Waiting for right deal for LoMo

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The pending arrival of Garrett Jones makes it inevitable Logan Morrison will be dealt.

It’s just not a given that Morrison will be moved by the time the Winter Meetings conclude with the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday.

The Marlins are actively in discussions with at least a handful of teams. Teams known to have talked with Miami are the Brewers, Orioles, Pirates and Rays. Pretty much any team in the market for a first baseman have at checked in.

To the Marlins, Morrison is a valuable trade chip, and they want to be careful not to simply given him away. The rest of the league sees it as, Morrison will be moved regardless, so try to get him cheap.

It would be ideal to move Morrison during the meetings to take care of that order of business. But really, there is no rush. Spring Training is in mid-February, so wait the market out, and get the offer they are most comfortable with.

Obviously, things can change quickly at the Meetings. Teams are aggressive, and an offer could materialize at any moment.

As for Jones, the deal is finalized, it just hasn’t been announced. One possible reason is the 40-man roster. Currently, Miami is at 39, and the club has the second overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft. To participate, the team needs a roster space open.

The Marlins could play out the Rule 5 Draft, get the roster to 40, and make a corresponding move to add Jones, who will be making $7.75 million for two years.

The Marlins continue to look for a right-handed hitting alternative at first base. Delmon Young could be a sleeper possibility. Young, an outfielder, has been working at first base this offseason.

Miami also is aggressively trying to get a right-handed reliever with experience now that Chad Qualls has signed with the Astros.

Third base remains a high priority. The Marlins are weighing full-time options, or candidates would can split the position. Sean Rodriguez of the Rays, fits the profile. But there are other possibilities.

Internally, Derek Dietrich is a candidate to play third base, as well as second. Ed Lucas, who also plays third base, is in the mix to be a right-handed hitting first baseman.

Joe Frisaro

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