Sep 10, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison (5) connects for an RBI single during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
So it appears there are teams interested in acquiring Marlins first baseman and Twitter All-Star, Logan Morrison. In a post here at Marlin Maniac, Chris Logel mentions the Boston Red Sox as a possible trade partner, with the Marlins receiving power hitting third baseman Will Middlebrooks in return.
From a Marlins perspective just about anyone that can be described as a power hitter and third baseman should be of extreme interest. MIddlebrooks is both of those and also checks off the “low salary” box in his list of qualifications as a second year player. This is definitely a Marlins type player.
The Red Sox find themselves with a bunch of key players from their championship team of last season becoming free agents. They likely will not be able to sign all of them, so if they decide first baseman Mike Napoli will be the one to get away then Morrison could slide right in at first.
Here’s a quick look at what Morrison and Middlebrooks did in 2013:
Neither was all that good with Morrison providing much more in on base skills while Middlebrooks being the clear winner in the power category. Well actually…hold on a minute on the power part of the argument though. Morrison played half his games at spacious Marlins Park while Middlebrooks got to hit at cozy Fenway Park. Morrison has publicly expressed his distaste for the dimensions at his current home stadium.
With this in mind, I thought it might be interesting to see how Morrison would have fared if all of his 2013 home at bats took place at Fenway Park instead of at Marlins Park. Luckily, with the magic of the internet such things are possible. Here is a spray chart of what Morrison’s home balls in play would have looked like at Fenway Park:
Logan Morrison hit 1 home run at Marlins Park in 2013, but based on this chart that total would have jumped to 8 at Fenway. It would have increased his total for the year to 13, assuming he hit the same number of road dingers. Adding those 7 homers would have also increased his slugging percentage from a paltry .375 to a healthy .451. Consider that Napoli had a slugging percentage of .482 for Boston last season. All of a sudden, Lomo seems a lot more attractive for the Red Sox.
Running the hit chart in reverse for Middlebrooks tells us that just 1 of the 4 homers he hit at Fenway last season would have left Marlins Park. However, the fact that he hit 13 homers on the road at presumably bigger ballparks provides proof of his legit power. It just needs to be noted that Middlebrooks should be expected to have lower home run totals playing half his games at Marlins Park.
In the end, I think this is a trade the Marlins should make. Morrison may be in desperate need of a change of scenery to revive what seemed destined to be a potent bat earlier in his career. Middlebrooks would be a definite upgrade at third base even with his measly on base skills and provide some of the power the Marlins so desperately need at a minimal cost.