The Pittsburgh Pirates have shifted their hunt for a new first baseman from the open market to the trading block. The Bucs are reportedly interested in the Marlins' Logan Morrison and the Blue Jays' Adam Lind, among others, per Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.
Pittsburgh had free-agent first baseman James Loney at the top of their wish list last week, but his steep asking price of three years and $27-$30 million may have pushed the club to explore other avenues. It's possible that the Pirates are still in on Loney, but history is not in his favor: the franchise's most expensive free-agent signing ever was the two-year, $17 million deal it handed to Russell Martin last winter.
Morrison, 26, has been a common name on the trade-rumor mill for some time. While it seemed at first like the Marlins might have been shopping him around just to test the market, the club's recent addition of former Pirates corner man Garrett Jones has made a LoMo deal almost a sure thing. According to our own Chris Cotillo, the Brewers, Rockies, Red Sox and Rays are also believed to have some interest in Morrison, who batted .242/.33/.375 with just six home runs over 85 games for Miami in an injury-plagued 2013.
Lind, 30, had a nice rebound year for the Jays in 2013, which could make him a more costly trade piece than Morrison. The veteran hit .288/.357/.497 with 23 home runs in 143 games while splitting time at first and designated hitter for Toronto. The lefty slugger has never earned plaudits for his defense, so it's unclear how he'd fare moving back to first full time.
However, his team-friendly salary of $7 million in 2014 could outweigh Pittsburgh's fears about his lack of mobility. Lind also has contract options for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, which, if exercised, would give the Bucs just as many years of team control as they'd get acquiring Morrison.