The Marlins will have to target another bat at first base after they failed to reel in Jose Dariel Abreu as the Chicago White Sox won the bidding with a six-year, $68 million deal.
The Marlins were willing to open the bank for Jose Dariel Abreu before Abreu signed with the Chicago White Sox for $68 million over six years. As Frisaro tweeted, the Marlins bowed out of the bidding when it went past $60 million.
With Abreu off the market, there are some appealing options at first base, from most unrealistic to the most realistic:
1. Kendrys Morales (.277/.336/.449, 23 home runs, 80 RBI)
2. Justin Morneau (.259/.323/.411, 17 home runs, 77 RBI)
3. Mike Napoli (.259/.360/.482, 23 home runs, 92 RBI)
4. Lyle Overbay (.240/.295/.393, 14 home runs, 59 RBI)
5. James Loney (.299/.348/.430, 13 home runs, 75 RBI)
6. Mike Morse (.215/.270/.381, 13 home runs, 27 RBI)
Morales is without a shadow of a doubt the easiest to cross off on the Marlins shopping list. First, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports the Seattle Mariners intend to extend a one-year qualifying offer to Morales, which will cost any team a draft pick to sign Morales. Next when the Mariners attempted to sign Morales to a long-term extension during the season, the Mariners balked at the asking price and never made a formal offer, sources with knowledge of the discussions told Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal. Since Morales is likely to reject the one-year qualifying offer, it seems likely Morales is expecting to make more than $14.1 million. And did we mention Scott Boras is his agent?
For Justin Morneau, his top priority is winning, as he told the Star Tribune. So unless Morneau wants to sign a one-year deal with the Marlins with the promise of he'll be traded to a contender at the trade deadline, it's unlikely a match between the 2006 American League Most Valuable Player and the Marlins.
After a physical discovered Mike Napoli had avascular necrosis in both hips, which is the same degenerative condition that ended the career of two-sport star Bo Jackson, Napoli's three-year, $39 million deal with the Boston Red Sox last offseason turned into a a one-year, $5 million deal that could be worth $13 million with performance bonuses.
Brian Grieper, Napoli's agent, doesn’t anticipate his client will have to settle for a one-year deal or qualifying offer. Moreover, one general manager thinks Napoli will receive a lucrative offer.
“If the Red Sox don’t tie him up for three years, someone will. He’s a power righthanded bat," the GM told the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo. "If the risk of his hip condition getting worse is minimal, and that’s what everyone would have to find out, the righthanded power bat is pretty enticing.”
If there's any reason for Napoli to sign with the Marlins, it's because Napoli resides in Pembroke Pines and values time with his family, according to MLB Trade Rumors.
Lyle Overbay didn't have a great year, but he did yeoman's work for the New York Yankees. Although it's unknown what his plans are, it seems like he enjoyed playing with the Yankees.
“Do I want to play every day and be miserable?” Overbay told the New York Post back in May. “That opportunity might not be as good as it is here. I think it will work itself out.”
James Loney re-established his value, but it remains to be seen whether that equates to a long-term deal in excess of $10 million per season. Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin reports Loney wants to explore the free agent market after earning a mere $2 million in 2013. If Loney is looking for financial stability, the Marlins could be a match if he doesn't price himself out of the Marlins' range.
And we finally reach Mike Morse. Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports said the Baltimore Orioles aren't expected to retain Morse because the Orioles want someone who can play a few positions rather than clog up the DH spot.
From 2010-12, Morse posted a .296/.345/.516 with 64 home runs and 198 RBI. As the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson writes, the Marlins like taking chances on players one season removed from good years, such as the Fort Lauderdale native, because they tend to come cheaply.