The Miami Marlins avoided salary arbitration with All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto and for other players on Friday at the salary exchange deadline.
For now, the Miami Marlins will have All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto under contract for the 2019 season. The two sides agreed to a one-year deal worth $5.9 million, which is a $3 million raise from last season. What the decision on the 27-year-old’s new deal did not do was guarantee he would be part of the Marlins organization for the entire season.
Realmuto hit 21 home runs and knocked in 74 RBI last season to lead the ball club. He announced after a 63-98 season in 2018 he did not want to sign a long-term deal with Miami and wanted to play for another team this coming year.
Since then, a firestorm of trade rumors and potential offers have hit the Marlins front office but a deal has not been agreed to yet. The possibility of Realmuto showing up in a Miami uniform for Spring Training has become very real.
That wasn’t the only news of the day, as it was explained by Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
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"“Along with Realmuto, Miami also came to terms on one-year deals with right-handers Dan Straily ($5 million) and Jose Urena ($3.2 million), left-hander Adam Conley ($1.125 million) and infielder Miguel Rojas ($3.155 million),” he wrote.“MLB.com confirmed all five salaries, which combine to add $18.38 million to Miami’s overall payroll, expected to be about $100 million.”"
Straily was injured at the beginning and end of the 2018 season, but showed he could be a workhorse on the mound. He was penciled in as the team’s No. 2 starter behind Urena, who was as good in the second half of 2018 as any pitcher in the Majors.
Straily, who is entering his third season with the Marlins, could still be moved as the teams heads toward the MLB trade deadline in July. Last season, the veteran was the subject of trade rumors involving Milwaukee and Oakland.
"“By avoiding arbitration with their eligible players, the Marlins keep clear of the unpleasant practice of having player salaries settled by an arbitration panel prior to the start of Spring Training,” Frisaro wrote."
Urena figures to be the team’s Opening Day starter once again. He posted a 9-12 record last year. Conley is a reliever being considered for the opening closer’s role on the staff. Once a starter as a rookie for the team, he became a long reliever and shared the closer-by-committee role over the last month of the season.
Re-signing Rojas is a solid move by the Marlins. He is expected to compete with J.T. Riddle for the starting shortstop position. Rojas is a versatile player who can play multiple infield positions for the organization.