Monday, February 26, 2018

The Twins go 'LoMo'

It was reported Sunday that the Twins have a tentative agreement with free-agent first baseman Logan Morrison, pending a physical.

Morrison, 30, was better known a few years ago as a Twitter provocateur than for his hitting exploits, but he abandoned the social media platform and reworked his swing in a conscious effort to hit more fly balls. The result last season was 38 homers, most 40 percent more than his previous career high. He doesn't hit for average, but he draws walks, hits long balls nnd is a pretty decent glove at first base.

The breakout season didn't do much for him in free agency. The Twins landed him for a one-year, $6.5 million guarantee. (There are vesting options and inventives; it could top out at two years, 16 million.) This is pretty cheap even if 2017 was a fluke.

Morrison will help this lineup. He's not a perfect fit for this roster, because he's left-handed  and rhe lineup is overloaded with left-handed hitters: Joe Mauer, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, Jason Castro, now Morrison. All fall off against southpaws. (Morrison's OPS was more than 140 points lower when facing lefties than righties last year.) The Twins figure to punish righties, but opponents will be scraping up lefites to face them.

And Morrison is limited to first base in the field. He came up as an outfielder with the Marlins, but was atrocious enough to get moved to first base fairly quickly. This means that to have him, Mauer and Miguel Sano in the lineup simultanously Sano has to be able to play third base. Sano's post-surgical condition makes that somewhat less than certain.

The price was right, and Morrison is without question a roster upgrade. But there are devils in the details.

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