By Terry Cushman – @cushmanMLB
The plot thickens in the search for a power slugger being added to the Red Sox lineup. Scott Boras and J.D. Martinez don’t seem interested in coming down to earth on their asking price. Depending on who you believe, the Red Sox have offered five years in the range of $110M-$125M, which is well short of the initial seven year, $210M asking price set by Boras before the GM Meetings last November.
The former Tampa Bay Ray presents a much cheaper alternative for Boston than Martinez would codt. Mitch Moreland received 2/$13M from the Red Sox earlier this off season, and Todd Frazier just agreed to 2/$17M with the Mets. Both contracts are in the neighborhood of what Morrison could expect to be signed for.
The central problem with Morrison, is that aside from his breakout 38 home runs last season, he is painfully average to below average. He has a career .246 batting average with a .330 on base percentage. Aside from 23 home runs in 2011, his power numbers are fairly pedestrian. In fact, Eduardo Nunez would look like a much better signing, and is far more versatile defensively.
Most problematic of all, Morrison would be a left handed hitter coming onto a lineup which is already loaded with lefties. Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers, Mitch Moreland, and Jackie Bradley Jr all hit from that very side of the plate. Fenway Park is much more home run friendly to right handed hitters. Mookie Betts, and Hanley Ramirez if healthy, represent the only right handed power within the Red Sox lineup. Additionally, two of the above lefties, Bradley and Moreland, are career sub .250 hitters as Morrison is.
The Moreland signing was also questionable. He does not represent the “power upgrade” which most Boston observers were expecting. Jay Bruce and Mike Moustakas offered more up side. The situation with Hanley becomes complicated, especially if the Red Sox do sign Martinez, who will certainly be the full time DH. Not to mention Sam Travis and Michael Chavis are just about major league ready, and considerably more inexpensive. So now Red Sox President Dave Dombrowski wants to add another mediocre player like Morrison to further complicate things?
Hopefully the reports of Boston’s connection to Morrison are simply due diligence, or posturing in an attempt to finally pressure J.D. Martinez to agreeing to terms. It would be fun to watch Dombrowski completely crash the market for Martinez by signing/trading for another impact player. However, Logan Morrison alone does little to improve the Red Sox chances to win, or even close the gap on the New York Yankees. It would be an awkward fit, and an awkward signing in a hot stove season full of awkward signings.
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