The Miami Marlins completed a long search for a new first baseman when they came to terms with Michael Morse on Tuesday.
After checking in on trades for names such as Justin Morneau and Pedro Alvarez, the Marlins elected to go the free agent route. By signing Morse to a two-year deal, Miami retains its prospects while also adding a dependable bat to the lineup.
In trades last week, the Marlins depleted their crop of minor leaguers. To trade for a first baseman would have likely cost them anything they have left in the minors or potentially a big league arm. It's debatable if adding a bat such as Morneau at the expense of a pitcher like Henderson Alvarez would have improved the team.
Morse was born in Fort Lauderdale, continuing a trend this off-season of bringing in players from Florida. Both Dee Gordon and Mat Latos also have their roots in the Sunshine State. The 32-year old attended Nova High School in Davie.
In 2014, Morse was a member of the World Series champions in San Francisco. In the regular season, Morse had a slash line of .279 / .336 / .475 with 16 home runs and 61 runs batted in. Those numbers were right around his career averages and Morse should be a solid addition to the Miami lineup.
With Morse in the fold, the Marlins will need to find a taker for Garrett Jones. It is likely that Miami will have to eat at least part of the salary owed to Jones. The first baseman signed a two-year deal last off-season and was a disappointment in his first year with the Marlins.
It remains to be seen where Morse will hit in the everyday lineup. Miami could elect to put Morse behind Giancarlo Stanton or keep Casey McGehee in the cleanup spot.