While the Chicago Cubs front office continues to dangle starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija in front of interested teams, the team is also working on ways to improve their outfield.
The Cubs are currently in discussions with the Miami Marlins about a trade that would send first baseman Logan Morrison to the Cubs. The Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays are also believed to be in on Morrison.
The Cubs interest in Morrison may be peculiar when you consider the fact that the team already has Anthony Rizzo entrenched at the first base position. But, the Cubs are not interested in Morrison as a first baseman. Instead, the Cubs are believed to have an interest in Morrison playing the outfield.
The Cubs interest in Morrison as an outfielder is rather perplexing. Perplexing in the aspect that Morrison by no means is considered a quality defender in the outfield. In fact, Morrison’s advanced defensive stats while playing left field for the Marlins from 2010-2012 would seem to indicate that he can’t play the outfield.
But for as perplexing as Morrison is defensively, the first baseman/outfielder is an intriguing offensive option for the Cubs. Morrison hit .242/.333/.375 with the Marlins last season in 333 plate appearances. While those numbers may be concerning, Morrison has potential to blossom. For his career, Morrison has BB% of 11.1% to go along with a K% 17.8 and a ISO .178. At 26 years old and being under team control for the next three seasons, it is easy to see why the Cubs would be interested in Morrison. Especially when one considers the fact that Morrison may blossom into a true offensive threat by not playing his home games in the spacious Marlins Park.
The Marlins are believed to be interested in acquiring a third baseman for Morrison; a position the Cubs are deep at within their organization. The Marlins told teams on Monday that they were close to trading Morrison.
While Morrison may not be a defensive improvement, he certainly would be an offensive improvement for the Cubs outfield.