Will another team’s pursuit of Yasiel Puig in free agency spell disaster for the Miami Marlins this holiday season?
If rumors are true that the Chicago White Sox, after signing Edwin Encarnacion on Christmas Day, are in pursuit of both Nicholas Castellanos and Yasiel Puig, the sand in the hourglass we have talked about this week that the Miami Marlins possess, is fading by the minute.
The last thing this front office wants to do is end Hot Stove without securing the services of a heavy hitter and add depth in the outfield.
As MLB.com and Jon Heyman of MLB Network have reported, the White Sox have talked about Puig and Castellanos, two players who at once were believed to be on the Marlins hit list. Castellanos was thought to no longer be a consideration, but the team appears to be all in on Puig, as their main focus the past week.
Per MLB.com, “MLB Network insider Jon Heyman notes that the White Sox have interest in Puig, and MLB.com’s Scott Merkin predicts that Chicago may search for a right-handed corner outfielder to complement the left-handed Nomar Mazara. Nicholas Castellanos and Marcell Ozuna are the two top free agents that fit that bill. But if both are too expensive for Chicago, is Puig the next-best bet? Is Puig himself too expensive?”
If by some miracle chance Chicago is able to procure all three heavy hitters, then they should be the early favorite to win the American League Central in 2020. And with that, they would dash some of the Marlins hopes for a more successful campaign next season.
There are still other free agents the front office could consider, including Corey Dickerson. The problem I foresee with Dickerson, as others have alluded to, is that the Marlins front office may not view him as an everyday starter. Injuries played a role in his season last year.
And just like Garrett Cooper, who is already on the 40-man roster, Dickerson has all the potential in the world to be a 30-home run guy but must stay healthy to make that happen.
As we have all said in the past week, the team could also be open to trade with a team willing to take a prospect or two without acquiring one of Miami’s top pitchers.
There was talk during baseball winter meetings in early December, that the Minnesota Twins were willing to part with Eddie Rosario, a power-hitting outfielder, but the Twins wanted starting pitcher Caleb Smith in return. Miami’s president of baseball operations, Michael Hill, said Smith was not a player the team was looking to trade this off-season.