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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.

  • cubfanbob

    Always like Logan. Before we picked up Rizzo and we had all those 1st base rumors going on I was hoping we would land him. Not sure how I feel about him in LF thought.

    Question of the day…who would you choose in LF L. Morrison or D. Brown given the choice ?

    • Kyle

      Can I choose neither?

      • Andrew

        I’d rather have dom brown. More upside in his bat plus he has speed which makes a future in LF more likely imo.

        • FullCountTommy

          Considering the cost, would much rather have LoMo. He will take one or two low-end prospects, while Dom Brown will command a couple higher end prospects

    • MichiganGoat

      Answer: Junior Lake and not that big on him, both those names are costly in LF and would need to produce All-Star offense to make it worth the defensive pain.

    • cub2014

      its like adding another Nate Schierholtz except
      a little less defense. If we make this move 1 or
      2 of our outfielders have to be on the move.

  • macpete22

    Would you rather give up Olt or Villanueva? Obviously I’d much rather give up Vitters but that might not be an option

    • mdavis

      I feel like Olt has a shot to be the starter this year. if the eye troubles are behind him, I’m intrigued to see what he’s got. but who knows, maybe they could be pumped about Vitters? i’d be ok moving him since Morrison would theoretically take those ABs (if Vitters ends up being a platoon guy in LF)

    • Eric

      I guess I’d hold my nose and send Villanueva. Olt is pretty solid defensively if nothing else. I still think if Vitters can get going he’d make a nice left fielder for us.

    • Kyle

      If I have to choose one, Olt AINEC

  • Kyle

    Do not want. He’ll throw away in the field most of the value he brings with the bat. Might as well go with Lake/Sweeney/Schierholtz.

    • Norm

      But if the bat does come around to what it was, he could be flippable for more than they gave up to get him….regardless of the D in LF.

      • Kyle

        Everyone could be flippable if they perform to their best-case scenario. That’s not really a point in anyone’s favor.

        • Norm

          Yeah, but I’ll take a chance on a guy that’s already done it vs. just “anybody”.

          I don’t think there are many players available in pre-prime years that has already had a season of 116 wRC+….and it should be cheap.

          • Kyle

            And even in that season, he was only worth 0.7 fWAR because of his awful defense. And that was two years ago. He’s been a subreplacement player since.

  • MichiganGoat

    Well he’s was a hot topic maybe two off seasons ago as a trade candidate for the Cubs. I’m really surprised there haven’t been any Stanton rumors flying around yet- his name has just kinda been taken off the hot and lukewarm stove this offseason.

    • MightyBear

      Morrison is a buy low option this FO seems to like. I believe I stated this as a possibility a week ago. Theo/Jed are reading my BN comments and getting plenty of insight.

  • Eric

    I’m not sold on this guy. Looks to be nothing more than a meh 4th outfielder.

  • C. Steadman

    hes a funny follow on Twitter like Brett mentioned, i hope Cubs pick him up, but I think Pirates might be the favorite for LoMo

  • http://BN Sacko

    Yea another regressing hitter and can’t play defense.. but oh the walk rate!

    • ETS

      I don’t think too many question LoMo’s bat at this point.

  • http://BN Sacko

    The Twins were even on the ball before us in picking up pitchers. The Twins!?

    • Mick

      And the Twins are still picking up pitchers, they’re supposedly in on Arroyo, Garza, and Tanaka. Don’t hate on the Twins, they’re spending money, have the #1 farm system in baseball, and have cool home throwback uniforms.

      • Jon

        That’s interesting, so you can have a strong farm system, and still add pieces at the big league level, that’s like “multiple fronts” type stuff….

        • Mick

          It’s a far cry from last offseason when their big acquisition was Kevin Correia. The Cubs seem to be mimicking the Twins but just 1 year behind. This time next season, I see the Cubs making major moves. My prediction for the future is that they sign Tanaka, sign Justin Masterson, maybe sign Clayton Kershaw, and sign Brett Gardner or Denard Span.

          • On The Farm

            And maybe add Brett Taylor, I heard he can dial it up on the radar gun.

            • hansman

              Last I heard he was sitting upper-90’s and touching 100 on Canadian Radar Guns

              • On The Farm

                What’s the conversion rate, is it anything like the conversion rate of American to Canadian dollars?

        • BT

          And all they got was a lousy 400 million in public financing for their stadium. That IS interesting.

  • willis

    If it cost Olt, Villanueva, or Vitters, plus a so-so arm, I’m down with this. Let him platoon in left and spell Rizzo at 1B from time to time. You wouldn’t be losing much and could add quite the pop to the lineup.

  • Senor Cub

    This wouldn’t make much sense. Get a real outfielder not someone who may or may not be good in the outfield. We already have a platoon without a real outfielder, increasing that platoon does not make it better.

  • Randy

    don’t we already have this guy in RF

  • Brian

    Don’t keep on Marlins stuff- what is his rocky past and could it have a negative effect with a team he may sign with?

  • cubsklm

    Yes to LoMo.

    He’ll hit 25 homers and knock 80plus with a .255 average.

    Send them Vitters or BJax and another prospect.

    His glove has to be equivalent to Soriano in LF.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Doesn’t Olt have a better upside and would play Left as well or better than Logan?

    • cubsklm

      Yeah, let’s put a guy who can’t see in the OF. Oops, guess its better than 3B.

      All I’m saying is we’re asked to go Wrigley, drink beer, and watch the Cubs lose 90 plus games, let’s get some characters on this team.

      LoMo is a character.

      • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

        So, Logan “For Your Entertainment Only”

      • THEOlogical

        Cubs only play 81 at home.

        • cubsklm

          Name one current OF better than LoMo on the roster?

          This team can’t hit. If Dave Kingman can play LF so can LoMo.

          It’s called the friendly confines for a reason, let’s take a bad situation and make it fun.

          Losing sucks! But that’s what we’re behind sold.

          • Patrick W.

            Ah yes… the halcyon days of Dave Kingman in Left Field.

          • Kyle

            As an outfielder? Lake, Schierholtz, Sweeney, Bogusevic are all better right now. Szczur, Vitters are probably even.

            Why do people think Logan Morrison is good at baseball?

            • aaronb

              His bat would play well. Especially after getting out of such a bad hitters park. The defense might be problematic.

              I’d be willing to give him a shot if he wasn’t cost prohibitive. He’s got 3 years of club control and might very well be an .800 OPS contributor going forward. Which would make him our best offensive player (sadly) at this point.

  • ssckelley

    Adding yet another left handed bat for the outfield makes no sense unless it is a long term solution. Perhaps the Cubs already have a deal lined up to trade Schierholtz.

  • Ed

    If it’s a Morrison for Vitters swap you do that all day! I’m also wondering what the Cubs can get for Brett Jackson, probably not much…

  • Rebuilding

    LoMo is everything we hope our top prospects don’t become. Highly rated, burst on to the scene and then, through the league figuring them out and injuries, they become below replacement while rising in price with arb. Do not understand why we would want him at all – except the usual caveat that they have seen something in his mechanics that the last 3 Marlin hitting coaches haven’t

    • Eric

      This. /\

      I just don’t see what the upside is with this guy.

  • You got bats, we got Wood. Travis Wood.

    Brett Jackson for Morrison straight up.

  • itzscott

    A deal for Logan Morrison would make no sense whatsoever for the Cubs.

    I’d really begin to question what Jed and Theo are doing if this goes down since there are so many other pressing needs.

    • gocatsgo2003

      Why not? If you can trade from a position of surplus to acquire a younger guy who’s already shown the ability to compete at the big league level and should remain relatively inexpensive even in arbitration, it seems like a decent idea to me.

      • Kyle

        “shown the ability to compete” is exactly how we ended up in that Ian Stewart rabbit hole.

        Logan Morrison is bad at baseball.

        • BWA

          seconded

        • gocatsgo2003

          And the move to bring in Ian Stewart was a pretty good calculated risk to take (the first time at least… the second signing was pretty dumb). It was a $2.2MM flyer on a guy who showed significant potential in what was a lost season anyway. It’s a similar deal where Morrison will likely be a $1-$1.5MM flyer in a lost season — why not see if you can get some value out of a semi-reclamation project?

          • Kyle

            Nuh-uh.

            Again: Literally every player brings value if they become much better than they project to be. That’s not a justification.

            • gocatsgo2003

              Right… and if you can get him at a price (in terms of both the prospects trade to acquire him and his salary after arbitration) where even an “average” or “good” performance would result in the surplus value that Theo is already chasing, how is that a bad thing?

              • Kyle

                Because other players provide the same upside for no investment.

                • gocatsgo2003

                  “No investment”? Meaning our own minor leaguers? Don’t follow…

                  • Kyle

                    Absolutely. Literally any player has surplus value if they perform “average” or “good.”

                    Logan Morrison isn’t any more likely to do that as an OF than a half-dozen guys we have floating around. He’s not an outfielder any more than Todd Hundley was.

    • Cubbie in NC

      I agree the Cubs need a RH outfield bat and not a left handed one.

      I just see him as clogging a spot the Cubs are going to need a vacancy to fill with Bryant or Olt at some point.

      If they want Donnie Murphy or Vitters fine then, it gives the ability to trade Shierholtz. Otherwise pass.

      • Rebuilding

        I would assume a move for Morrison likely means that Schierholtz is headed out of town, maybe as part of the Shark package

  • Chuyz

    Wait we don’t have a 3rd basemen yet?wait until after spring traing to make any rash decisions !!! Just saying ??

  • Sandberg

    This doesn’t seem likely to happen. How often have we actually heard about a Cubs target until right before the deal was agreed upon?

  • Luke D

    Screams attitude issues. Don’t want that on the big league team. Seems to violate the “Cubs Way.”

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Here’s the deal Get Brandon Philips, Corey Hart, Logan Morrison, BULLPEN and a couple of starters. Platoon Hart with Rizzo and Morrison. 3 Headed Monster.

    • Jono

      I’d love that. Free tickets all season!

    • Eric

      Why in the world would we platoon Rizzo?

      • aaronb

        I doubt he means a strict platoon. More that 3 guys can share 2 full time spots.

  • Matthew Nomad

    Hmmmm, possible trade talks…Could this include Stanton?! I kid, I kid. Although I wouldnt mind offering up some of that infield depth if it could get some talks going on a LoMo/Stanton deal. Hell, I’d offer Olt, Villanueva, and 2 other 11-20 type guys. Too steep?

    • BWA

      Not even close. Stanton will require at least one of the Big 4. At least.

  • waittilthisyear

    this guy is such a goon, i would pass

  • Jono

    Random post of the day

    Don’t order anything from thechivery.com. They messed up my order, won’t fix it, and won’t return my emails.

  • BenRoethig

    If he doesn’t cost us much, I’d say take a flyer on him on the extremely dim chance the guy who hit 23/76 his first full season is in there.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Lake, Castro, Philips, Bryant/3B (2 of Hart/Rizzo/Logan) Schierholtz/5th OF, Castillo

  • mister_rob

    Sweet!!!!!
    A corner OFer that hits like Gordon beckham and fields like adam dunn!!!!
    Oh and he had a big platoon split just like everybody else on the team. And doesn’t even makes sense as a backup to Rizzo since neither can hit lefties

    Im starting to think Theo’s computer analyzer program has a virus

  • Mayhem

    Breaking News….Multiple reports Cubs FO interested in almost every player but is not willing to pay any player market prices. Looking for players willing to take a huge discount. No one over thirty, only cheap short term deals, must have star potential, past injury is a major plus. We have a shiny new manager, an owner dedicated to profits…err I mean winning and you get to play in lovely Wrigley Field and as a bonus, if you play well you can be flipped to a real contender. Hurry before it’s too late!

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