Joe Frisaro has the scoop in his latest entry at MLB.com’s Fish Pond:
The Marlins have yet to officially announce the free agent signing of Michael Morse, but already the club has received calls from teams interested in Garrett Jones.
Morse’s arrival gives the Marlins some flexibility regarding Jones, who suddenly becomes available. Miami may decide to keep Jones, and use him as a left-handed bat off the bench, either at first base or in right field.
But most likely Jones will be dealt, and there are teams who have expressed interest, MLB.com has learned.
Jones, a left-handed hitter, boasts an .811 career OPS against right-handed pitching and he’s not all that far removed from his impressive .832 OPS, 27-homer 2012 campaign with the Pirates. The 33-year-old first baseman is due $5 million in 2015. He can then become a free agent.
With so many clubs seeking power this winter, Jones could fetch the Fish some legitimate talent.
Justin Bour can serve as the lefty complement to the right-handed Morse next season in Miami.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that free agent pitcher Madison Bumgarner is asking for a nine-figure deal.
Your first impression of that may be “what? how?” A lot of that, however, is probably bound up in your understandable feeling that Bumgarner is too old to get that kind of scratch. But then you remember that, oh wait, he’s somehow still only 30 years-old. Indeed, he’s only ten months older than Zack Wheeler, who just nabbed a five-year, $118 million deal from Philly.
Bumgarner, obviously, has much more mileage on the odometer than Wheeler does, and he’s not the ace he was a few years ago, but he’s coming off a fine year, having put up a solid 3.90 ERA and 203/43 K/BB ratio over 207.2 innings in 2019. He would be a fine addition to the top — or at last near the top — of a contender’s rotation.
The White Sox, Twins, Cardinals, Reds, Braves, Padres, and Yankees have all been mentioned among possible landing spots. Figure his market to heat up a good bit once Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg sign and some of those contenders start looking for fallback options.