Miami Marlins sign Michael Morse

michael morse

It looks like Allen Craig will not be taking his talents to South Beach anytime soon. The Miami Marlins were thought of as a team that might have been interested in Craig, but they got someone else for the job.
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In need of a versatile power bat, the Miami Marlins turned to free agent Michael Morse and agreed to terms with him on a two-year deal worth $16 million plus incentives.michael morse

Morse, who is set to turn 33 before opening day next season, plays both first base and left field and hit .279 with a .336 OBP in 131 games for the World Series champion San Francisco Giants this past season.
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What was really impressive about Morse last season was his power. Hitting 16 home runs in 131 games might not seem like a lot, but he also smacked 32 doubles and 3 triples, meaning that almost 42% of his hits were for extra bases.

With Christian Yelich projected to start in left field and Garret Jones projected to start at first base, expect Morse to see playing time at both positions (but primarily at first base) according to splits and performance.
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At first base especially, Garrett Jones does not face many left-handed pitchers because he struggles greatly against them.

In the outfield, it will be tougher for Morse to swing playing time, but he definitely will have his work cut out for him. In an outfield with Christian Yelich who posted a .361 OBP and swiped 21 bases this past season, Marcell Ozuna who smashed 23 home runs this past season and Giancarlo Stanton who might just be the best outfielder in all of baseball, Morse might just be the best fourth outfielder in all of baseball due to a lack of spots.
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Certainly Morse provides the Marlins with a great bat off the bench, and his signing shows that the Marlins plan to compete in the near future. He may not be serving a huge role until someone else is injured, but Morse is a big addition to the Marlins organization nonetheless.

What Will The Boston Red Sox Outfield Look Like in 2015?

Red Sox outfield

A few days ago the Boston Red Sox signed Rusney Castillo who is considered the top Cuban defector this year. He is set to earn $72 million over the course of six years. Based off this recent signing, Boston has arguably the most outfield depth in all of baseball. Now though, the hard part begins for Boston; now they need to decide which ones they want to keep and which ones will go.
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Possible Red Sox outfield for 2015:

CF Rusney Castillo
LF Yoenis Cespedes
CF Mookie Betts
RF Allen Craig
LF Daniel Nava
OF Brock Holt
CF Jackie Bradley Jr.
OF Kelly Johnson (FA)
OF Shane Victorino
LF Garin Cecchini
RF Bryce Brentz
LF Alex Hassan
CF Corey Brown

As far as outfielders go, Boston has plenty of viable options, but unfortunately they can only use up to five of them at most. Certainly Castillo seems like a lock based off the huge contract Boston offered up. Expect him to man center field for the club next season.

Since Boston is looking to really compete next year, a couple weaker options can be eliminated. The odds of Boston re-signing Kelly Johnson are slim and with Corey Brown being designated for assignment after one plate appearance in the Major Leagues this season, his chances for a starting job are low as well.
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Of course with that being said, Boston may not need some of their younger players such as Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Bryce Brentz to name a few.

Alex Hassan is a platoon player who kills lefties so his services may be applicable and Garin Cecchini is a third baseman by trade strengthening his case for a spot on the Boston Red Sox.

Even though his OBP is dismal, Yoenis Cespedes seems like the favorite to win the right field job next year. Granted his 30 homerun power, Boston may take the good with the bad because his bat is tailor-made for Fenway Park. Not to mention he has a cannon of an arm.

As far as the veterans go, Daniel Nava, Shane Victorino and Allen Craig all may be out of luck. Despite being great options, Boston could go for a more appealing option and trade for Giancarlo Stanton. Now, Boston is in a great position to trade for the Marlins outfielder this offseason using the plenty of top prospects they have stock load of minor league talent in the upper levels. With this in mind, the three could be dealt this off season for more prospects.
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Right now, the Boston Red Sox are in a great position as far as outfielders go. An outfield of Castillo, Cespedes and Stanton would be the outfield of a lifetime — that is of course unless the 1970’s ring a bell.

Daniel Nava Back With A Vengeance

daniel navaIn his baseball career, Daniel Nava has gone through a lot to say the least. He did not make his college team at first, played in an independent league, hit a grand-slam in his first Major League pitch and won a World Series. On top of this he was sent down at the beginning of this season in favor of Grady Sizemore who had not played Major League Baseball effectively since George W. Bush was president. After owning a slash line of .149/.257/.290, Boston sent Nava down to AAA, called him back up again only to send him back down! After being at the lowest point in his career slashing .130/.221/.234, Nava turned his season around with a vengeance.
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Since returning from to the big leagues in June, Daniel Nava has been playing the best baseball of his career. Since June 4th, Daniel Nava is hitting a slash of .331/.399/.393 as of yesterday before the game. This is by far the best stretch of the switch-hitting outfielder’s career especially given how much he has struggled against lefties this year. Off southpaws this year he is hitting .143/.182/.167 in 42 at-bats which is down from .225/.298/.335 from 2011 to 2013 in 200 at-bats exactly.
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The Boston Red Sox outfield is crowded and going to be even more crowded once Allen Craig returns from the disabled list and Mookie Betts is called up. Keep in mind no members of the Red Sox outfield are free agents next year and Shane Victorino will be back as well. That leaves Boston with seven potential outfielders on their 2015 roster with Alex Hassan, Garin Cecchini, and Bryce Brentz just a phone call away. To put it this way, outfielders will make up at least 25% of the 40-man roster.
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As Nava is and always will be an on-base machine, he definitely deserves a starting role in the Boston Red Sox outfield next year. Despite Allen Craig putting up nearly identical numbers to Nava in 2013, Nava has the upper hand in terms of 2014 performance, on-base percentage, and experience both on the team and in the American League. Too much depth is never a bad thing, especially when a team has pieces to move for say Giancarlo Stanton. Whether or not that truly happens is up for debate, but at least Boston has Nava who is tearing it up and making this 2014 Boston Red Sox team worth watching.