With Mariners first basemen Yonder Alonso and Danny Valencia both set to hit the free agent market this winter, let’s look at another familiar option at first–Logan Morrison.
Former Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison was one of the many Mariners to migrate to the Tampa Bay Rays over the course of General Manager Jerry Dipoto‘s tenure. Morrison was one of Dipoto’s first moves in 2015, part of a six-player deal that sent Brad Miller and Danny Farquhar along with Morrison to Tampa for Boog Powell, Nate Karns, and C.J. Riefenhauser.
Morrison signed a one-year deal to stay in Tampa last season and will hit the free agent market having set new career highs in most offensive categories. In 2017, LoMo hit 38 home runs, drove in 85 runs, scored 75 runs, walked 81 times, and produced an .868 OPS–all career highs, some by a mile.
LoMo was unimpressive for the Mariners in 2014 and 2015, but perhaps he has turned over a new leaf in Tampa. His underlying stats last season supported his 38 home runs–it’s difficult to hit 38 home runs by luck–and he appears to have developed into a productive left-handed hitter–the type of hitter the Mariners need in their lineup.
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At age 30, LoMo might be finally figuring out major league pitching, at least enough to get on base and make his hits count. He’ll never be a high-average guy, but who needs average when you slug over .500? The Mariners could use another big bat in their lineup, and if LoMo can keep producing 2017-esque numbers, he’ll be an upgrade over Seattle’s first base platoon.
LoMo’s numbers against right-handed pitchers are decidedly better than against lefties, but not by a huge amount. This suggests that LoMo, if acquired, might not need a platoon mate at all, at least not a full-time one.
He’ll be garnering some interest in free agency after his career-year, but maybe the Mariners will make an appeal to his sense of duty to the fans he left behind in Seattle.