The Marlins officially welcomed its three big new acquisitions, Dee Gordon, Mat Latos, and Michael Morse, to the team and the city of Miami on Friday. Oddly, all three are Florida natives and are already feeling right at home.
The Marlins have been one of the busiest teams in one of the busiest MLB off-seasons in recent memory. Dee Gordon was the first move, acquired from the Dodgers in a trade that sent top prospect Andrew Heaney back to Los Angeles. Seemingly minutes later, Miami struck a deal with the Reds to land top of the rotation starter Latos in exchange for prospects Anthony DeSclafani and Chad Wallach. Most recently, Morse was signed as a free agent to take over at first base for the team. This deal was helpful because Miami had moved so many prospects so quickly and didn’t want to lose many more.
Gordon is a product of Central Florida and will be bringing legendary speed with him. Gordon stole 64 bases last season while hitting 12 triples. The expansive park in Miami will allow him even more room to run.
Latos, a native of Ft. Lauderdale, has been a machine in Major League Baseball since the 2010 season where he started 31 games, won 14 and came in 8th in Cy Young voting led by his 2.92 ERA. He has a career 3.34 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. Latos is expected to be the Ace of the staff until Jose Fernandez returns from his Tommy John surgery.
Morse, who went to Nova high school in Davie, Florida, is taking over for Garrett Jones at first base. Jones underperformed at first, mainly defensively. While he had a relatively team friendly contract, his performance was not up to the new Marlins standard. Morse is fresh off winning the World Series with the Giants and will be an extremely solid bat in the heart of the Miami lineup this coming season.
The Marlins have worked hard to get a winning product on the field for the 2015 season and these three players are proof of it. Gordon, Latos, and Morse have a lot of weight on their shoulders as they help Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and the rest of the Marlins push for their first playoff appearance since 2003.