What's new

Frisaro's Inbox: What is Miami's top priority in offseason?

SonOfJack

el gringo loco
Joined
May 10, 2017
Messages
11,672
Reaction score
812
Points
123
Where are the Marlins targeting their free-agent dollars -- bullpen, veteran hitter, other?
-- @BigBennyFL
Upgrading the offense is the No. 1 offseason priority, followed by beefing up the bullpen. The Marlins ranked 29th in runs scored with 615, only the Tigers (582) scored fewer. Miami also was last in home runs with 146. So, impactful, middle-of-the-order bats are the greatest needs.
Secondly, is the bullpen, which had an ERA of 4.97. That ranked 26th in the Majors. The Marlins anticipate having a stronger rotation in 2020, with prospects like Sixto Sanchez, Edward Cabrera and Nick Neidert getting closer to being big league ready. If those pitchers progress as anticipated, the rotation should be the strength of the club. And the organization wants to give them as much bullpen assistance as possible to help close out games. The Marlins converted 27 of 49 save opportunities. They have to improve in that area.

What are the odds that the Marlins will eat Wei-Yin Chen’s contract for the whole season to clear space on the 25-man roster?
-- @Unozerounocinco

First off, active rosters will expand to 26 in 2020, with no more than 13 pitchers. The Marlins carried 13 pitchers, and mostly eight relievers all through '19. Even with the additional player, it doesn’t change the fact that the chances are increasing that Chen does not fit into the Marlins’ '20 plans. The 34-year-old left-hander will be entering the final season of his five-year, $80 million contract that he signed in '16. Chen is set to make $22 million, and there is a $16 million conditional player option for '21, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.
Chen made 45 relief appearances and had a 6.59 ERA, logging 68 1/3 innings.
I think the Marlins will look to trade Chen, which will be extremely difficult. The scenarios likely would be trying to attach him as part of a larger deal, with Miami inheriting at least part of a contract another club may be looking to unload.
If that doesn’t happen, and the Marlins feel they have enough pitching depth, they could make the decision and cut ties with Chen.

With Martín Prado leaving, do you see Brian Anderson playing mostly third base in 2020? Also, do you think Magneuris Sierra has a chance to be the starting center fielder next year?
-- @drguava

I think, ideally, the Marlins would like for Anderson to be their everyday third baseman. Because of need, the 26-year-old ended up playing a lot in right field. Before fracturing a bone in his left hand in late August, Anderson appeared in 64 games at third base and 55 in right field. In 2018, it was 91 games in right field and 67 at third base. If Anderson is mostly at third base, that either means, prospects like Monte Harrison or Jesús Sánchez are ready to play regularly in the outfield, or the club signed a free-agent outfielder. The way the sport has evolved, position flexibility is a huge bonus. As long as Anderson is in the lineup, he’s shown he can play either third base or right field at a high level.
As for Sierra, I don’t anticipate him being the starting center fielder. Also, because he is out of options, I think he is a potential trade candidate this offseason.

Do you see José Ureña starting or relieving?
-- @trodri03

Ureña is going to be one of the more interesting players to watch this offseason, because he could either be part of the bullpen, rotation or perhaps be traded. All three are legitimate options. The right-hander was the Opening Day starter the past two seasons, but in 2019, durability became an issue. He dealt with a herniated disc and was limited to 24 games, including 13 starts.
Ureña made $3.2 million in 2019, and his salary shouldn’t jump much in arbitration in '20, making him affordable. If he is back, I believe he would be looked at as a bullpen option. From there, depending on how the rotation and rest of ‘pen shape up, you never know. He could handle a couple of different roles.

Who will be the closer next year?
-- @PennyLParker

Locking down save chances was an issue, especially after Sergio Romo was traded to the Twins in late July. Miami converted just 27 of 49 save opportunities. Again, I could see Ureña being in the bullpen, but probably not closing. Drew Steckenrider, who missed most of the season with a right elbow injury, is expected to be back and factor into the late innings. Ryne Stanek could get a shot, as well. And then don’t rule out Romo. I could see the Marlins signing Romo again in free agency, and perhaps trade him again midseason.
 

SilverBullet

Wind Surge
Moderator
Joined
Jul 5, 2005
Messages
27,131
Reaction score
741
Points
113
Just the thought of them cutting ties with Chen gives me a warm feeling inside.

...it could also be the chili i had for lunch though.
 

rmc523

Hammerhead
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
1,989
Reaction score
136
Points
63
I hope they don't attach his contract to a trade of someone else just to get rid of the contract. Trade him for another bad contract or cut him. He sucks.
 

Bret Hart

No.1 Korean Fish Fan
Joined
Apr 26, 2006
Messages
3,924
Reaction score
6
Points
38
I think 2020 ST will be the last of Chen who wears Marlins jersey. Just give a chance to competition. If he failed, just throw him out.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2019
Messages
47
Reaction score
18
Points
8
I know this is a sensitive topic, but... Chen had a 109 xFIP- (which is just 9% worse than league average) and a decent 4.25 SIERA. There's a case to be made that, while not good, he was not the worst lefty reliever option in the organization. I think that if a combo of Vesia or Conley or Moran starts to look great in Spring, then there's a case to be made for jettisoning Chen, but I think there's a stronger case against selling on him at his absolute lowest value. I'd rather they see how he looks in his second year of relief first. Like Conley before him, he might actually add some velo after an offseason of prep as a reliever.

Alright, there, you may now attack me with harsh words.
 

SonOfJack

el gringo loco
Joined
May 10, 2017
Messages
11,672
Reaction score
812
Points
123
I know this is a sensitive topic, but... Chen had a 109 xFIP- (which is just 9% worse than league average) and a decent 4.25 SIERA. There's a case to be made that, while not good, he was not the worst lefty reliever option in the organization. I think that if a combo of Vesia or Conley or Moran starts to look great in Spring, then there's a case to be made for jettisoning Chen, but I think there's a stronger case against selling on him at his absolute lowest value. I'd rather they see how he looks in his second year of relief first. Like Conley before him, he might actually add some velo after an offseason of prep as a reliever.

Alright, there, you may now attack me with harsh words.
No offense but this just shows once again my problem with so-called advanced stats. There is one to prove anything when you have 5000 to choose from. Chen was absolute garbage for them and I don't need a stat to tell me otherwise when I saw it happen.
 
Last edited:

FishFan95

Jumbo Shrimp
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
1,547
Reaction score
261
Points
83
I know this is a sensitive topic, but... Chen had a 109 xFIP- (which is just 9% worse than league average) and a decent 4.25 SIERA. There's a case to be made that, while not good, he was not the worst lefty reliever option in the organization. I think that if a combo of Vesia or Conley or Moran starts to look great in Spring, then there's a case to be made for jettisoning Chen, but I think there's a stronger case against selling on him at his absolute lowest value. I'd rather they see how he looks in his second year of relief first. Like Conley before him, he might actually add some velo after an offseason of prep as a reliever.

Alright, there, you may now attack me with harsh words.
I believe the reason why his SIERA went down was because of the fact that he lowered the walk rate and increased strikeouts. As far as the xFIP, since it was a full half point less than his actual FIP, then it seems to be indication that he had a bit of bad luck with homeruns. Maybe they haven't quite adjusted for the affect of juiced balls on that stat yet. Ultimately these stats are supposed to be predictive of future performance, but his uptick in hard hit percentage and the fact that these numbers are not exactly unprecedented for him (he had an xFIP- of 110 in 2017) make me weary of putting any trust into him. I would personally release him, but it doesn't make much of a difference unless he blocks a prospect from the 40 man before the rule 5 draft or the 25 man rosters after Spring Training.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2019
Messages
47
Reaction score
18
Points
8
No offense but this just shows once again my problem with so-called advanced stats. There is one to prove anything when you have 5000 to choose from.
None taken. I remember our discussions about this during the season. But I do want to caution on this again, perhaps in a different way:

1) There is a big divide between descriptive stats (stats that tell us about what has happened) like W-L, ERA, FIP, OPS, and wOBA, and predictive stats (stats that tell us what will happen -- xFIP, DRA, xwOBA, and so on). I think when you are seeing folks misusing stats to justify their opinions it is often an error of predictive vs. descriptive. In this instance, you are using descriptive stats that all agree, yes, Chen was horrible -- bad ERA (what I presume you are using), bad FIP, bad home run rates, and so on. These stats aren't wrong. He was bad.

But the question is will he bad next year? And really only FIP, K-rates, and BB-rates among the descriptive stats have some predictive power, but really not much on their own. The predictive stats all tend to agree that Chen was not good, but not terrible (Granted, the big free radical in this whole equation is the juiced ball, which appeared to disproportionately hurt low-leverage relievers this year, for some bizarre reason).

2) These "so-called advanced stats" are the types of stats that MLB clubs like the Astros, Nationals, Yankees, Brewers, Cubs, Cardinals, and Rays are using. The good teams aren't talking wins and losses, batting average, and ERA. So while you may reject these stats, just know that teams -- top tier teams -- are using them, and they're crushing teams that don't (like the Marlins, for many, many years).

In the case that xFIP and SIERA are right, and Chen puts together a decent season as a lefty reliever in 2020, it won't be a surprise to baseball analysts. And -- because this is the way things so often go -- folks who reject advanced stats will find some other rationale for the change, "Oh, he met with a pitching guru on the wind-swept plains of the Serengeti" -- "Oh, he started wearing his socks backwards to change his mindset" -- and so on. I mean, that's no to discount infinite amount of qualitative changes that occur every off-season (like Astros pitching coaches simply telling Charlie Morton to throw harder), but in most cases, the thing that really moves the needle most is regression towards your predictive stats.

Like last year, everyone and their uncle was trying to figure out why Chen pitched well at home. Advanced stats said, "Small sample theater." And this year, well, he was horrible wherever he pitched, so it appears all those narratives we built about "he's uncomfortable on flights" or "his psyche is just better at home" or "he needs to pitch in a dome" and so on were all just bunk.
 

rmc523

Hammerhead
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
1,989
Reaction score
136
Points
63
I mean, we've waited every year to see if Chen could be better and right the ship, and he hasn't, so I have 0 confidence that he'll somehow do it this year.
 

MarlinsLou

LumberKing
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
Messages
4,091
Reaction score
64
Points
48
I know this is a sensitive topic, but... Chen had a 109 xFIP- (which is just 9% worse than league average) and a decent 4.25 SIERA. There's a case to be made that, while not good, he was not the worst lefty reliever option in the organization. I think that if a combo of Vesia or Conley or Moran starts to look great in Spring, then there's a case to be made for jettisoning Chen, but I think there's a stronger case against selling on him at his absolute lowest value. I'd rather they see how he looks in his second year of relief first. Like Conley before him, he might actually add some velo after an offseason of prep as a reliever.

Alright, there, you may now attack me with harsh words.
I am sympathetic to this argument (to an extent), but to echo your other post after this, it's definitely not will he be bad next year or not. To me this is, does he have any value to this organization. As we saw at the deadline, topical relievers got nothing of value in trade returns. No one is going to trust Chen even if he throws a solid 30 innings before the deadline. There is no upside with him. Where is the value when they could be giving those whatever innings to someone else to see if they have a longterm option? Give them to Quijada as a third bullpen lefty and if he bombs, call Castano up in the summer? And if he sucks, put Vesia on the 40 man in August and see if he is worth anything (no way he is up before then, they have no roster space).

Chen brings nothing to the table, and the ultimate result of keeping him will be losing a young player with real upside by not being able to protect them on the 40 man for the Rule 5 draft (or selecting someone in the Rule 5).

The 40 man right now is brutal and something like this:

C - Alfaro, Wallach (2)
1B - Cooper, L. Diaz (2)
2B - I. Diaz, Berti (2)
SS - Rojas, Jazz (2)
3B - Anderson (1)
CF - Sierra, Brinson, Monte (3)
OF - Ramirez, Dean, J. Sanchez (3)
=15

SP - Sandy, Caleb, Pablo, Urena, Yamamoto, Sixto, E. Cabrera, Neidert, Dugger (9)
RHP - Steckenrider, Stanek, Brice, E. Hernandez, Brigham, Guzman (6)
LHP - Garcia, Conley, Quijada, W. Stewart, Castano (5)
=20

Holloway, Mejia, W. Stewart (3 - likely non 2020 players they have to protect)
=3

That's 38 guys and you're DFA'ing Guerrero and Moran (among others), and exposing Milbrath, D. Lee, Keller, and a few others. I think that's a bad idea. I snuck in Dugger and Castano above among the "fringe" crowd, but there is some arm talent in the organization they should keep even if it's just one more of Milbrath/D. Lee. They seem to be good at plucking P out of nowhere (C. Smith, Richards, Anderson) so I think we can trust them there on the ultimate evaluation.

Likewise, only 11 of those bats are MLB ready (they can't call up Lewin, Monte, Jazz, or Sanchez until after the super 2 deadline for service time/cost issues), so there is literally no depth and they need to get quite a few veteran hitters. If they sign Castellanos and keep Castro (who was totally awesome to end the year and may not be a bad idea), the roster is literally full without-Chen. I suspect a lot of MiLB deals are coming to Neil Walker types just like they did with Granderson to protect the 40 man as long as possible before they try and outright/trade guys in the spring to fix the pitcher imbalance.

The end result of this is - even if Chen is "ok" in underlying metrics, he is going to cost them a player with 6 years of control through lack of protecting someone on the 40 man/not taking someone in Rule 5.

He is a hard drop and hope for the best with a younger arm who could break out.
 
Joined
Mar 22, 2019
Messages
47
Reaction score
18
Points
8
Great points! I am pretty persuaded by your logic here. I think the one major wrinkle if that I'm fully expecting to see a few trades before the winter gets too deep. It may not be a terrible idea to package, say, Smith and Garcia and turn him into a high-upside position player prospect. Especially since, as you note, there's an excess of pitching talent getting MLB-ready this season.

But yes, if the choice comes down to protecting one more vulnerable pitcher or taking a chance that Chen will bounce back -- I'll take the guy who's under contract beyond 2020. In fact, I'll take Moran over Chen today.
 

MarlinsLou

LumberKing
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
Messages
4,091
Reaction score
64
Points
48
Great points! I am pretty persuaded by your logic here. I think the one major wrinkle if that I'm fully expecting to see a few trades before the winter gets too deep. It may not be a terrible idea to package, say, Smith and Garcia and turn him into a high-upside position player prospect. Especially since, as you note, there's an excess of pitching talent getting MLB-ready this season.

But yes, if the choice comes down to protecting one more vulnerable pitcher or taking a chance that Chen will bounce back -- I'll take the guy who's under contract beyond 2020. In fact, I'll take Moran over Chen today.
Trades could change the board for sure. However, they do have a high upside player at every position that should be MLB ready by 2021 (or an extra year for Bleday):

C - Alfaro (drops Ks is a monster). Banfield could develop.
1B - Lewin (they say GG calibre with big power upside). Cooper is also cost effective
2B - Diaz (big power, and cost effective). Berti also was awesome and maybe he's real
SS - Jazz (and Devers/Nunez are interesting)
3B - Anderson
LF - Bleday
CF - Monte (maybe Sanchez). Plus VVM could hit and Sierra has GG upside. Scott and Misner behind them.
RF - Sanchez

Also note, you're likely getting a 1B (Tork) or 3B (Martin) with pick # 3, and college depth in catching is high where their next pick or two is going to be a catcher.

There is some high volatility here, but I'm not trading pitchers (and especially lefties which they need to keep IMO) for any near-MLB ready bats right now. I'm signing second tier bats (Castellanos, Castro make sense to me), or go for broke and pay Rendon a year early. Payroll is pathetically cheap right now. They need to spend to show us they care. While not really blocking anyone longterm.

What I'm hinting here is, they should I'm keeping the band together and not really making moves.

-I think I am DFA'ing Wallach and one of Dean/Ramirez/sadly Brinson. They are all replaceable.
-Signing two real bats (Castellanos longterm and Castro for 2)
-Protecting two of Milbrath/D. Lee/Keller/Eveld/Rule V as your last two 40 man spots
-Signing veteran players on wink-wink deals you'll make the team but we need to protect an arm for now. This is your backup catcher, backup 1B/3B type (Walker), backup OF, and potentially a reliever if they can beat out the kids. But I like Stanek, Steck, Elisier, Brigham, and Brice as a righty squad, and Garcia, Conley, and Quijada/D.Lee/Rule V as a lefty squad.

That's it. It's relatively boring besides Castellanos, but it needs to be boring because come July.... at least half of this is coming up if not more - Lewin, Jazz, Sanchez, Monte, Sixto, Cabrera, Neidert, Guzman, Castano, and anyone else who could really breakout, like Vesia. Major turnover is coming.
 

Top Bottom