The Miami Marlins have plenty of work to do this winter and have many decisions to make about how they will tackle free agency this offseason.
The Marlins have not slowed down this offseason as they prepare to take part n free agency. Players have signed with other teams, but that does not mean the front office has taken their eyes off potential stars to add to the team’s sluggish lineup from a year ago.
As Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote, the Marlins and other MLB teams are preparing for the MLB Owners’ Meetings which take place Dec. 9-12 in San Diego. Business should pick up then as potential deals are discussed and the Marlins front office can get a feel for what it might take to acquire a hitter or two. The team does not want to let go of controllable players if they do not have to also.
Also, the thought of sending top prospects to other organizations may not be open for discussion either. As Michael Hill, the team’s president of baseball operations said this offseason, the front office is will to explore all possibilities, but that does not mean they make that happen.
For now, the focus is on finding the right fit for the team next season and beyond. There are a few names linked to the franchise – Nicholas Castellanos, Justin Smoak, and Eric Thames – but nothing has materialized yet.
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The Marlins and the other 29 MLB teams have been working on other matters of business so be able to come to San Diego ready to make a conscious effort to address the franchise’s needs.
"“All this affects how the Marlins approach free agents like Castellanos, [Yasiel] Puig and Smoak. The team has, however, already reached out to the agents of players they are interested in,” Frisaro adds.“Also remember that clubs are monitoring which players may not be tendered on Dec. 2. So after that deadline and around the Winter Meetings, activity should pick up.”"
The one name I keep going back to is Marcell Ozuna, who could still sign with another team besides the St. Louis Cardinals. The Marlins would have to surrender compensation for their former star to return to Miami. I believe it is worth the exploration. Ozuna would add a middle-of-the-order bat and steady defense in the outfield. He may be willing to come home at a reasonable offer. But that offer may sill be more than the team is willing to spend.
Castellanos remains the player most closely linked to the organization. He is from Davie, Florida which would be a popular choice with the fan base. He can play third base, which would keep Brian Anderson in right field, or he could move to the outfield where he can play both corner spots.