They might not have outright said it yet, but you don’t need to read too much between the lines to see that Logan Morrison is likely going to be a Miami Marlins‘ alumni sooner rather than later.
While the 26-year old is definitely ready to move on after yet another injury-shortened campaign in 2013 in hopes of regaining the rookie form that saw him post a .283/.390/.447 triple-slash and looking like a burgeoning star, so too are the Marlins looking for change — in the form of another 26-year old who hasn’t had a single professional at-bat in North America, Cuban free agent Jose Abreu.
Now, Jeffrey Loria and co. aren’t the only ones going after the big slugger, but in this case, the declaration of interest alone should spell the writing on the wall for the incumbent.
See, the general consensus among various scouting reports and projections suggest that Abreu doesn’t exactly have the athleticism to play anywhere except first base. Unlike the AL teams who are interested that could also slot him into DH if the whole fielding thing doesn’t work out, the Marlins can afford no such luxury — which means if they’re serious about putting down a significant chunk of change in a bid to sign him, he’s going to play.
Of course, Morrison is already the first baseman for the first, meaning that he’d more than likely end up being the odd man out if he remains with the team at that point.
It’s not like there’s a lot of options either; though just 26 and still entering his prime, LoMo has been put through quite the wringer in his development in Miami. The former top-20 prospect (Baseball America) was shifted off his original position at first base into the outfield, a role that his legs simply weren’t able to handle on a full-time basis.
Still, despite running through a gamut of upside-less options from Gaby Sanchez to Carlos Lee, the team continued to recklessly jeopardize Morrison’s knee health by putting him out in left (at least right up to the end of 2012), until a lengthy recovery from a pair of knee surgeries and a black hole at first by the name of Greg Dobbs finally gave the team enough impetus to put Morrison in a position to succeed.
So with them being the Marlins and all, it totally makes sense that they’d be trying to move on to the next shiny toy, no?
It’s really too bad, because through all of the ups and downs of his career to date, Morrison is still a player with All-Star potential in his bat, as he demonstrated with a .282/.371/.518 triple-slash though his first 97 PA upon returning to the lineup in 2013. He ran out of gas in the second half, but a full season in a consistent role at first could yield major upside.
Should the Marlins land Abreu, however, that’s upside that they will never find out — simply because they never gave LoMo a chance in earnest.
That he’s had his run-ins with management through his popular Twitter account probably doesn’t help his cause here, and with the outfield of the team more or less set with Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Justin Ruggiano (or potentially Jake Marisnick), that left field versatility that the Marlins wanted him to have isn’t really at play any longer.
Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with being kicked off of a perpetually sinking ship, really.
If the Marlins do end up bringing in Abreu, expect Morrison to be the next one jettisoned … in what might end up being a career-saving change of scenery.