Posted on February 25, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
The Minnesota Twins appear to be putting the finishing touches on a productive offseason. According to multiple sources, the Twins have agreed to sign former Rays and Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison. The deal is worth $5.5 million plus incentives with an $8 million vesting option for 2019. In total, Morrison could make up to $16.5 million over two seasons. He figures to add a great deal of power to Minnesota’s lineup.
The 30-year old Morrison is coming off a breakout season in 2017. He hit .246 with a career-high OPS of .868. Morrison also set career highs in home runs with 38 and RBIs with 85 after making a change to his swing. Despite those numbers, he found little interest in him on the open market this offseason. That lack of interest caused Morrison’s price to drop, allowing a small-market team like the Twins to sign him at a bargain price.
It seems likely that Morrison will be Minnesota’s primary DH in 2018. The Twins had no full-time DH in place heading into spring training. Players like Robbie Grossman, Kenny Vargas, and a couple others were set to split time there. However, Morrison possesses far more power than any other player the Twins planned on giving regular at-bats at DH.
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The presence of Morrison will also give the Twins a backup for Joe Mauer at first base. Mauer will turn 35 in April and should benefit from more days off and more time at DH, especially with his power taking a hit in recent years. Also, with Miguel Sano coming back from a shin injury, it doesn’t hurt the Twins to add more power to their lineup in case Sano suffers a setback.
When everyone’s healthy, Morrison should help form the middle of Minnesota’s lineup along with Sano, Brian Dozier, and Eddie Rosario. The fact that Morrison is a left-handed hitter should help to balance out the lineup alongside right-handed hitters like Sano and Dozier. The signing of Morrison, along with the team’s other moves this offseason, also signal that the Twins are serious about competing in 2018.
“Everybody knows he can hit. We’re excited to have anybody like that with that kind of power in our locker room for sure,” Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson said of Morrison Sunday. “We know we’re ready to make the next step. Any time you can add pieces like that for upgrades, you’re creating more competition. Because if he’s at DH, it means someone else doesn’t hit. So it’s only making us a deeper and better team.”
The Twins are no doubt a better team with Morrison. He’s a bit of a one-trick pony, as he’s strike out prone and doesn’t bring much in terms of speed or defense. However, he adds a great deal of power to the Twins and makes their lineup considerably deeper, and he’ll do so at a reasonable cost. If he can replicate his production from last season, Morrison can be a genuine difference maker for the Twins in 2018.