Mariners Profiles of Free Agency: Logan Morrison
As the Seattle Mariners try to end their 16 year playoff drought, General Manager Jerry Dipoto has many holes to fill. one of these holes is at first base. Could Dipoto bring back a one-time Mariners first baseman? let’s look at the free agent profile of Logan Morrison.
Morrison called Seattle home for the 2014 and 2015 season. After spending the last two seasons in Tampa Bay, the 30 year old lefty is sitting free agency for the first time.
Morrison is coming off a career year, in which he hit 38 home runs, the most in his career. Morrison’s triple slash of .246 / .353 / 560 all represented career highs. his 13.5% walk rate was also a career-high, as was his 24.8 strikeout rate. All this was good enough to produce a career-high 3.3 War.
It appears Morrison has tapped into his power potential by joining the fly ball Revolution. Is 46.2% fly ball rate was nearly a 10% jump over his career average. His hard-hit rate also jumped over 3%, and he is going to the opposite field less than ever. All of this points to a legitimate jump in power numbers though expecting 38 home runs is a bit much for anybody.
Defensively, Mariners fans should remember Morrison as an adequate first baseman. He is one of the best in the business at the over-the-shoulder running away from the infield catch. He shows okay range and a good but not great arm as evident by his years as a right fielder. Morrison also has above average speed for a first baseman though he is a mediocre at best base runner.
Morrison would obviously get the Lion’s Share of the plane time at first base. It is however important to remember that Dipoto has already traded away Logan Morrison once. He also acquired Yonder Alonso. These simple statements seem to point to Dipoto’s preference for Alonso.
However; Morrison was nowhere near the hitter in Seattle when Dipoto took over that he was last season. Morrison also is a better defender, and is at least adequate against left-handed pitching.
In 2017, Morrison slashed .233/.342/.419 against lefties with a 109 wRC+. Not spectacular but okay. By comparison, Alonso slashed .181/.263/.417 against lefties with an 80 wRC+. But why does this actually matter?
Simple. With Morrison, the Mariners are not forced to add a right-handed compliment. That could save the Mariners between $3-$7 million in payroll. Speaking of which…
Finding an exact dollar figure on Morrison is challenging. The 30 year old is coming off a career year. But his numbers before this season show a player who is, at most, a replacement level guy. Morrison will almost certainly be looking for a 3 year deal, but it is difficult to see a team giving him that kind of commitment.
Most players do not want a 2 year deal, but it might be what Morrison has to settle for. The potential remains that Morrison could bet on himself and take a 1 year deal, and hit the open market again as a 31-year-old with 2 plus years on his mantle.
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In the end, a 2 year, $20-$22 million deal seems like a fair compromise for both parties. Could Morrison wish to reunite with the Seattle Mariners? Only time will tell.