The Miami Marlins engaged in a whirlwind of activity in the days and hours preceding and following the final Spring Training contest.
Several players have been optioned, and find themselves with the triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes. Others have been granted their release, and are completely off the Miami Marlins reservation and looking for a job. What moves made the most sense?
I’ll be focusing on the moves in the month of March that really changed the face of the organization, rather than the smaller moves such as 2018 fourth-rounder Nick Fortes joining camp for a few weeks.
San Francisco Giants Claim Merandy Gonzalez off Waivers
I’m not sure what happened with Gonzalez. It came pretty much out of left field. Before I knew he was on waivers, he had already arrived in Giants camp. The Miami Marlins have nothing to show for it.
I can only assume the Marlins were hoping that Gonzalez passed through waivers unnoticed, but no such luck.
Optioning Six to Assorted Miami Marlins Affiliates
On March 6th, Jordan Holloway was sent to the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League. Jorge Guzman was assigned to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the double-A Southern League. Magneuris Sierra, Jordan Yamamoto, Kyle Keller, and Elieser Hernandez were optioned to New Orleans.
This series of moves made practical sense, and are building towards the future. Holloway is two or more years away, and has missed the majority of the past three seasons with injuries. Guzman can blow guys away with his 103 MPH heat, but the gentle art of the changeup needs some work. Sierra is still fast, and remember that he’s not quite 23-years-old yet. He could learn more patience with another season of practice. Yamamoto is a future number four in the rotation, Hernandez is a 4A arm who could use the work, and Keller is a possible future bullpen stalwart.
Four More to Baby Cakes
Brigham made four major league starts with the Marlins late last season to underwhelming results. At 27-years-old, he’s unlikely to challenge for a top-line rotation spot, but provides needed depth for the Marlins on short notice. Quijada was a victim of the numbers game, and I expect the Marlins will be calling him back soon. I think there are others on the parent roster who aren’t as good as him, but I don’t work for the team. Harrison clearly needs to work on his strike zone, and triple-A is a great place for him to round out his game. Same goes for Diaz.
Grade: B+ for Brigham, Harrison, and Diaz, C- for Quijada
Garcia Optioned to Baby Cakes
Jarlin Garcia to New Orleans was sensible, as there are clearly eight better arms in the system able to contribute immediately. He’s very likely to rejoin the team when injury strikes.
Dean Optioned to Baby Cakes
I was a little surprised that Austin Dean got optioned when he did, on March 21st. I believe that he has a long major league career ahead of him, and have previously stated that he could challenge for the National League Rookie of the Year Award.
Although I was initially nonplussed by the Miami Marlins apparent release of Sharif Othman on his 30th birthday, it’s come to my attention that he has remained with the club in a front office capacity. Keeping a quality guy like this in the house is a great move no matter how you look at it.
O’Brien Optioned to Baby Cakes
More from Marlins News
- Why didn’t the Miami Marlins sign JDM?
- Miami Marlins rejected Boston‘s trade offer
- Miami Marlins are pursuing Michael Conforto
- Miami Marlins need to spend to win
- Miami Marlins can’t afford to botch this trade
Bryan Holaday Released
Holaday is an all around good guy, and a solid defensive catcher. He led the N.L. with a 44.7 kill-rate last season on runners trying to steal, and committed zero errors in 357 1/3 innings of work. When the Miami Marlins released him, he let them know that he didn’t want to play in the minors. I think that Holaday has more to offer the Marlins than other catchers, and am sad to see him go. The release, however was a gesture of good will, and allows Holaday to sign a free agent deal anywhere.
Dan Straily Released
The Miami Marlins chose to release Straily when it became clear they wouldn’t get anything for him by way of trade. My main point of contention with this is that Straily is clearly better at this point in his career than Wei-Yin Chen, who remains on the Marlins roster. I also think he would have provided a solidifying veteran presence on a very young rotation (average age, 25.2).
Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep up with the Miami Marlins, and thanks for reading.