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Marlins now in 'buy mode' for Winter Meetings

SonOfJack

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MIAMI -- The Marlins made their Hot Stove presence felt on Monday by reeling in a pair of proven everyday players -- infielder Jonathan Villar and first baseman Jesús Aguilar.

Villar was acquired from the Orioles for pitching prospect Easton Lucas, and Aguilar was claimed off waivers from the Rays.

Unlike the previous two Winter Meetings, when the Marlins were in “sell mode,” they will head to San Diego next week ready to do some buying. The organization is looking to keep adding impactful hitters and is open to doing so through trades or moderately priced free agents, preferably to one- or two-year deals.

MLB.com addresses some questions for Miami going into the Winter Meetings.

Club needs: Villar and Aguilar were the first significant additions to help generate more runs in 2020, but even with the two of them locked in, the Marlins are not done shopping for hitters. Upgrading the offense still is the highest priority, with the bullpen as a close second. Miami is in the market for a closer, or perhaps an established setup reliever with big league closing experience. At some point, the Marlins will also have to address their catching depth, as they look for someone to either back up or split time with Jorge Alfaro.

Whom might they trade? Even though right-hander José Ureña and lefty Adam Conley were each tendered on Monday, they could still be possible trade chips. Ureña does not have a defined role, because he may not fit into the plans as a starter or a reliever. Conley took a step backwards in 2019 and may not find himself on the Opening Day roster. The Marlins have several controllable starters, and if they made Caleb Smith available, they could probably get a big return for the left-hander.

Prospects to know: Ranked by MLB Pipeline as having one of the top Minor League systems, Miami has several top prospects who are not far away from reaching the Majors. Right-hander Sixto Sanchez, the Marlins' No. 1 prospect, heads the list, followed by outfielder Jesus Sanchez (No. 3), shortstop Jazz Chisholm (No. 4) and outfielder Monte Harrison (No. 5). Outfielder Jerar Encarnacion (No. 17) and right-hander Jordan Holloway (No. 18) are at least a year away from being big league ready, and the two, perhaps, could draw trade interest.

Rule 5 Draft: The Marlins landed right-hander Elieser Hernandez in the Rule 5 Draft two years ago, and they could be active once again on Dec. 12 in San Diego. Given that Miami didn’t protect left-handed pitching prospect Will Stewart, who was part of the J.T. Realmuto trade with the Phillies, the 22-year-old is eligible to be selected.

Payroll summary: With the salaries of Martín Prado and Starlin Castro off the books -- the two combined to make $26 million in 2019 -- the Marlins gained some payroll flexibility. In Castro’s case, they are still on the hook for a $1 million buyout, and they also owe the recently released Wei-Yin Chen $22 million. Counting Miguel Rojas’ $4.75 million, Miami has $27.75 million in payroll commitments. The recently acquired Villar could make close to $10 million in arbitration and Aguilar projects at about $2.5 million. So the club’s payroll is at roughly $40 million right now, and it could approach $100 million by Opening Day.

Is this a make-or-break season for Lewis Brinson? After two straight disappointing seasons, Marlins fans are wondering if Brinson is running out of chances. The answer is: yes. Brinson acknowledged as much as recently as the organization’s annual Thanksgiving turkey distribution. The Marlins still plan on giving the 25-year-old outfielder every chance to win an Opening Day spot, but he has to improve. He hit a mere .173 with no home runs and 15 RBIs in 75 games in 2019, and the time is now to prove he belongs in the Majors. Brinson does have one option remaining, though, meaning he could be sent to Triple-A Wichita at any point.
 

SonOfJack

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Payroll summary:
With the salaries of Martín Prado and Starlin Castro off the books -- the two combined to make $26 million in 2019 -- the Marlins gained some payroll flexibility. In Castro’s case, they are still on the hook for a $1 million buyout, and they also owe the recently released Wei-Yin Chen $22 million. Counting Miguel Rojas’ $4.75 million, Miami has $27.75 million in payroll commitments. The recently acquired Villar could make close to $10 million in arbitration and Aguilar projects at about $2.5 million. So the club’s payroll is at roughly $40 million right now, and it could approach $100 million by Opening Day.
Say what?
 

SongInTheAir

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Jose Urena should not be traded by cheap jeter he is the ace of the staff and one of the best pitchers in the national league he should be starting on opening day because he is good and not a bullpen pitcher but a pitcher who can get guys out for nine innings every time he comes to the mound Urena should get extended maybe with the same contract the Phillies gave Wheeler if we didn't have cheap jeter i bet Urena would already be signed for at least the next five years offer him 5 years $118 million and see if he gives us the hometown discount and accepts but cheap jeter would never
 

rmc523

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I'm going to be disappointed if they don't sign a long term piece like a Castellanos. Moves for these random 2 year players that aren't that good would be stupid and accomplish nothing, IMO.
 

Valid

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I'm going to be disappointed if they don't sign a long term piece like a Castellanos. Moves for these random 2 year players that aren't that good would be stupid and accomplish nothing, IMO.
First of all, Villar was a 4.0 WAR player this past year, and Aguilar is two years removed from a .274/.352/.539 slash line with 35 homers and 108 RBI.

They're good, or at least they have it in them to be good.

Second, what did you want them to do? Sit on their hands and do nothing? If they are unable to land Castellanos, it doesn't mean the other moves were "stupid." They signed two low-risk, high-reward players.

If the Marlins don't sign players, they're cheap. If they do, they're stupid. Funny how that works.
 

rmc523

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First of all, Villar was a 4.0 WAR player this past year, and Aguilar is two years removed from a .274/.352/.539 slash line with 35 homers and 108 RBI.

They're good, or at least they have it in them to be good.

Second, what did you want them to do? Sit on their hands and do nothing? If they are unable to land Castellanos, it doesn't mean the other moves were "stupid." They signed two low-risk, high-reward players.

If the Marlins don't sign players, they're cheap. If they do, they're stupid. Funny how that works.
I'm not referring to the guys we got. Aguilar is controlled should he repeat his performance, that's great. Villar didn't cost much to get, even though he's a FA after the season, I'm ok with that move. I'm talking about the talk of these 2 year deals to these other random guys that aren't that good.
 

SilverBullet

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I think straight up calling them buyers is a little misleading but as we've said before they're definitely now in the addition phase of this rebuild and this week's moves were proof of that so let's see how far they take it this offseason.
 

MarlinsLou

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Say what?
That doesn't make any sense.

It's around $50-55 million right now - as you have to add in club controlled guys and Chen isn't that much as the cash value of his payment is less than $22 this year.

If they are intending to have a $100 million payroll, I don't know how you don't sign Castellanos or Ozuna longterm. Rendon, Cole, and Strausburg are dreams, but you can get the other two and that would be a massive development. And no one else is worth "chunk" money to effectively double payroll from where it is today.

Also, they got a Comp B pick (not Comp A). Meaning if they sign Ozuna, they lose pick 67 and NOT pick 40 something. Basically, they lose a late 2nd rounder versus early 2nd rounder. Even less of a reason to care about losing the pick. That is a non-issue and anyone who says it is, is a fucking moron.
 

MarlinsLou

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If they got that money it's easy:

-Sign Castellanos or Ozuna
-Sign a good 1-2 year SP
-Sign 1 good RP
-Trade Bleday, Jerar, and other minor league assets for an epic CF controlled for years and is ready NOW. Preferably a righty
 

SonOfJack

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I have to assume Frisaro is off by about 20-30 million on his estimate
 

taiwanmarlin

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I have to assume Frisaro is off by about 20-30 million on his estimate
Maybe it's just a typo, but I hope I'm just wrong, if the opening day payroll was really in the "100" million then I would be ecstatic.
 

Michael

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There has to be a way he got to 100 million there.
When you factor in the players, the coaches, the front office, the concession workers, the dancers, Billy (surprising contract!), the construction workers, the new grass, Scoop (also a surprising contract!), @rmc523, and the kids they sponsor in third world countries, it's very easy to see how a couple FA signings get them to nine figures.
 

CYmarlins

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Unless Scoop legit got an inside source, I doubt it is $100 million. Craigh Mish hasn't even said anything about payroll and he generally breaks the news first nowadays. I am still thinking it is $75-80 million and like @MarlinsLou says Castellanos would definitely fit within that payroll.
 

MarlinsLou

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Unless Scoop legit got an inside source, I doubt it is $100 million. Craigh Mish hasn't even said anything about payroll and he generally breaks the news first nowadays. I am still thinking it is $75-80 million and like @MarlinsLou says Castellanos would definitely fit within that payroll.
He does but then they can afford no pitchers. Villar really changes the landscape for them at $75 million for Castellanos/Ozuna absent trades for club controlled pitching.
 

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