The Miami Marlins were among the most active teams at the 2017 Winter Meetings. After several major transactions, they still have a lot of work to do.
Derek Jeter warned the Miami Marlins fans that “unpopular decisions” were on the way when he took over the team. Throughout the Winter Meetings, the Marlins faithful learned the extent of those decisions. As you would expect, they were unpopular.
The Miami Marlins traded Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees. They traded Marcell Ozuna to the St. Louis Cardinals. And just before the Winter Meetings began, traded Dee Gordon to the Seattle Mariners. With the major deals done, the Marlins still have a lot of work to do.
There are still a number of contracts on their payroll that they’ll be looking to move. They’ll have to wait for some of the dust to settle elsewhere in the league first though.
The Marlins are obviously interested in cutting as much payroll as they can. Anybody pulling in seven digits is on the chopping block. (Likely with the exception of Christian Yelich). But they’ll be forced to bide their time while the market sorts itself out.
Right now, the Marlins have two contracts in the bullpen that they’re actively looking to trade as pure salary dumps: Brad Ziegler, and Junichi Tazawa. They’ll take anything for these players, and have likely tried to include them in any of the three deals they’ve executed already this offseason.
The problem is that neither of these players have any value to other teams. With their disproportionally high payroll hits, $9 million and $7 million, respectively, they might even have negative value.
The Miami Marlins are likely to find takers for them at some point, but it’ll be a while. They’re a fallback plan for competitive teams if one of their relievers is sidelined for the year. Opposing GM’s know they won’t have to give up much to get either of them.
The Miami Marlins would be thrilled to get rid of Ziegler and Tazawa, but ultimately they are on one-year contracts. If they can’t find a taker willing to assume all of their pay, they’re free of the contracts after only one season.
Martin Prado is a different story altogether. Prado still has $28.5 million, and two years left on his contract. A good clubhouse leader and solid player all around, there would normally be a number of takers for a player like Prado. But after a difficult 2017, there are none.
Prado bounced between the disabled list, rehab starts, and cameo appearances with the Miami Marlins all season. When he was on the field, he wasn’t very good. He hit .250/.279/.359, and needed to have his knee scoped at the end of the year.
There are questions of what type of player he’ll be when he comes back in 2018, and teams balk at the notion of paying $13.5 million to find out.
There are also a few trades that the Miami Marlins will be looking to make with an eye towards bringing back prospects. The fact that they’ll relieve the Marlins of a few dollars certainly helps, but ultimately that won’t drive deals for Starlin Castro and Dan Straily.
More on them in later posts this week. Keep your eyes peeled for those.
The Miami Marlins are rebuilding. They’re taking a sledgehammer to the foundation that of a franchise that was rich with frilly players, but ultimately no depth. It’s going to be a wild ride. Keep up with the Marlin Maniac twitter, my personal twitter page, and the Marlin Maniac Facebook.