The Miami Marlins had a near-perfect free agent target emerge at the end of MLB's non-tender deadline. And thankfully, he checks a number of boxes on the club's list of offseasons needs.
Miami Marlins: Rowdy Tellez is a Perfect Option to Replace Jorge Soler's Power
First baseman Rowdy Tellez now finds himself as a part of the 2023-24 free agency class. The Marlins, who have a massive power void after the departure of Jorge Soler, should devote a considerable portion of their offseason efforts to landing the former Brewers' slugger.
In many ways, Tellez embodies the modern-day MLB player. On one hand, he has a massive power upside. On the other, he has an unimpressive .233 career batting average, including an average of just .216 over the past two seasons. He is a quintessential all-or-nothing talent. Think Jake Burger.
However, what Tellez lacks in plate discipline, he makes up for with a 20+ homer skillset and a 30+ homer ceiling. In 2022, the slugger mashed a career-high 35 homers. This would instantaneously cover the 36-homer void left when Soler entered free agency.
His 13 homers 2023 season were an obvious disappointment. However, he is currently projected to course correct to the tune of 20-30 homers in 2024. This would be huge for Miami.
While incumbent Josh Bell is projected to fill the role of everyday first baseman for the Fish, Tellez would slot naturally into a full-time DH role. In fact, his glove ranked just above Bell's in 2023, meaning that the two could easily alternate between 1B and DH duties.
In addition to solving the club's power crisis, Tellez also makes sense for a team like the Marlins for anotehr key reason: price point.
We already know that Rowdy was non-tendered despite having a 2024 salary under $5 million. We also know that he is coming off of an uncharacteristically modest power season in 2023. This represents the perfect opportunity for a low-payroll team like Miami to make a textbook low-risk, high-reward play.
If Tellez is able to live up to his projections and reestablish himself as a sustainable source of homers, the club will gain his services without breaking the bank. If he continues to struggle, it would be easy to shift him into a bench/pinch hitter role, without experiencing any real loss in the process.
Lastly, Tellez is still only 28 years old. While he is well removed from prospect territory, he is still well within his baseball prime. Depending on the nature of his deal, and his all-important on-field performance, the slugging 1B is young enough to grow with a budding Miami roster.
While new President Peter Bendix still has many pressing needs to address, Tellez is a low-cost option, who, if added to a power core including Burger, Bell, Jazz Chisholm, and any other offseason additions could create a well-balanced offensive attack with plus power coming from multiple positions.
At his current price point, this is a slam dunk target.