The Marlins have decided to part ways with second baseman Starlin Castro the day after the end of the 2019 MLB season. Castro is now a free agent.
The day after the Washington Nationals claimed the World Series trophy with a 4-3 series win over the Houston Astros, the Miami Marlins determined one of their key players from this past season with no longer be part of the team.
According to Wells Dusenbury, the Marlins have decided not to pick up the $16 million option of Starlin Castro‘s contract, that’s making him a free agent. Castro, who hit 22 home runs and had 86 RBI this past season, is a free agent and free to sign with any team he chooses.
I did ask Dusenbury on Thursday whether he believed the Marlins will retain their second baseman. He told me that did not appear likely unless he took another deal for lesser money.
That does not appear to be a likely scenario at this moment.
The move also sheds light on which direction the Marlins my work to fill part of its infield for the 2020 season. Brian Anderson show now move back to third base next to Miguel Rojas at shortstop and Isan Diaz at second base.
First base may remain an open competition where Garrett Cooper would start if the season started tomorrow. There has been plenty of speculation Miami will seek a power-hitting player to fill that role given Cooper’s injury history and the teams need for more home run ability in the middle of the lineup.
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As Dusenbury wrote, The front office had the option of bringing him back at $16 million but has opted for the $1 million buyout in his contract.
Castro finished the year batting .270 and played in all 162 games for the franchise. He moved to third base after the All-Star break so that the team could move Diaz into the lineup. Castro was the only veteran player who was part of the deal that sent Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees following the 2017 season. It was believed his time in Miami would be short as he was not happy with the trade and wanted out of South Florida as soon as he touched down in Miami.
Castro bought into what the front office was doing to build a winner with this organization and became a solid presence in the clubhouse and in the dugout. With changes to the team’s philosophy and young players becoming the focal point of the rebuild, Castro became a leader with his bat and his defense on the field.
That wasn’t the only news the team made. On Friday, according to Kevin Kraczkowski of Marlin Maniac, Curtis Granderson, Neil Walker, and Martin Prado all became free agents. The Marlins will look to fill their roster spots by either bringing up prospects from the minors or seek veterans with mid-range salaries or via trade.
"“The removal of Prado ($15 million), Granderson ($1.75 million), and Walker ($2 million) from the payroll also frees up a total of $18.75 million for the Marlins to make a play where they see fit,” Kraczkowski wrote.“Areas of concern for Miami include reliever, closer, starter, infield, outfield, and catcher. The only significant source of strength for this current incarnation of the Marlins roster lays in the depth of their minor league feeder affiliate system.”"