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- May 10, 2017
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MIAMI -- Year Two of the Marlins’ building process may have taken a step backward record-wise, but the organization did take a big leap forward by infusing more talent into a vastly improved farm system.
Now with one of the better Minor League systems in place, the Marlins have a clearer picture of how their future is shaping up, in both the short and long terms. Even after finishing 57-105 and in last place in the National League East, the offseason promises to have more of a focus on adding to the roster than subtracting core veteran players.
Over the next few weeks, the front office will be formulating its offseason strategies for upgrading the roster at the big league level, while also staying the course and continuing to add to its system.
As a guide, MLB.com addresses some frequently asked offseason questions.
Which Miami players are free agents?
OF Curtis Granderson, INF Neil Walker, INF Martín Prado, C Bryan Holaday, RHP Hector Noesi
When does free agency start?
Players are eligible to file for free agency immediately at the conclusion of the 2019 World Series, and they may sign with other clubs six days after the end of the World Series.
Are any of Miami’s free agents likely to receive qualifying offers, and what is the deadline for that?
The deadline for free agents to accept a qualifying offer is 15 days after the end of the 2019 World Series. The Marlins are not likely to extend qualifying offers to any of their free agents.
Which players have options, what’s the dollar figure and impact on payroll?
Infielder Starlin Castro has a $16 million club option for 2020, and a $1 million buyout. The Marlins have until five days after the World Series to either exercise the option or the buyout. Miami is not expected to pick up the option, meaning Castro is expected to become a free agent. Castro signed his seven-year, $60 million deal while with the Cubs in 2013.
Castro made $11 million in 2019, and his expiring contract adds some more payroll flexibility. The estimated 2020 payroll is about $80 million.
Which players are arbitration eligible?
RHP José Ureña, LHP Adam Conley
Salary arbitration filing begins in January 2020, with Jan. 10 as the date to exchange salary arbitration figures.
Who might be a non-tender candidate?
Who needs to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason to avoid the Rule 5 Draft, and do they have a crunch for roster spots?
RHP Sixto Sánchez, RHP Edward Cabrera, RHP Nick Neidert, LHP Will Stewart, SS Jazz Chisholm, 1B Lewin Díaz. All are expected to be added to the 40-man roster, which must be set by Nov. 18.
Which key players have at least one option entering 2020?
1B/OF Garrett Cooper, OF Lewis Brinson, 3B/OF Brian Anderson, 2B Isan Diaz
Key players who are out of options?
OF Magneuris Sierra, C Jorge Alfaro
What kind of help do the Marlins need, and will they be active in free agency? Who might they target?
Due to player versatility, the Marlins don’t feel they have one or two specific areas of need. In general, they are seeking position players, preferably those with a “hit first” mentality and power potential. First base is the closest position to a specific area of need. Bullpen is another area that will receive plenty of attention in free agency, as well as backup catcher.
Potential free-agent targets: C Francisco Cervelli, 1B José Abreu, 1B Justin Smoak, INF Howie Kendrick, OF Jon Jay, OF Starling Marte, LHP Gio González, RHP Tyler Clippard.
When are the Winter Meetings?
Dec. 9-12 in San Diego.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.
The first two years of the Marlins’ building process focused largely on stockpiling the Minor League system. The organization has succeeded on that front, developing one of the top farm systems after ranking near the bottom previously. In preparing for the 2020 season, the front office will...