Tropicana Field could prove fruitful for LoMo
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The Rays are hopeful that a change of scenery will finally help Logan Morrison feel right at home. In his first six big league seasons, the 28-year-old first baseman has not had the luxury of playing a majority of his games in hitter-friendly parks.
Morrison came up with the Marlins in 2010 and was dealt to the Mariners in 2013. In each of his first two stops, he played in cavernous ballparks. With the Rays, Tropicana Field may be the place where his career takes off.
At the General Managers Meetings on Tuesday, Rays president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said he envisions Morrison being productive anywhere, but noted his new home venue could be a factor.
"It's so different for each hitter," Silverman said. "But I do think, mentally, coming into Tropicana Field, where it's a little friendlier for left-handed hitters than [his former home parks], it might be a boost. But his bat can play in any park in baseball."
Morrison was acquired from Seattle on Thursday as part of a six-player deal.
Tampa Bay received Morrison, shortstop Brad Miller and right-handed reliever Danny Farquhar for right-hander Nathan Karns, lefty C.J. Riefenhauser and Minor League outfielder Boog Powell.
Morrison remains an intriguing player, because he has power potential and a patient approach. But his career home/road splits demonstrate how his game was impacted by his home parks.
In 2015, his slash line was .225/.302/.383 with 17 home runs and 54 RBIs. At home, he was .211/.294/.322 with seven homers and 19 RBIs. Away, he was .239/.310/.443 with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs.
For his career, Morrison is .254/.336/.434 away and .237/.316/.399 at home.
The Rays are in the process of figuring out how best to use Morrison, who offers some flexibility because he can play left field and also be a designated hitter.
"It's November, so it's really hard to predict what our club is going to look like," Silverman said. "But come February, we see him as a hitter who has the ability to play first base. He can play the outfield. He could be our DH. But our motivation in getting him was the fact he can hit right-handed pitching."
The fact that the Rays were able to swing a significant trade even before the GM Meetings started put the organization in position to measure the market for other potential moves while already meeting some needs.
"We addressed a couple of our pressing needs for the offseason, and it allows us to breathe a little easier, and be more patient as we look for other ways to address our needs," Silverman said. "Free agency is not an avenue where we typically look to improve our club. Trades are one of the primary ways. Now we have the ability to continue to survey the landscape and see if something makes sense without that urgency to do something."