The Marlins are in the news again this morning, as they have agreed to a two year contract with recent World Series winning free agent Michael Morse, Joe Frisaro reports. He is expected to play first base and man the middle of the Miami lineup.
The Marlins seem to like the two year contract, as it was the same length contract they offered Adam LaRoche. Morse should be an upgrade over Garrett Jones, but he is not without some flaws of his own. Fortunately, most of those flaws come from playing the outfield and the Marlins are already all set with Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and Giancarlo Stanton.
I actually wrote that Morse would be a nice candidate at first for the Marlins a few weeks ago before the news of acquiring him picked up. He is a rare player in that he will bring more than just his numbers to the clubhouse. Morse has won the World Series and will be a nice compliment in leadership to a team that has been growing together for the past few years.
The signing of Michael Morse has a few positive effects on the Marlins. Firstly, they don’t have to trade pitching for a first base option anymore. Nearly all the pitchers on the staff are under team control for a long time, and they are an asset for the team to either use or to trade for a larger piece down the line. Secondly, they can now trade Jones. He has a relatively inexpensive contract at $5 million for 2015 and while Marlins fans think he had a terrible year he can still play. Hitting 15 home runs with half your games in Marlins Park is nothing to scoff at. He could either back up Morse or be flipped to someone else.
Michael Morse had a .348 BABIP in 2014. That is unsustainable, but it doesn’t spell disaster for the former Giant. He’s a career .281 hitter. While his best days are behind him, he can still hit for power as evidenced by his 16 home runs in 2014.
We will update this article when the terms of the two year contract are announced.