When the name "Nyjer Morgan" comes to mind the first cloud that pops in to one's head is the infamous mound charge occurring after Nyjer Morgan was almost grazed by a Chris Volstad fastball in the Marlins/Nationals late August game. Even the Adam Jones inside-the-parker which occured when Nyjer Morgan mistaked it to be an actual home run which eventually resulted in Nyjer throwing his glove on the Nationals Park grass. Morgan's teammates and fans sure remember that one. Don't forget about Nyjer plummeting in to the padding of Bryan Anderson, the Cardinals catcher at the plate. The Cards already got their payback for that.
But aside from the antics, the distractions and the package he brings with him, Nyjer Morgan isn't that bad of a player. As Spring Training nears it's end, teams are finally putting the finishing touches on a roster that they hope remains the same throughout the next six or seven months.
The Marlins search for a third-baseman continues daily. With the heavy expectations of Matt Dominguez turning out for not, Pedro Feliz (come on, seriously), Garrett Atkins, and Michael Young have been a few third-baseman Larry Beinfest and Michael Hill have considered. But why?
First and foremost, why a third-baseman? As the third-baseman market consists of little available talent -- at least little available compelling talent -- it would make sense to replace a player with a player of the same position, right? Remember, the Marlins have some versatile players expected to be in their Opening Day and everyday lineup barring injuries and what not.
As the market is equally or more thin in the second-base market, it would make sense for Omar Infante to stick there anyway. The Marlins should be taking a look at available outfielders in which the market consists more of. Also, with the bounty of questions from scouts, writers, and other personnel as to whether or not Chris Coghlan can be an above average or even average center fielder defensively, it might make sense to kill birds with one stone by sticking Coghlan at a more comforting third-base benefiting from not only a similar offensive player in center field but a solid defensive one as well.
Nyjer Morgan is the guy.
Of course, it's a crazy idea right? Why would a team want aplayer who created hiatus and bedlam in a not so tense or ruckus-filled Sun Life Stadium? Is it even worth it? It's certainly worth it...
Sure, there are some decent outfielders on the market such as Alex Gordon, Travis Buck, Nate McLouth, Roger Bernadina, and possibly Ryan Sweeney, Ryan Spilborghs, and Kosuke Fukudome just to name a few. But Nyjer Morgan would make the most sense. And as he's close if not already knighted as the Nationals 4th or 5thoutfielder with his lousy Spring Training play and the compelling Rick Ankiel and Mike Morse display, Nyjer Morgan is trade bait. Here's why the Marlins need to consider him...
Wins Above Replacement & Runs Above Average
Defensively -- Also known as the "big separator"
Speed & Baserunning
To clarify, each statistic is based on the performance of Morgan and Coghlan over the past two seasons.The baserunning stats are 2010 based. The reason for that? Coghlan has only been a Major Leaguer for two years.
In a nutshell, Morgan is likely the better player despite not being able to out-wOBA or out-run create Chris Coghlan. He had a down year in 2010 for sure butstill was significantly better on the bases, better in the field, was worth more wins, and all in all has more experience in center field than Coghlan.
Chris Coghlan has minor league experience at second base as well as third base and given recent shoulder issues he'd be better suited in general at an infield position. Any such move in which the Marlins acquire Nyjer Morgan would probably create scrutiny within the fanbase but would be a better move for the team nonetheless. Fish fans, whether you like it or not, Nyjer Morgan just might be a fine acquisition for a team that might win relatively soon.