LoMo is NoMo with the Marlins.
The Marlins agreed Wednesday to trade their Twitter-happy first baseman, Logan Morrison, to the Seattle Mariners for right-handed reliever Carter Capps. The deal is contingent on both teams signing off on each player's medical records.
“I’m going to miss being a Marlin,” said Morrison, who has been with the organization ever since the Marlins drafted him in 2005. “It’s definitely going to take getting used to.”
Once the Marlins signed free agent first baseman Garrett Jones to a two-year deal, Morrison’s fate was sealed, and the Marlins have been in actively trying to trade him for days, if not weeks.
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Morrison, 26, was once regarded as one of the top young prospects in professional baseball, a gifted hitter with a sweet swing and outstanding strike zone recognition. But he was crippled by injuries to his right knee, which sharply reduced the time he was able to remain on the field the past two seasons.
He had surgery to repair the injury following the 2011 season, and again the following year when an attempt to return too quickly resulted in the knee being re-injured. As a result, Morrison was never able to fulfill his promise at the plate.
“It’s one injury that lasted way too long,” Morrison said. “It shouldn’t have gone as far as it did, and just leave it at that. I think if there’s one excuse to point to, it would have been me not being healthy and not being out there to play every day.”
The Mariners signed first baseman Corey Hart on Wednesday and may be thinking of having Morrison return to the outfield. Morrison said he is healthy and would have no problem returning to the outfield if that's what the Mariners want.
“As long as I’m in the lineup, I don’t care,” he said.
In exchange for Morrison, the Marlins are receiving a hard-throwing reliever in Capps, who can light up the radar gun. Capps, 23, is coming off his first full season in the majors, one in which he went 3-3 with a 5.49 ERA in 53 relief appearances.
In his trade analysis, ESPN’s Keith Law wrote that Capps “throws 100 mph but looks as though he might dismember himself with every pitch. Capps comes from a low slot and is death to righties but has no weapon to get lefties out, and he will never have even average command with his delivery. He’s a disappointing return for a player who was once among the top 25 prospects in the game.”
Capps was ranked by Baseball America as the Mariners’ seventh-best prospect after the 2012 season and rated by the publication as having the “best fastball” of any prospect in the Mariners organization.
The Marlins have been extremely active in trying to upgrade a roster that lost 100 games last season. In addition to trading Morrison, they have signed free agents Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Rafael Furcal and Jones, and they are continuing their search for a third baseman.
Because their trade with the Mariners is not official, the Marlins had no comment on it — refusing even to acknowledge that a deal was in place. But it’s clear in signing Jones and trading Morrison they felt it was time to move in another direction at first base.
Morrison often irritated the Marlins front office with his Twitter antics. Under his Twitter handle of @LoMoMarlins, he could be acerbic, sharp-witted, clever, risqué and funny in 140 characters or less, and often exchanged messages with fans.
He is also extremely active in charitable causes, running children’s camps and raising money for the American Lung Association in the aftermath of his father’s death from lung cancer in 2010. Though his antics often put him at odds with the front office, Morrison thanked Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, who paid for Morrison’s family to fly to his father’s funeral.
“I think the things that Mr. Loria has done for me and my family, he didn’t have to do those things,” Morrison said. “It’s pretty amazing that he did them in the first place, and I will be forever thankful to him for that.”
As for his Twitter account, Morrison said he'll have to figure out a new handle. A person who has the handle @Lomomariners offered Wednesday to give it to the player.
“I might use it, but I might try to think of something else,” Morrison said. “We’ll see what we come up with.”
Right after the trade news broke, Morrison sent out a tweet that fell well short of the 140-word limit:
“Thank you Miami!”