Minor moves may prove to have major repercussions, but we have to see what they are later.
The free agent signing period begins at the conclusion of the World Series, won three days ago by the Washington Nationals. According to Joe Noga, at Cleveland.com:
"The conclusion of the fall classic starts the clock on a five-day “quiet period” where teams can negotiate exclusively with their own free agents, but are prohibited from signing anybody."
By that rationale, Monday is when the money can start flowing, as it were. In preparation for the coming free agent blitz, the Marlins re-activated four from their injured list. Third baseman Brian Anderson, RHP Drew Steckenrider, catcher Chad Wallach, and shortstop JT Riddle were protected.
Anderson is regarded as one of very few “untouchables” on the current incarnation of the Marlins. In 307 major league games, he has hit .267/.349/.425 with 31 homers and 139 RBI. Prior to his wrist injury in August, he had already set career highs with 20 homers and 66 RBI.
Steckenrider was sidelined just barely a month into the 2019 campaign, but had only allowed nine hits in 14 1/3 innings. Unfortunately, six of those went over the fence for a total of 10 runs, or a 6.28 ERA.
Wallach is considered the odds-on favorite to retain the “backup catcher” slot. In 40 major league games over parts of three seasons, he has gone 21-for-104 with two homers, 10 walks, and 40 strikeouts.
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Formerly a top-10 Marlins prospect, Riddle has offered the team diminishing returns in each of his three not-quite complete major league seasons. He hit six homers in 51 games last season, but only hit .189/.230/.371.
The shuffle of moves leaves five spots open on the Miami Marlins protected roster. It’s important to “protect” these players, due to the upcoming rule 5 draft. Players of a certain longevity who are not yet “protected” will be made available to the other 29 teams, with a few strings attached.
Look for the Marlins to add a few to the protected roll in the next few days. Based on how many spots short of 40 are “protected,” we can then make guesses on how many free agents the Marlins are hoping to sign. Areas of concern include….everything, so anything goes.