As the Marlins continue to look for upgrades at first base, the team is considering free agent Michael Morse and trade target Justin Morneau of the Rockies, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports on Twitter. Miami is looking for a left-handed bat, but Pedro Alvarez of the Pirates does not seem like a fit.
Morse, 33 in March, enjoyed a strong season with the bat in 2014 with the World Series Champion Giants, batting .279/.336/.475 with 16 homers in 482 plate appearances despite playing in the cavernous AT&T Park. Morse’s offensive contributions were 30 to 33 percent above league average, per park-adjust stats like OPS+ and wRC+. Late last month, the Marlins were said to have lukewarm interest in Morse, but things have apparently picked up since then. Last week we learned that the Orioles were showing strong interest in Morse.
Morneau, 33 (34 in May), enjoyed a bounce back year with the Rockies in 2014, batting .319/.364/.496 with 17 homers in 550 plate appearances. He offers not only solid production but a palatable contract as well. He’ll make $7.25MM next season (that’s including the extra $500K he earned by reaching 550 PA last season) along with a $750K buyout on a $9MM mutual option for 2016.