miami marlins logoWell this is a new one …

Joel Sherman this morning reports that the Chicago Cubs are among the teams speaking with the Marlins about the very available Logan Morrison. The 26-year-old lefty is headed to arbitration for the first time this year, and projects to make between $1.5 and $2 million. That might be too steep for the Marlins – I kid, mostly – who could extract some value from Morrison in trade before his price tag escalates.

The problem with Morrison from the Cubs’ perspective? It’s his position: can he really play left field? The advanced stats, consistently, say he’s pretty bad out there, and Wrigley Field isn’t exactly an easy outfield to adjust to. Most pundits think he’s ticketed for 1B/DH long-term, but if he can hold it together in left field, his options (and the Marlins’) will open up quite a bit.

Still, the bat gives you plenty to dream on. After a great year and a half at the outset of his career, Morrison has fallen off the last two years, posting slash lines of justĀ .230/.308/.399 andĀ .242/.333/.375. So, where’s the dreaming part? Well, Morrison sports a career walk rate of 11.1% against a strikeout rate of just 17.8%. His ISO is .178. Take those items together, and you’ve got a very intriguing bat, setting everything else aside. Morrison is just 26, and there is reason to believe that, with consistent play, the power could come along a little bit more (especially outside of Miami – 12 of his 17 homers the last two years came on the road).

If the Cubs believe he can handle left field, and if the price tag isn’t much more than a couple intriguing, lower-upside prospects, I’d be very interested in seeing Morrison get a crack out there for the Cubs next year. Morrison’s career OPS is about 80 points higher against righties, so you could even make him part of a platoon and see positive results.

Sherman hears that the Marlins are looking for a third baseman in the trade, which is certainly something the Cubs could accommodate. Is Christian Villanueva a fair swap? Would the Marlins want to take a chance on Mike Olt (but would the Cubs want to give him up in a deal like this?)? Do the Marlins want to see if Josh Vitters can handle third base? There are some low-pain possibilities here for the Cubs, given their impending infield depth.

Given Morrison’s rocky history in Miami, you wonder whether the price tag will be suppressed slightly, and whether the Marlins just want to move on. If so, he becomes an even more attractive target for the Cubs.

Bonus: For those who seek enjoyment outside the lines, you’re hoping the Cubs grab Morrison, who is a prolific (and sometimes controversial) tweeter.

  • BWA

    Just out of curiosity, How does Candelario rate in comparison to Olt, Vitters and Villanueva. I know he has huge upside, but he is at the lower levels. I’d probably rank them:
    1. Olt (Potential and close to majors. His only chance to prove himself will be 2014)
    2. Villanueva (consistency)
    3. Candelario (Potential)
    4. Vitters (I think he could have a good bat, but no position.)

    On a side note, I wouldn’t trade any of these guys for Morrison. Give them Donnie Murphy maybe.

  • http://BN Sacko

    We need a righty in the outfield, not trade for another lefty with ???

  • Blublud

    I would love to see LoMo in a Cubs uni, but not for Vitters or Olt. If we could swing the deal for Villanueva, I’m all for it. Or even Valbuena and a young prospect. I have a feeling, if we can get Olt, Vitters and Lake in the lineup, that the Cubs might get quite of bit of suprise production this year.

  • Marc lang

    I would give up Vitters for Morrison, but is you do that why not brown from phillies

    • gocatsgo2003

      Because it seems like Dom Brown is only available if a team is willing to take on Papelbon’s GIGANTIC contract.

      • aaronb

        2 years 26 million doesn’t seem that terrible. He could end up even having some trade value before that deal is over.

      • Jackson

        the whole thing? or would they eat some of it?

  • Rizzovoir Dog

    He’s an upgrade over Bogusevic.

    • CubFan Paul

      Boogz just needs a shot/at-bats…

      • Rizzovoir Dog

        Bogusevic got 400 AB’s in 2012. Put up a .596 OPS.

        LoMo’s career slash against righties is .251/.340/.446 -.786. I’d say he’s an upgrade. Although I wouldn’t give up much to get him. Maybe Vitters and lower level spec.

        • CubFan Paul

          More like 355 at-bats (in his first year as a regular)

          He was then squeezed off the 40man during the offseason and was only able to get 143 at-bats with us.

          Don’t write him off so fast Cubs fan (or Olt, Vitters, Castro, or anyone else who had 1 down year)

        • Kyle

          If this were for a DH spot, then Morrison would be an upgrade over Bogusevic, sure.

    • Kyle

      Is he?

  • Gabe Athouse

    At this point I really want to see if Olt has what it takes to either excel until he is possibly unseated by Bryant or get his value up to trade once Bryant is ready, OR even force Bryant to move to RF because Olt wins the job. I think the FO does too, which explains Valbuena’s time at 2B this winter. Olt will be given every opportunity to win the spot and should benefit (hopefully) from some confidence, time, and whatever medical help he gets this winter to fix his eye issues.

  • DavidC

    I’d offer up Villanueva and Pineyro I suppose.

  • Eric

    Dodged that bullet. Mariners just traded for Morrison.

    • YourResidentJag

      Now all they need to do is resign Ibanez as the trifecta of DHs will be complete.

      • YourResidentJag


      • Eric

        Yeah I don’t think I’ve seen such an obvious DH platoon.

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