help retool the club.
  • Teams continue to nudge Javier Vazquez into coming back to pitch, but the right-hander seems to be content with staying with his family, according to a source familiar with Vazquez’s thinking. 
  • The Red Sox can trade Stephen Drew now that June 15th has come and gone, and they would have no problem finding a taker given the lack of shortstops around baseball.  However, Boston firmly believes that Drew is their guy.  One National League GM doesn't quite understand their infatuation with the shortstop. “They’re either trying to justify the $9.5MM they paid him, or they’re not sold on [Jose] Iglesias, who could start for 29 other teams.” 
  • If the White Sox decide to finally bolster their farm system, they could get some helpful prospects back by moving right-hander Jesse Crain.  The reliever is becoming a top name on wish lists around baseball.
  • While many baseball people remain focused on Giancarlo Stanton’s availability in a deal, 25-year-old Logan Morrison is now healthy and has returned to the lineup.  The Marlins first baseman/outfielder is a big lefthanded hitter who will be monitored closely by scouts over the next month.

Florida Notes: Lee, Morrison, Capps, Kearns, Rays

Seventeen years ago today, Cuban defector Livan Hernandez inked a four-year, $4.5MM contract with the Marlins, which included a record $2.5MM signing bonus. Hernandez made his Major League debut just eight months later as a September call-up. Hernandez was instrumental in the Marlins' 1997 World Series title run earning NLCS MVP honors and being named the MVP of the Fall Classic after winning both of his starts against the Indians. Hernandez has found steady employment ever since donning the uniform of the Giants, Expos, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Twins, Rockies, Mets, Nationals (again), Braves, and Brewers. The 37-year-old right-hander pitched for the latter two clubs in 2012 compiling a 6.42 ERA, 6.4 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, and 2.0 HR/9 in 67 1/3 innings out of the bullpen. The Praver/Shapiro client has said he wants to pitch in 2013. In other other news involving MLB's Florida teams:

  • The Marlins have no interest in re-signing first baseman Carlos Lee despite concerns about the health of Logan Morrison, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Morrison, recovering from right knee surgery, isn't expected to begin running until a week into Spring Training. 
  • The Marlins are one of several teams in talks with free agent reliever Matt Capps, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
  • Within the same piece, Jackson writes the Marlins are expected to sign Austin Kearns. Clark Spencer, Jackson's colleague at the Herald, adds the deal includes an invitation to Spring Training. Kearns spent 2012 in Miami posting a slash line of .245/.366/.367 in 175 plate appearances while playing both corner outfield positions, first base, and serving as DH in interleague play and as the team's primary right-handed pinch hitter. 
  • Jackson also writes Marlins owner Jeffery Loria has told team president David Samson he can no longer do interviews. This comes in the wake of Loria banning Samson from doing his radio show. Jackson opines this is a mistake because Samson has made himself more accountable and accessible than many team presidents, even amid unpopular decisions made solely by Loria, who, Jackson adds, has refused to speak to the media since mid-November.
  • The Rays will hold their annual development camp this week for 31 of their top prospects. One point of emphasis will be baseball's drug policy in the wake of the organization seeing six of their minor leaguers receive 50-game suspensions in 2012, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. "It stunk, very disappointing," Rays Director of Minor League Operations Mitch Lukevics said of the suspensions. "We spend as much time on the education of 'Do's and Don'ts' and derailers as much as we do hitting or pitching or throwing. It was very disappointing, there's no getting around it."