Price of relief help costly
For the Marlins to seriously contend, they must solidify their bullpen.
This is no mystery. The fans know it. Opposing scouts observing the club on a daily basis know it. Most importantly management knows it, and they are trying to address it.
The problem they are running into is cost. Not so much the salary of the player they are looking at, but the asking price in return.
Whenever the Marlins inquire about a player, the player teams bring up is Logan Morrison, the 22-year-old left-handed hitting first baseman, who has also been playing some corner outfield.
Make no mistake, the front office is seriously exploring what is on the market. The fact that no trade has been made hasn’t been for lack of effort trying. The team just isn’t willing to part with Morrison for a quick fix.
Morrison is on a roll at Triple-A New Orleans, where he is batting .325 with four home runs, 27 RBIs and a .951 OPS.
Before the season, Morrison was ranked as the 25th on Jonathan Mayo’s Top Five MLB prospect list, which was released on the MLB Network. A couple of days ago, he was added to the USA squad in the Futures Game.
Morrison is close to being an untouchable name on the trade market. A year ago, the Marlins ran into similiar problems when exploring the trade market. Teams were asking for Mike Stanton in return, and the Marlins weren’t willing to part with the slugger.
Another factor is the Marlins are still one game under .500, and they have to ask if they are in serious playoff contention.
By making their managerial change on Wednesday, dismissing Fredi Gonzalez, the front office made it clear they are hoping to get themselves back into the race this year. But is it too late? Or the bigger question in exploring a trade is, do you risk moving a prospect or two in a season that may not be worth making that investment?
So for now, the club seems prepared to stay the course, and go with what they have. If by the All-Star Break, they are five or so games above .500, and tracking like they can compete, then the front office may become more willing to part with a piece of their future to win in the present.
The one name they don’t want to part with, however, is Logan Morrison.
— Joe Frisaro