First baseman Logan Morrison has reached a deal with the Twins, per a tweet from Jon Morosi of MLB.com. In a subsequent tweet, Morosi notes that the guarantee is for $6.5 million for one year, though escalators and a vesting option could take the total value of the contract all the way to $16.5 million.
Morrison enjoyed a breakout season for the Rays in 2017, clubbing a personal high 38 home runs while driving in 85. Morrison OPSed .868, walking a career-high 81 times. The lefty-swinger was especially potent against right-handed pitching, OPSing .905 against them. Interestingly, Morrison was also far better on the road, posting a 1.020 OPS away from Tropicana field (and, for what it’s worth, he hit two home runs in three games at Target Field in 2017).
With Miguel Sano coming off of shoulder surgery and also possible (if not likely) to be suspended due to sexual harassment allegations, Morrison provides crucial insurance to the Twins' designated hitter position if Sano is not on the roster to begin the season for one reason or another. The signing nonetheless assures that Sano will be the team’s primary third baseman whenever his season begins, with Morrison as the designated hitter and primary backup to Joe Mauer at first base.
The move would seem to bode poorly for bat-first (really, bat-only) first baseman Kennys Vargas, who simply doesn’t have a spot on the roster as constructed with Morrison. He’s an interesting player to keep an eye on if the Twins look to trade him or place him on the waiver wire.