The Miami Marlins are nearing a two year deal with Garrett Jones, according to Ken Rosenthal.
Source: #Marlins closing in on 1B Garrett Jones. Could be two-year deal.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 6, 2013
This deal would almost certainly mean that Logan Morrison is available via trade. Earlier this week I wrote that the first base market is now looking like a buyer’s market. I think this set of moves only adds to that. The Marlins weren’t considered a team that needed a first baseman, and the swap of Jones for Morrison on the market does nothing to change the quantity of first basemen available. That said, if I had a choice between Morrison and Jones, I would take Morrison.
Jones is coming off a down year at the age of 32 where he had a .708 OPS, including a .730 OPS against right-handers. That’s a concern due to the age, although there would be the hope for any signing team that it was just a down year, and not the start of his decline. Morrison has a career .764 OPS and a career .786 OPS against right-handers. You also have to consider that he plays in a pitcher’s park. He turned 26 in August, so there is still the hope that he could improve on those numbers as he enters his prime. If I had a choice between hoping Garrett Jones isn’t on the decline at 32, and hoping Logan Morrison can improve at age 26, I’d choose the latter.
There are five to six teams currently in need of a first baseman. The free agent market has Mike Napoli, Kendrys Morales, James Loney, and Corey Hart. The trade market now has Morrison, Ike Davis, Adam Lind, Mitch Moreland, and Mark Trumbo. The odds of the Pirates getting a good first base option looked good the other day. Those odds go up now that Morrison has been added to the market.