Logan Morrison Rumors
Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano could use a change of scenery, as Jon Heyman explains at SI.com. One rival GM considers the right-hander a fourth starter, which matches Tim Dierkes’ assessment of Zambrano from yesterday. Here are the rest of Heyman’s rumors, starting with another note on the Cubs...
- Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has had good things to say about GM Jim Hendry, but Heyman hears that Hendry is still “at risk” of losing his job. Despite a weekend report to the contrary, Hendry doesn't have any guarantees.
- The Marlins demoted Logan Morrison to the minors because Marlins officials, including manager Jack McKeon, believe the outfielder needs to show more maturity and be less outspoken. It doesn't appear that Morrison will file a grievance.
- One GM called first overall pick Gerrit Cole a “slam dunk” number one starter, Heyman reports. The Pirates signed the former UCLA right-hander to an $8MM deal on Monday.
- The Yankees won’t release Jorge Posada, but it appears that he’ll have to earn a spot on their playoff roster.
The latest on the Marlins, who are taking on their expansion cousins in Denver tonight...
- The Marlins placed left-hander Randy Choate on waivers today, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (on Twitter). Other teams now have two days to place a claim on Choate, who earns $1MM this year and $1.5MM next year. Assuming he does get claimed, Florida will have two business days to consider possible moves with the team that makes the winning claim.
- Logan Morrison, who is now in Triple-A, doesn't appear to plan to file a grievance against the Marlins for demoting him, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). It appeared over the weekend that Morrison would consider a grievance after the Marlins' surprising decision to send him to the minor leagues.
- The Marlins plan to get 14th overall selection Jose Fernandez into games before the minor league season ends, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Florida will assign the right-hander to the Gulf Coast League this week. The Marlins signed him for $2MM last night.
After a shocking demotion to Triple-A New Orleans last night, Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison will speak with the Players Union to see if there are grounds for filing a grievance, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.
Shortly after a game in which he batted third for the Fish, Morrison was given the news of his demotion, along with the notice that clubhouse leader Wes Helms had been released. The Marlins cited Morrison's .249 batting average as their reason for the demotion, but Morrison told reporters he thought the move was related to an off-the-field issue.
Capozzi's article shines some light on the situation, as he informs readers that Helms had advised Morrison that he didn't have to attend a meet-and-greet that day with Marlins season ticket holders. Morrison had recently finished an autograph session and was upset with the Marlins' handling of a charity bowling event that had to be canceled due to lack of interest. He spoke about the issues to Helms, the team's union representative. While Helms did attend the event, Morrison ultimately did not, and hours later neither were with the big league club.
Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Capozzi had some reactions from Morrison, who told reporters he was "heartbroken," and said that manager Jack McKeon, President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest, and GM Mike Hill neglected to discuss his 17 home runs or 60 RBI on the season, but focused solely on the batting average. For what it's worth, Morrison's .791 OPS also ranks third on the team behind Mike Stanton and Gaby Sanchez.
In this special piece for MLB.com, Danny Villavicencio has quotes from Beinfest on the club's decision:
"I never thought we'd see Logan hitting in the .240s, ever," Beinfest said. "Obviously, he's a much better hitter than he's shown. I'm not going to pin that on it as a specific, but he needs to work on all aspects of being a Major Leaguer, and then he'll come back here."
Beinfest pointed to Jose Lopez's big Triple-A numbers and a desire to improve the bench as a reason for the release of Helms, who was batting just .191 after last night's game.
In addition to being second on the team in home runs and third in OPS, Morrison and agent Fred Wray can also point out that this move could hamper his service time, potentially costing him money in the long run and prolonging his journey to free agency. This isn't the first time this year that Morrison has clashed with the Marlins organization, either. He was asked to tone down his Twitter account earlier this season, and has been said to be too candid with the media.
Based on Beinfest's repetition that Morrison "needs to focus on all aspects of being a Major Leaguer," it certainly seems like there could be more to the situation than just his on-field performance. That will be up to the Players Union to decide, however.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he knows his bosses will consider firing him if the team doesn’t perform. And though he says he wants to stay in the White Sox organization for the rest of his life, Guillen says GM Kenny Williams and owner Jerry Reinsdorf don’t owe him anything.
“If Kenny or Jerry doesn’t think I’m doing my job . . . they’re going to fire me because my players don’t produce,” Guillen told Rosenthal. “I respect that. I don’t mind getting fired. If I get fired, it’s for a reason. What reason? Me.”
Though several rival executives believe the White Sox would be better off without Guillen, at least one team covets the former shortstop as a future skipper. The 15-8 Marlins expressed interest in obtaining the rights to Guillen in the offseason are not currently discussing an extension for manager Edwin Rodriguez, who is on a one-year contract, according to Rosenthal.
Rosenthal notes that the White Sox asked for Logan Morrison in exchange for the right to hire Guillen last offseason, not Mike Stanton. Last fall, many reports indicated that Stanton was at the center of the discussions between the White Sox and Marlins.
Players with zero to three years of service time are under team control and don't have the power to negotiate their salaries. Most of these players agree to terms with their clubs on deals worth $400-500K, but some don't agree to terms and their clubs renew their contracts instead (it doesn't affect the player's timeline for arbitration or free agency). Here's the latest on the NL East, including news on some contract renewals:
- The Nationals announced that they have renewed the contracts of right-handers Tyler Clippard and Jordan Zimmermann.
- The Marlins renewed the contracts of four of their own players, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (on Twitter). The team did not agree to terms with Logan Morrison, Gaby Sanchez, Mike Stanton or Ryan Webb.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan shows that Jason Heyward is uncharacteristically mature for a 21-year-old. The Braves right fielder tells Passan that he can improve upon his standout rookie season, something that would please new manager Fredi Gonzalez.
The Brewers are leaning toward keeping Prince Fielder this winter, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. Not surprisingly, manager Ron Roenicke wants the big first baseman in his Opening Day lineup. Here are the rest of Heyman's rumors (all links go to Twitter):
- Heyman hears that the White Sox did mention Logan Morrison when the Marlins asked about manager Ozzie Guillen.
- The Twins seem "very interested" in keeping Carl Pavano, who appears to be looking to match the three-year $33MM deal Ted Lilly signed. The Marlins are also interested in Pavano, but they appear hesitant to offer three years. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports confirms the Twins' interest in re-signing Pavano.
- He isn't drawing quite as much interest as Justin Upton, but Mark Reynolds is getting a few hits from interested teams. The A's are looking for a third baseman, but Reynolds can block trades to Oakland.
The Marlins are pursuing relief help, but won't deal prospect Logan Morrison to get it, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Marlins executives know that the team needs to improve its 'pen to contend, so they are trying to add relievers, but whenever the Marlins inquire about one, rival teams ask about 22-year-old first baseman Logan Morrison. If that's the price of adding relievers, the Marlins aren't interested.
Now 35-36, the Marlins are thin on relief help after demoting Jorge Sosa and releasing Renyel Pinto and Hunter Jones. It would be a shock to see the Marlins trade Morrison, the team's top prospect now that Mike Stanton is in the majors, for a reliever. The first baseman is hitting .331/.417/.547 so far in 2010.
Last year the cost of acquiring middle relievers varied. The Dodgers gave up Josh Bell for George Sherrill; the White Sox gave up Brandon Allen for Tony Pena; the Rockies gave up Connor Graham for Rafael Betancourt and Robinson Fabian and Ryan Mattheus for Joe Beimel. Bell and Allen are highly-touted prospects, but the Rockies showed that relievers can be acquired more cheaply.
After a battle for the first base job during Spring Training with top prospect Logan Morrison, Gaby Sanchez came out on top. Sanchez had just two major league starts to his credit coming into this season, but he has done well in the full-time position thus far. In 12 games, Sanchez has hit .308/.426/.538.
Meanwhile, as an item on the ESPN MLB Rumors page points out, Morrison is also performing well for the club's Triple-A affiliate. The 22-year-old lefty has an OPS of 1.066 and a pair of home runs in ten games. While sample size is obviously an issue here, one wonders if more of the same from Morrison could make Sanchez expendable. Prior to this season, ESPN.com's Keith Law ranked Morrison as the #21 prospect in baseball.
Dealing the Miami-born Sanchez could certainly help the Marlins get a boost in other areas. In the past, they have managed to catch lightning in a bottle when building their bullpen. However, GM Michael Hill would likely feel more comfortable if he could pick up some additional relief help this season. The Marlins have already parted ways with four of their relief additions from this offseason: Jose Veras, Mike MacDougal, Seth McClung, and Derrick Turnbow.