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Bryan Morris returning to Miami with hip injury

ANAHEIM -- Bryan Morris is returning to Miami to have his right hip examined, a potentially devastating injury for the Marlins if it causes the reliever to miss extended time.

Morris, who was seen leaving the team's clubhouse in street clothes on Tuesday as the Marlins were beginning to take batting practice, informed club officials that he was experiencing discomfort in his hip.

"We're going to get it checked out, so I don't want to jump to any conclusions," said Michael Hill, the Marlins' president of baseball operations. "But, at the moment, I don't think it's anything major."

Morris, who last pitched in Colorado on Saturday, has arguably been the Marlins' top reliever ever since being acquired from the Pirates in June. In 35 appearances for the Marlins, Morris is 3-0 with a 0.48 ERA. He has allowed only two earned runs in 37 2/3 innings.

"Obviously, he's been a big part of our bullpen success," Hill said.

Hill said the Marlins had no immediate plans to promote anyone from the minors, but that could change.

"With the off day (on Thursday), we have (Brad) Penny and (Brad) Hand that can move to the pen," Hill said. "And then rosters expand Monday. If we can avoid not doing anything, we will. But if we need to get another arm here, obviously we will. I hope it's only a couple of days."


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Dionysus Thelxinoe

Clark, you're a good beat writer and you provide good insight, so it's no big deal if you're more than slightly overstating things in this instance by calling Morris' departure 'potentially devastating.' I would consider it devastating if he had to miss time NEXT season. We can pretty much stick a fork in THIS season.

There is no question in my mind that this season has been a resounding success. As some said early on, a .500 season or a 20-game improvement on this team's budget and having a fat gargoyle-looking diseased pig for an owner, that is a real accomplishment.

But let's keep things in perspective here. In spite of the best efforts of their broadcasting shills, the Marlins' chances of making the post-season are generously put at about 3%. Thy we can even state that in September of a season following the 100-loss debacle is amazing. And I personally have managed to truly truly enjoy watching this team, Gargoyle Face's scrap-heap pieces notwithstanding.

Let's not fall prey to fabricated hoopla that amounts to little more than Orwellian-level hype.

Flav C.

Spoiler alert: This is a very long post (for which I apologize). So, you've been warned and you can quit reading it right now. Most of it won't make too much sense, anyway.

Ok. This is my theory on Stanton and the contract that the Marlins could offer. I'm quite sure I will write this in vain because it is very hard for me to believe that Stanton will accept to stay in Miami.

First off, when a high-profile baseball player is about to work on a big contract, some of the things taken in consideration are: stat numbers, awards/accolades, health condition, and comparison with similar players.

So, let's look at Stanton and compare him with 2 other high-profile players and their contracts.

One of them is older and the other one a bit younger, but all of them have similarities with Stanton, more specifically their power.

When Miguel Cabrera signed his first multi-year and multi-millionaire contract with the Tigers, he was 25 (same age as Stanton will be when - if - the Marlins offer him a contract). At that point, Cabrera had played 5 seasons, 4 of them were complete seasons. He was a World Champion, 4-time All Star, 2-time Silver Slugger, and had been in the MVP ballot 5 times. He had hit 138 HRs, 523 RBIs, .313 bat avg in 720 games. His SO/AB was a phenomenal 4.8. With all those numbers, he then signed a 8yr-$153 million contract (roughly $173 mil on today's money).

The other player is Mike Trout. Arguably, one of the top 2 most complete players in baseball today. He combines speed on base, great defense, power, and great presence at the plate. And like Stanton, he is an outfielder.

At 22 years of age, Trout is a 3-time All Star, 2-time Silver Slugger, Rookie of the Year, and a 2-time MVP runner-up. He's remained healthy throughout his 2 1/3 major league seasons and has hit 91 HRs, 288 RBIs, .307 bat avg in 463 games. Trout has recently signed a 6yr-$144.5 mil contract with the Angels ($24 mil/year avg).

It is basically split this way:
2015: $5.2 , 2016: $15.2 , 2017: $19.2, 2018: 33.2, 2019: 33.2 and 2020: 33.2.

The Angels bought out his 3 yrs of arbitration and back-loaded the remainder of the contract in the last 3 yrs. If he remains healthy and displaying these awesome numbers, Trout will be slated to work on (probably) the most expensive contract in MLB history when he's 28-29.

Stanton at 25 has demonstrated sheer power, but also has been considered injury-prone by several. In his 5th major league season, that is the first time Stanton has remained injury-free for a whole season.
In 5 seasons, he's 2-time All Star, and has been in a MVP ballot twice. Much less accolades than the other 2 players. His stats in 5 seasons are: 150 HRs, 391 RBIs, .272 bat avg, 620 games played.

Considering this all, if I were the Marlins I would offer a contract similar to Trout: 6yrs-$160 mil.
The split would be:
2015: $16 - 2016:$18 - 2017:$26 - 2018:$30 - 2019:$30 - 2020:$30. ($26.6 mil/year avg).

The Marlins would be buying his remainder 2 arbitration years and would offer a hefty $29mil/year average for the other 4 years of free-agency. It is a lot of money. Have in mind that the $200 million plus contracts of players like Stanton, Pujols, or Cano only happened when these guys were 30+ yrs of age and well established major league stars, which Stanton still is far from being.

And hat is the rational behind those splits in Stanton's contract? The idea is that the Marlins would love to keep Stanton, Yelich, Ozuna, Hech, Fernandez, and Alvarez as the core foundation of this team. And the big advantage is that Hech, Ozuna, and Fernandez only hit arbitration in 2016. Yelich in 2017. Alvarez next season. So basically the Marlins would have those 5 key players in arbitration process through 2015-2018, which leaves plenty of room in their payroll during this period of time.

Considering the proposed contract mentioned above, and adding up the possible arbitration salaries those players would get, plus guaranteed salaries and money needed to fill the 25-man roster, the payroll for the Marlins could be (rough estimate):

2015: $55 - 2016: $60 - 2017: $65

That would still leave plenty of room to get a few free-agent players to reach a manageable $75 mil payroll.

I am making this estimation up to 2017, because my assumption is that this is the lifeline that the Marlins owner is buying for himself to make a last run to a playoff or World Series, with a good core of young players.

After 2016-2017, it is all fair game and the remainder of Stanton's backloaded contract will be somebody else's problem.

A Realist

Totally agree, Flav

Stan M

One of your best posts, and there have been many good ones. Let's all hope your ideas came to fruition. I especially like your team salary estimates for the next couple of years. Even chubby should be able to handle those numbers.


Solid post Flav. It is going to be interesting to see what puss head does this off season with Giancarlo. He is still clearly bitter at this owner as the Yahoo article stated. He hasn't forgotten the broken promises and is older and wiser when it comes to Loria and the BS that must come out of his mouth. IMO it is going to take a BIG contract for him to stay put. Even then there is no guarantee.

If Morris is out what about putting Eovaldi in the pen? He once again looked terrible and really didn't give his team any chance to win. Maybe a shift to the pen could help??


Flav, not trying to troll here, and perhaps I have made a mistake and read it wrong, but your 6 year contract adds up to 150 million, is there ten million due at signing?

Flav C.

yelnats, you saw it perfectly. It sums up to $150 mil.
The additional $10 mil would be in bonus/incentives for milestones achieved (i.e. 30+ HRs/year, HRs #200 and #300, etc).

The idea is that the Marlins has a very good core of young players, and a very lean payroll for at least 3-4 years, so the FO can make a very good offer to Stanton AND add good pieces in the free agency market to build a very competitive team. This is the dream of every GM and Baseball owner.

Do I think Stanton will sign it? Highly unlikely. But if the right offer is made, it will (at least) make him and his agent think twice. After all, athletes are one injury away from leaving a lot of money on the plate.

Interesting thing about Stanton's agent is that it is the same agency that handled Hanley's contract with the Marlins and Puig's deal with the Dodgers. They are the exact opposite to Scott Boras. Very low key and if the deal is good, they go for it.


I hope Stanton signs, so he can become a folk hero and get credit for taking the Marlins to the World Series. He can claim Marlins Stadium as the House Stanton built!

A Realist

I hope the fact that the Marlins have dealt with these agents previously relaxes fat-body Loria come negotiating time and allows the money to flow out freely.

Has anyone seen the "Yo soy Miami" commercial on Fox Sports Florida? They have Garrett Jones saying it and it just feels so fake and wrong. He will not be here much longer. His face isn't going to attract anyone to the game. Garrett Jones doesn't even believe it when he says it. Hech, Cishek, Ozuna, and Stanton, but not Jones. It's of no consequence to anything. Just a random thought.

Flav C.

A Realist, now that was very funny! I had high hopes for Jones this season, and even though he brought more runs than 1B last season, was well below the expected.

He is so "gone" next season. Agree with you.

Stan M

This team simply must sweep Atlanta or any hope is gone. Once one game is lost, I say bring up the kids.

It is frequently pointed out that Hech has no power. What are triples? Chopped liver? He has the kind of power that his home field calls for. A bit of surprising trivia if I haven't posted this before. Without looking it up, take a guess who has the most lifetime triples since the start of WWII? I think the answer will surprise you. Don't cheat and take a guess before you look it up.

Flav C.

Stan Musial? Kenny lofton?


easy Willie McGee

Dionysus Thelxinoe

The giveaway is "start of WWII" ... there is only one extra-base-hit machine who started playing around that time... you.


Joe DiMaggio? I would also guess Ted Williams but he missed 5 years Military Service Time. I guessed Joe Di because he was sneaky fast (Yelich running reminds me of him) and Yankee Stadium used to be very deep in power alleys, 460 + feet.

Stan M

I was born 5 years before he reached the majors so I'm not named after him, but some of you got him. It was "the Man" and I think that is amazing considering his power and the dimensions of Sportsmans Park. As a young guy, he could fly.


Musial, wow, I was not even close. Good trivia question Stan. Thanks.

Flav C.

Very nice trivia, Stan.

Interesting enough the name Jose Reyes came to my mind as well.

Stan M

When I asked you fellow posters who was Marlin's MVP for first half of the year, more than half, if memory serves me right, said McGehee. Now I will pose the same question. Who has been Marlin's MVP in second half? I would say Yelich. Am I alone? If others agree, than how can Stanton be league MVP, if he wasn't Marlin MVP? He is a fine player and the reason why this team is even noticeable. But in a late inning, when the TV guys have conniptions because Stanton is coming up, don't we just know he'll strike out? The problem with the makeup of this team is that Salty, Jones,, Ozuna, and possibly Hech would also strike out. This team cannot sign modest power hitters only to see their power diminished by our ball park and not see all of their negatives become so readily apparent. In my opinion, we need hitters like Yelich more than hitters like Stanton. Even an improving Hech resembles the hitters we should persue...again in my opinion.

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