It’s about to get hot in South Florida.
Last offseason, December 3rd was the big day. The Marlins signed eight free agents and issued several invitations to Spring Training. The year before that, it was November 24th and December 15th that saw several moves that impacted the regular season – both in the major and minor leagues.
The types of moves that we’re about to see are of an unknown level of impact. Will the ownership group, led by Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter, ink a bunch of deals the likes of which we’ve seen over the past few offseasons? Last year, we saw them sign Neil Walker, Sergio Romo, and Curtis Granderson, amongst others. A mixed bag of results followed those signings through the Marlins season.
What the ownership group has to ask themselves is – is it time to make a really big splash in free agency? Are the Marlins ready to compete now? Conventional wisdom has Miami’s true “window” of competitiveness opening in 2022. That’s when the smart money says all this minor league talent will converge in Marlins Park – and that group should – in theory – be bolstered by a solid free agent class.
So what we’re really to be expecting here in Marlins Nation over the next few weeks should be of the smaller splash variety of deals. Of all that talent I mentioned in the minors, only a few will likely make the Opening Day roster. Those on the MLB Pipeline Top 30 with the best chance of joining the parent club at that point are OF Jesus Sanchez, OF Monte Harrison, RHP Nick Neidert, and RHP Robert Dugger.
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Later on in the campaign, we can hope to see RHP Sixto Sanchez, SS Jazz Chisholm, and possibly OF Brian Miller. A few others could ascend to the top, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens. Undoubtedly, the Marlins will fill their Spring Training roster with a lot of guys who probably won’t make the cut.
And that’s alright. Competition for these major league roster spots should be difficult. There is only room for 780 major leaguers on active 26-man Opening Day rosters – 30 more than last season. Unfortunately for some, come September 1st, the rosters will not expand to 40 men as it has in seasons’ past, but just 28. This development is going to thin out the opportunities afforded to the younger prospects that they have enjoyed in the past.