Can the Miami Marlins make more moves after dipping their foot into the free agency and the trade pool?
If the first two “real” moves the Miami Marlins made in free agency on Monday are any indication of how they will pursue players this offseason, then this organization has started with a bang. The additions of Jesus Aguilar and Jonathan Villar give this team power and much-needed speed on the bases.
"As my colleague, Kevin Kraczkowski wrote on Marlin Maniac, in regard to Villar who came over in a deal that sent prospect Easton Lucas to the Baltimore Orioles, “It’s not every day that you can pick up a legitimate 30-30 threat for a low-A prospect.“Villar put up a 4.0 WAR season for the O’s last season. In 2016, he led the majors with 62 stolen bases and totaled a 3.9 WAR in his first season with the Milwaukee Brewers.”"
Once again, the Marlins front office made a deal that was cost-effective and can become a low-risk, high-reward deal the franchise looks back on and reaps the benefit of being aggressive. I keep going back to the trade Derek Jeter made with the New York Yankees to acquire Caleb Smith and Garrett Cooper in 2017.
Also, the addition of Aguilar, who was picked up off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays, solves part of the problem at first base for now and also gives manager Don Mattingly another middle-of-the-order bat to ease the issues with a lack of home runs from last season.
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These moves are good, but there must be more if Miami is serious about making a move up the National League East ladder next season.
Several sources have indicated, including MLB.com, that the Marlins won’t make a move toward signing big-name free agents until next week. There are still names out there who the front office should be targeting, including Nicholas Castellanos to play third base or in the outfield and Justin Smoak to play first base. There are other positions of need, like a backup catcher, another power bat, and depth in the bullpen.
Kraczkowski and I both like the addition of Aguilar, who is another low-risk deal the team made.
"“Going into the dead of the offseason, and with three and a half months still until Opening Day 2020, Aguilar seems to have the inside track on the first base job, if he can earn in in Spring Training,” he writes."
The moves the Marlins made on Monday did not come without some other changes to the team’s 40-man roster, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
"“To make room on the Marlins’ 40-man roster, infielder JT Riddle and Tayron Guerrero were designated for assignment. Riddle, who was arbitration-eligible, has also been non-tendered, meaning he is a free agent,” Frisaro wrote."