The Rays have been rumored to be interested in a corner bat. Possibly Mike Napoli. Today they apparently closed that line of inquiry and speculation off as they have re-signed free agent first baseman Logan Morrison. It’s a one year, $2.5 million deal.
Morrison hit .238/.319/.414 with 14 homers and 43 RBI last year. He was way stronger in the second half of the season, however, so the line may not really represent the kind of hitter the Rays will be getting for 2017. Or maybe it does. I don’t know. We always tend to believe that a guy’s second half is a better indicator of future performance than his first half. I’m not sure why we do that apart from the allure of recency bias, but that’s what we do.
Morrison coming back to Tampa Bay will likely mean that Brad Miller, who moved from shortstop to first after Morrison’s late season injury, will go to second base to replace the departed Logan Forsythe.
The Indians have designated outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for assignment. This comes after Gonzalez batted a mere .210/.282/.276 over 117 plate appearances in Cleveland. That came after he had to settle for a minor league contract with the Indians in mid-March.
A few years ago Gonzalez was a superstar, winning three Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger Awards, making the All-Star team three times and coming in third in the MVP balloting once upon a time. That was then, however. His most recent good season came in 2016, when he hit .298/.350/.505 with 25 homers and drove in 100. In 2017 and 2018 he combined to hit .232/.269/.334. Between his falloff in production and the fact that his big numbers of the past were heavily supported by playing at Coors Field, it should not be shocking that he couldn’t make it work in Cleveland.
If he wants to continue his career, he’ll no doubt have to take a minor league gig someplace. Otherwise, this could be the end of the line.