With their recent moves to obtain international pool money, the Miami Marlins continue to close the gap on the Baltimore Orioles.
You have to give the Miami Marlins credit for trying to be better than every other MLB team at something. With the most recent moves by the franchise, Miami is closing the gap between the organization and the Baltimore Orioles in international pool money to secure the services of international prospects.
Both Miami and Baltimore have had their eye on Cuban prospects Victor Victor Mesa, Victor Mesa Jr., and Sandy Gaston.
There is a belief the Marlins may not be done making deals to secure more money for such a deal to be made. Miami sent pitching prospect Ryan Lillie to Cincinnati while they shipped reliever Kyle Barraclough to Washington in deals last week.
"“According to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, the Marlins obtained $1 million from Washington. Sanchez also reports Miami acquired $750,000 from the Reds last Saturday… The two deals push the Marlins’ international bonus pool total to just over $6 million. Baltimore currently has the highest allotment at $6.7 million,” Joe Frisaro wrote."
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Lillie had a successful season in Greensboro with the Grasshoppers in Single-A. The move to send Barraclough to another franchise is part of the plan to make more changes to the bullpen and secure an everyday closer.
Miami and every MLB team were on hand to see the Mesas and Gaston workout in Miami two weeks ago. Miami owner Derek Jeter had dinner with all three prospects following the showcase. No deals were made at that time.
There were 75 scouts on hand to watch and take notes on the potential of all three players.
"“Victor Victor Mesa, 22, is ranked No. 1 on MLB Pipeline’s Top International prospect list,” Frisaro wrote. “Gaston, 16, is rated 16th. Victor Jr. is a 17-year-old.”"
Given that Miami continues to tinker with their minor league system, there could be more changes made to their roster. On Friday, the organization announced it had outrighted right-handers Javy Guerra, Tyler Cloyd and James Needy, lefty Chris O’Grady, with outfielder Rafael Ortega and utility player Christopher Bostick to Triple-A New Orleans.
Even with the pursuit of the three Cuban prospects, the Marlins still have other issues to face within the organization. There is still an open spot at first base. The closer’s role must be determined. The contracts of Starlin Castro and Martin Prado must be addressed.
The team must also decide if veteran pitchers remain on the roster or are traded prior to Spring Training. If that was not enough, salary arbitration cases are right around the corner. Will Miami tender offers or release players based on payroll constriction?