Morris move sets wheels in motion

MIAMI — Bryan Morris will be joining the Marlins on Monday.

More moves are to follow, and at least one is expected before Thursday’s First-Year Player Draft.

Acquiring Morris from the Pirates is the first piece of some wheeling and dealing the Marlins have been working on over the last few days.

The Marlins did some outside the box thinking in landing Morris, the 27-year-old right-hander. They obtained him for a Competitive Balance Round A pick, which will be the No. 39 overall selection in Thursday’s First-Year Player Draft.

After announcing the trade, Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said: “I don’t think we’re finished trying to improve our club.”

Asked how Marlins fans should read into sending a high Draft pick for a reliever with 81 big league games of experience, Hill replied: As a sign the team is looking to win.

There is still uncertainty about what is next. From what I’m hearing, another piece to the puzzle is expected to be finalized in the next few days. Stay tuned.

The Marlins clearly are looking for bullpen help with big league experience. Carter Capps was to be one of those pieces. But the hard-throwing right-hander is on the disabled list with a right elbow sprain, and he will be evaluated on Wednesday by Dr. James Andrews.

With Capps out for an extended period, and perhaps the season if Tommy John surgery is required, the Marlins are short on experienced relievers.

Morris throws 94-97 mph and he has a good curveball. He’s also battle tested. Last year with the Pirates, he appeared in 55 games and threw 65 innings.

The trade is a proactive move, because trades really don’t start picking up until closer to the All-Star Break.

The Marlins have a surplus of high picks. They also possessed one of 12 Competitive Balance Round A picks. Those are the only picks that can be traded.

While Miami moved pick No. 39, the club still has the Nos. 2, 36 and 43 picks.

So they acquired a big league reliever without having to trade an actual player in their system. Plus, they still are well positioned at the top of the Draft.

It’s hard to fault the logic, and it is another example of how the front office isn’t abiding by strictly conventional thinking.

Behind the scenes, there is more to come. Within the next few days, we will learn what else the club has up its sleeve.

Joe Frisaro

4 Comments

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I like the move – it’s smart! If you’re set up that well at the top of the draft, why not trade for a proven MLB reliever. Granted his ERA and walks are higher than you’d normally like to see, this should be a confidence booster and he should be a good addition for the club.

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