Omnichannel Integration Expert
- May 10, 2017
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As the Miami Marlins prepare for Year Three of their rebuild, the team faces a number of roster decisions in the next six weeks.
MLB teams have to finalize their 40-man rosters by Nov. 18, roughly one month ahead of the Rule 5 Draft. With 45 players currently on the 40-man — including players on the 60-day IL, who don’t count against the roster during the season — the Marlins will have some decisions to make.
While Miami has six players hitting free agency, the team also has to add six minor league prospects to the roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft — Sixto Sanchez, Edward Cabrera, Nick Neidert, Will Stewart, Jazz Chisholm and Lewin Diaz.
That would still leave Miami with 45 players, so the team will need to trim the roster. The Marlins will add players in free agency as well, so more spots would have to open later on as well.
Here’s a look at the current 40-man roster and some of the upcoming decisions.
Locks: Sandy Alcantara, Caleb Smith, Elieser Hernandez, Pablo Lopez, Jordan Yamamoto, Robert Dugger, Ryne Stanek, Jarlin Garcia, Jorge Guzman, Jordan Holloway, Drew Steckenrider
Close to locks: Jose Urena, Austin Brice, Jeff Brigham, Kyle Keller
On the fence: Adam Conley, Wei-Yin Chen, Brian Moran, Jose Quijada, Tyler Kinley, Tayron Guerrero, Julian Fernandez, Josh Smith
Free agents: Hector Noesi
New additions: Sixto Sanchez, Edward Cabrera, Nick Neidert, Will Stewart
Analysis: While Urena is arbitration-eligible again, he missed so much time this season he likely won’t see a significant raise from last year’s $3.2 million. Brice was very effective when healthy, but missed time at the end of the season with a forearm strain and struggled coming off IL. Brigham had his ups and downs, but saw a lot of improvement in fastball velocity and breaking ball spin rate. ... A September call-up, Keller spent all year on the 40-man, so Miami will likely want to see a larger sample size.
I included a lot of relievers on the fence, because after losing 105 games and having the worst bullpen WAR (-2.2) in baseball, how many players are truly safe?
After a disappointing season, Conley (6.53 ERA) could be a non-tender candidate. ... Chen still has one more year left on his contract and is set to make a team-high $22 million. Do the Marlins decide to move on and eat the remainder of the deal after another subpar season? ... Moran on finally made his MLB debut after a decade in the minors and had some good moments, but Miami could opt to DFA and then try and bring the LHP back on minor league deal. ... Another LHP, Quijada has decent stuff, but was very inconsistent (5.76 ERA).
Kinley posted a 2.23 ERA in the final two months, but the Marlins demoted and recalled him four separate times during the season, so hard put him in the lock category. ... Guerrero (6.26 ERA) has the second-hardest fastball in baseball, but his secondary pitches need work. ... After being claimed in Rule 5 Draft, Fernandez spent all year on the IL recovering from Tommy John. He was shut down June with elbow discomfort, so Miami may opt to cut ties. ... The Marlins traded for Smith, 30, in September, so he might stick around. The LHP is a high spin rate-guy, but didn’t overwhelm in his limited introduction.
Locks: Jorge Alfaro
On the fence: Chad Wallach, Tyler Heineman
Free agents: Bryan Holaday
New additions: None
Analysis: Wallach was having a really nice season as the backup before a concussion in May sidelined him for the season. He was returned from rehab assignments three separate times, so his future is definitely a question mark. ... A September call-up, Heineman was solid, but Miami kept just two catchers on 40-man prior to Wallach’s injury. If Miami DFA’s him, he could be a candidate to return on a minor league deal.
Locks: Brian Anderson, Isan Diaz, Jon Berti, Miguel Rojas
On the fence: JT Riddle
Free agents: Starlin Castro, Martin Prado, Neil Walker
New additions: Jazz Chisholm, Lewin Diaz
Analysis: Riddle (.189/.230/.371 in 51 games) has seemingly fallen out of favor with the team and missed the final two months with a forearm strain. While the shortstop still has potential, It’s hard to envision him in Miami’s long-term plans and he’d likely benefit from a change of scenery.
Locks: Garrett Cooper, Monte Harrison, Harold Ramirez, Jesus Sanchez, Magneuris Sierra
Close to locks: Lewis Brinson
On the fence: Cesar Puello, Austin Dean
Free agents: Curtis Granderson
New additions: None
Analysis: Someone to keep an eye on, Sierra is out of options next season, so that hamstrings the Marlins a little if he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster. ... While Brinson has under-performed, the team has publicly shown confidence in him and seem willing to give him likely one last shot next season. ... Puello batted .179/.281/.238 in 97 plate appearances with Miami before missing the final two months with a hip flexor strain. ... Dean had a nice September, but has hit .223/.268/.388 in 311 plate appearances in his two MLB seasons.
What players will be on the Miami Marlins 40-man roster this offseason? An in-depth look before MLB teams are forced to finalize rosters by November 18, roughly one month before the Rule 5 Draft.