The Miami Marlins enter the 2023-2024 offseason in a truly unique position. On one hand, they have significant momentum working in their favor. The upstart Fish gritted their way to a surprise postseason berth, overcoming significant injuries along the way. They are on the heels of their most fun and exciting seasons in recent memory.
Low cost free agents are definitely on the Marlins list
However, the club has also suffered several setbacks since its postseason elimination. Cy Young-winning ace Sandy Alcantara has been lost due to Tommy John surgery. GM Kim Ng surprisingly parted ways with the franchise.
Now that the dust is beginning to settle, the Marlins find themselves in the position they (and every other small market club) are always in: Seeking to improve the roster without breaking the bank. While the Fish should undoubtedly spend to make significant improvements in key areas, the franchise has a number of secondary needs that will likely be met with low-cost signings.
What "bargain bin" players should the team target in free agency? And what costs should they expect to pay? Here are our top six low-cost free agent hitters.
Disclaimer: Each player mentioned (both rankings and honorable mentions) includes only players with an annual projected market value of less than $10 million (according to Spotrac). To fit with the spirit of the article, most options are well under this mark.
#6: Isiah Kiner-Falefa, UTIL
Signing Isiah Kiner-Falefa should be considered a depth signing rather than an option as a starter. The veteran Swiss Army Knife has experience playing nearly everywhere on the baseball diamond, including a Gold glove-winning performance at 3B in 2020.
However, his very modest power input (he never recorded more than eight home runs in a season) limits his overall ceiling. IKF does have a solid batting average (.242 in 2023 and .261 for his career) and speed (14 steals in 2023 and 22 in 2022). And, as a worse-case scenerio, he does represent an upgrade over last season's SS wows.
However, IKF's modest market value projections would allow even a smaller market team like Miami to add him as a super-utility player without hampering their ability to address other pressing needs.
Bargain UTIL Honorable Mention: Tony Kemp (OAK), José Iglesias (FA)