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Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

It’s time to talk about the free-agent slugger who hit 38 home runs in 2017 and who’s vanished into thin air on Major League Baseball’s offseason market.

No, not Mike Moustakas. He’s been covered.

The other one. You know. Logan Morrison.

The 30-year-old first baseman seemed positioned to get his first big payday following a long-awaited breakout in 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays paid him just $2.5 million. For that, they got an .868 OPS, the aforementioned 38 dingers and 3.6 wins above replacement. All were career bests.

But with pitchers and catchers due to report to spring training in February, it’s hard to hear anything other than crickets coming from Morrison’s corner of the rumor mill.

The most recent entry on his MLB Trade Rumors page was on Jan. 5. That referenced a report from MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi that the New York Mets had him on their radar. They ended up signing Adrian Gonzalez instead. The last report referenced before that was a Dec. 12 note from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that connected Morrison to the Cleveland Indians. They went on to sign Yonder Alonso.

It’s possible there’s more going on behind the scenes that isn’t making its way to the masters of whispers who pass on rumors to the general public.

From the outside looking in, though, it’s hard not to wonder whether Morrison’s market is as bleak as it seems.

He has two roles that aren’t exactly in high demand. One is as a first baseman, which is something few teams had a need for even before the Mets, Indians and Boston Red Sox (with Mitch Moreland) filled theirs. Another is as a slugger, which isn’t as much of an attention-grabbing title at a time when MLB has more home runs than it knows what to do with.

Besides, it’s been hard out there for all free agents this winter. And given Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez, Eric Hosmer, Jake Arrieta and Moustakas have gotten the cold shoulder from teams for this long, it’s only natural a comparatively new star like Morrison would as well. 

He was a promising young player in 2010 and 2011 but fell into a hole between 2012 and 2016 wherein he averaged just a .712 OPS, 12 homers and 0.2 WAR per year. Five years of flops like that can’t be disregarded altogether.

However, Morrison does have one advantage over other top free agents. Whereas Arrieta, Hosmer, Moustakas, Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn and Greg Holland all tied themselves to draft-pick compensation by rejecting qualifying offers, Morrison never got one. Signing him will only cost a team money.

At this juncture, it’s probably not going to be a lot of money. So any team that does need a slugger should be asking itself the following: Why not roll the dice on a guy who just showed he can be a terrific slugger?

It’s not as if Morrison’s power came out of nowhere. It’s something that’s been there since the early days of his career. As evidence, consider him sharing the highlight reel for the Miami Marlins’ longest homers of 2013 with Giancarlo Stanton:

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