The Marlins have had a rather successful offseason despite not reeling in any of the prized free agents. From the start, attracting big free agents such as Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strausburg, and Anthony Rendon was never in the Marlins plans for this offseason. Bringing in veterans on short term deals while upgrading the line-up has been the plan. Low risk, high reward.
Staring The Offseason
To start off their offseason, the Marlins designated two players for assignment, J.T Riddle, and Tayron Guerrero. J.T Riddle elected free agency while Tayron Guerrero was claimed off waivers by the Chicago White Sox. The Marlins grew weary of Guerrero’s inability to throw strikes consistently. throwing 100mph does no good if it isn’t in the zone. Designating Riddle for assignment was to make room on the 40 man roster.
After subtracting two players from their team, it was time the Marlins added to their team. The team made a trade with the Baltimore Orioles to acquire Jonathan Villar for Minor League left-handed pitcher Easton Lucas.
Villar hit for a .274 average, 24 home runs, 73 runs batted in, and he stole 40 bases for the Orioles last season. Villar has the speed and power combination that is perfect for Marlins Park especially now that the fences have been brought in. His power side is hitting from the left side and hitting a home run to left field is easier to do than to right field.
Villar can play a multitude of positions including second base, shortstop, third base, and some outfield if he needed to.
Shortly after acquiring Jonathan Villar from the Orioles, the Marlins claimed first baseman, Jesus Aguilar, from the Tampa Bay Rays off waivers. The Marlins needed to fill a power hole in their line up. They ranked last in all of Major League Baseball in hitting home runs and desperately need some power bats in their line up.
Aguilar did not have a spectacular year last season but he does have a reputation to be an elite power hitter like he was in Milwaukee back in the 2017 season. He hit for a .236 average, 12 home runs, and 50 RBIs last season for the Rays.
With the hiring of new hitting coach/offensive coordinator James Rowson, it’s possible that we see an upstep in production from underproducing hitters like Aguilar.
Hitting the Free Agent Market
After making trades and claiming players off waivers, the Marlins finally dug into the free-agent market. They started off free agency by bringing in strike-throwing reliever Yimi Garcia on a two-year deal. Garcia was previously with the Los Angeles Dodgers and in 62.1 innings pitched, he posted a 3.61 ERA with a .178 opponent batting average against him.
After signing Garcia, the Marlins went and signed more bats. Bringing in outfielder Matt Kemp on a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Kemp hardly played last season but in 2018 he hit for a .290 average while hitting 21 home runs and driving in 85 RBIs and leading the Dodgers to the World Series.
The first biggest free-agent signing made by this new ownership is the signing of outfielder Corey Dickerson. The Marlins signed Dickerson to a two-year $17.5 million dollar deal. In 2019, Dickerson hit for a .304 average, 12 home runs, and 59 RBIs in 260 at-bats.
The Marlins recently signed veteran catcher Francisco Cervelli to a one year contract. Cervelli will provide a veteran catcher presence and will help develop our young pitchers into potential aces.
Rule 5 Draft
The Rule 5 Draft wasn’t very exciting this year. The Marlins’ biggest move however from the draft was selecting RHP Sterling Sharp from the Washington Nationals. Sharp is an excellent pickup who will go directly into the Marlins bullpen to start the 2020 season if he is healthy. Sharp produced a 3.53 ERA in 58.1 innings pitched while allowing only ONE homerun. He is a groundball specialist and will prove to be very useful for the Marlins bullpen needs.