According to John Perrotto of USA Today Sports, the Pittsburgh Pirates are among the teams interest in acquiring first baseman/left fielder Logan Morrison from the Miami Marlins. Other teams believed to be in the mix are the Milwaukee Brewers, Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles. Morrison has been on and off of the trade block for a few seasons now, and when the Marlins signed former Buccos first baseman Garrett Jones to a two-year deal, that paved the way for Morrison to be moved.
The Pirates have been “in on” several first basemen this offseason after losing Jones and Justin Morneau to free agency. Other first basemen the Bucs have been linked to include Mitch Moreland, Adam Lind, Ike Davis and James Loney. Among the bunch, Morrison may be the cheapest and easiest to acquire.
Perrotto tweeted on Monday that the Pirates and Marlins had been discussing a trade that would involve the Marlins sending Morrison to the Bucs in exchange for utility player Josh Harrison and a second unknown player. Starting Monday evening, there were several reports regarding Morrison and his potential suitors. At one point, the Brewers were out of the bidding, then the Rays were out, then the Orioles entered the mix very late in the process. The final Morrison rumor I saw on Monday night was that Morrison had been traded, but the acquiring team was unknown — although it very well may have been the Pirates.
It isn’t clear if those rumors were true, but none of the major MLB insiders were involved in those reports, so the credibility may not be the greatest. Since we haven’t heard anything in quite some time, we can just assume the rumors were false. Either way, Morrison will be traded at some point, probably at the winter meetings.
Morrison would be a decent pickup for the Pirates, but they really should be shooting for better options. He is a liability defensively at both first base and left field and he isn’t a great offensive player either. If the Pirates do trade for him, he will be Gaby Sanchez’s platoon partner at first base. Morrison would be hitting against right-handed pitching, and he has a career .251/.340/.446 triple-slash line against right-handed hurlers with a 113 wRC+. He does appear to have good plate discipline however, shown by him walking in 11.7 percent of his plate appearances against right-handed pitching. If the Pirates do acquire Morrison, they should by no means stop there. He isn’t expensive, so trading for him shouldn’t stop them from looking to upgrade first base even after acquiring him.