Twins sign Logan Morrison to help fill potential Miguel Sano void

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - JULY 15: Logan Morrison /

Miguel Sano’s status is up in the air for a couple of reasons, so the Minnesota Twins have added Logan Morrison.

There’s no denying Miguel Sano’s talent, especially after he hit 28 home runs in 424 at-bats last season and earned his first career All-Star selection. But he also barely played after mid-August due to a fractured left shin, and as he gets back into shape post-surgery Sano is also facing a possible suspension for harassing a female photographer.

With Sano’s status for the start of the season unclear on two fronts, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported Sunday the Twins have signed first baseman/designated hitter Logan Morrison.

It’s a one-year, $6.5 million deal for Morrison, with a vesting option for 2019 which could make the deal worth a total of $16.5 million. Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press first reported Minnesota’s interest in Morrison Sunday morning, which then moved to “serious talks” (via ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick) and now a reported done deal.

Morrison posted a .246/.353/.516 slash-line with a career-high 38 home runs and 85 RBI for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2017. He has primarily played first base over the last four seasons in the American League, with some time as a DH mixed in. With Joe Mauer in place at first base and able to play the position at a Gold Glove level, Morrison is in line to become the Twins’ primary DH with the ability to play first base and in the corner outfield spots.

Morrison started 238 games in left field for the Florida/Miami Marlins from 2010-2013. So he has some extra position flexibility, with solid power (.763 career OPS, 23 home runs for the Marlins in 2011).

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At this late stage, even on the heels of a glacial winter for MLB free agents, Morrison was going to be a decent get for someone. He won’t threaten 40 home runs again in 2018, but the Twins only need him to be an upgrade over Robbie Grossman as their most regular DH and provide a power boost to the lineup as a whole if Sano is out of the mix.