Report: Marlins close to signing 1B Michael Morse


On December 10th, 2013, the Miami Marlins signed Garrett Jones, in hopes he could be the consistent force in the team’s lineup, to “protect” Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup. One year later, they have buyers remorse and are regretting the signing.

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Ironically, one year and six days later, the Marlins are on the verge of signing a similar player and should be ready to be feeling buyers reMorse (see what I did there?) next season. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Marlins are closing in on an agreement with first baseman Michael Morse:

Morse is coming off his second best season of his major league career, slashing .279/.336/.475 with 16 home runs and a 1.0 WAR in 482 plate appearances for the World Champion Giants. His slash line is on the back of a .348 BABIP, which should dip and cause his numbers to decline next season as well. I get a feeling the World Series experience is a bigger factor to the Marlins than his actual numbers. The year before, in 2013, Morse was among the worst players in baseball, even worse than Jones was in 2014. He slashed .215/.270/.381 good for a -1.5 WAR.

Actually, over his 8 year career, Morse has been worth a 3.4 WAR, with 3.1 of that coming in his banner 2011 season.

After reporting the news, Ken then dropped his projected Marlins lineup on Twitter:

That’s hardly a lineup that will scare many pitchers. Nor is this a lineup that should add much “protection for Stanton. Morse will hit for power, but not much else. In the same vein that Gordon will steal bases and not much more. Other than Giancarlo and Yelich, it’s going to be interesting to see how much the Marlins actually get on base.

With the Morse signing all but complete, it continues to show that the Marlins only pay a lip service to wanting a team built around pitching and defense. While the outfield defense is still going to be strong in 2015, the infield will still be a major question mark.

Casey McGehee has questionable range at third, there are plenty of questions surrounding Adeiny Hechavarria‘s numbers at short, as well as Dee Gordon‘s at second. And of course, the Marlins just added another weak defender at first base. Morse grades out poorly in his two full-seasons (at least 300 innings) at first base. He may not be Jones bad, but he’s not good either.

The infield defense is going to have a negative effect on the team’s mostly ground ball seeking starting staff.

Yes, the Marlins needed a first baseman to replace their mistake of a year ago, in Garrett Jones. But I don’t believe Morse was the answer for the Marlins problems at first base.

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