Marlins officially sign first baseman Garrett Jones
The Marlins officially announced the signing of first baseman Garrett Jones to a two-year, $7.75 million deal Tuesday.
Jones, who was non-tendered by the Pirates earlier this week, hit a career-low .233 with 15 home runs and 51 RBI in 144 games for Pittsburgh last season. He is a lifetime .254 batter with 102 career home runs and 330 RBI over parts of six seasons.
“We like his power,” general manager Dan Jennings said Monday at the winter meetings. “We certainly played against those guys quite a bit in Pittsburgh. He brings a component of being a power hitter. They utilized him in right field, first base, played him around a little bit.”
One of the 32-year-old’s strengths is durability: Jones averaged 149 games over the past four seasons as one of the longest-tenured Pirates.
Over the past few years, however, he served in a platoon role because of his splits: .193 average against southpaws (.271 vs. righties). Jones has played 339 games at first and 296 in the outfield. He would provide depth at right field.
“Looking at him from the outside, he’s consistent,” president of baseball operations Michael Hill said Monday at the winter meetings. “He’s a consistent producer, and when you look into our lineup, we need consistent production. That’s what would be attractive about Garrett Jones.”
This could mean the end for Logan Morrison in Miami.
Morrison, who earned his major league call-up in 2010 and posted a .283 average with two home runs and 18 RBI, has battled injuries.
Following a career year in 2011 — 23 homers and 72 RBI over 123 games — the 26-year-old has played in just 178 games the past two seasons, hampered by knee problems that led to two surgeries.
Morrison’s 2012 ended early to undergo a second procedure on his knee after batting .230 with 11 home runs and 35 RBI. He missed the first two months of 2013 recovering, then hit .242 with six homers and 36 RBI in 85 games.
Miami has been looking into trades, possibly for a third baseman, which is an area of need for the club.
Last week, Miami signed a pair of veteran switch-hitters — catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and infielder Rafael Furcal — to help an offense that finished last in almost all statistical offensive categories.