We had an incredible run last season. The Marlins won the N.L. East, defeated the N.L. Central champion Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS, and came within one game of the World Series.
My minor league system is incredibly depleted. I am OK with that. The Marlins are going for World Series victories, not AA and AAA titles.
I want to beef up my lineup a little bit heading into the offseason. I also think there are a few spots in my bullpen that I can improve. Other than that I am interested to see how this season plays out with the Miami Marlins.
If you need to get yourself caught up on the complete 2019 season, the links are below:
A Brief History
Spring Training Through Opening Day
March and April
MLB First Year Player Draft
June Through The Trade Deadline
August And September
Hall of Fame
Ichiro Suzuki was the lone Hall of Fame inductee this offseason. He ended his career with 3,089 Hits, 500 steals, and a .311 AVG over 20 seasons.
A New Manager
Don Mattingly’s contract ran out at the end of the season. A new change of direction may be exactly what this club needs. I decided to put an offer out to a former World Series Champion – Joe Maddon. My offer was for 3 years and $25 million dollars.
Joe Maddon decided to accept the Mets offer to be farm director.
Next I decided to go after a younger manager – Alvin Da Costa. At only 45 years old he was younger and unproven. He looked like he would be a key asset to our offensive approach moving forward.
Alvin Da Costa took the Tigers offer to be farm director.
I next approached Gene Holbrook. At only 43 years old, he preaches speed and plate vision. I offered him a 3 year $20 million dollar deal. He accepted. The Marlins had a new boss.
Exclusive Free Agents
I had six players that I had an exclusive window to negotiate with following the season:
I considered tendering a qualifying offer to Kimbrel. If another team were to sign him, I would snag another early draft pick. If he accepted the qualifying offer I’d be on the hook for a year at $18.3M.
I decided to let all of those guys walk in favor of getting a younger roster and financial flexibility.
Around the league we had a few key players re-sign for massive extensions:
40 Man Roster
I had to set my 40 man roster prior to the Rule 5 draft. I was afraid of losing some of my younger prospects with more potential. I decided to remove the following guys from my 40 man roster:
- Devin Marrero was claimed by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
These are the players that were still under team control – and the contracts that I offered to each of them after the season. You have to offer a contract to a player in order to renew them the following season – if they do not accept your offer, you can renew them for 80% or more of their previous salary.
Everyone accepted the contracts that I offered. I was incredibly pleased with some of the deals I was able to make. Locking up Willians Astudillo, Antone Cruz, and Bryce Geiger for multi-year team-friendly deals bodes well for the future of my club.
Free Agency was kind of boring for me. I put together an incredibly talented Major League roster in 2019. I didn’t want to overpay for anyone – especially when there was not a player that would drastically improve my squad. I cautiously went into free agency, looking to add pieces at the right price.
I was able to add a few players to my squad prior to the Rule 5 Draft. Nick Markakis was a solid addition to my lineup – he is a great contact hitter and can provide veteran leadership for my younger players. I also take his bat away from the Braves – which will only help in the battle for the N.L. East. T.J. Hager and Scott Ragsdale were picked up with the intention of being on my bench. However, I was unable to add both players to my 40 man roster prior to the Rule 5 draft – and lost both of them.
Significant Free Agent Signings
|Pedro Strop||Red Soz||CP||34||84||B||2||$14.8M|
|Sean Doolittle||Red Sox||CP||33||91||A||4||$40.2M|
The boldest move of Free Agency was the Oakland A’s picking up Gerrit Cole for a 5 year $65.3M deal. They have their ace locked down for the foreseeable future. I was right in not giving Craig Kimbrel a qualifying offer, as his AAV is around $5M, and not the $18M I would have had to give him.
As you know by now, I am always looking to make moves to improve my roster. I was able to make a few moved to make the Marlins a much better team heading into 2020.
|Adalberto Mondesi||24||86||B||Twins||Whit Merrifield||31||91||2B||A|
|Sandy Dunlap||29||75||A||Twins||Adalberto Mondesi||24||86||SS||B|
|Nolan Edwards||27||74||B||Rangers||Jose Leclerc||26||86||RP||B|
|Elliot Zimmer||20||67||B||Phillies||Seranthony Dominguez||25||84||RP||B|
|Chris Taylor||29||77||B||Padres||Kenny Davies||19||74||RF||B|
|Garrett Cooper||29||65||B||Carmen Cedeno||19||67||SP||B|
|Dan McMahan||19||65||C||Darnell Smyth||22||48||1B||C|
- I first acquired All-Star second baseman Whit Merrifield from the Twins for Gold-Glove shortstop Adalberto Mondesi and a couple of OK prospects.
- Next I had a hole at shortstop to fill. I went back to the twins. I wanted Adalberto Mondesi’s speed and glove back. I had to give up a number of significant players in order to get him back. Antone Cruz – my rookie sensation, was now a Twin. I also had to include young CF prospect Matt Dudley – a 2019 second round pick, and RP Sandy Dunlap – who I had just signed.
- I needed to replace Kimbrel and Fields next – two players that I allowed to walk in Free Agency. I continued to beef up the youngest and best bullpen in the league by trading for Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Leclerc.
- Chris Taylor had low morale – he wanted more playing time. While I appreciated his versatility I have a younger version of him in Kike Hernandez, and now with Johan Camargo on the bench he was a distant option. I decided to look for a younger outfield guy to have off of the bench. The Padres had minor league all star Kenny Davies on the block. He was just 19 years old – I decided this was a better direction for my franchise.
- The Blue Jays and Giants made the only significant trade of the offseason on November 18th, 2019. The Blue Jays traded away former Marlin 3B Brian Anderson, and OF Randal Grichuk. The Giants gave up 1B Brandon Belt, SP Andrew Suarez, and RP Tyrell Jarrell.
Minor League Free Agents
- For the most part, these guys are filling out my minor league rosters. It was nice to pick up veterans Nelson Cruz, Troy Tulowitzki and Ben Zobrist. They can help out the young guys on the farm and are around if I need them later in the year.
- I basically bought out the renewable years for Kenny Davies, a bonus was his overall rating jumped from a 74-78 after his extension.
- I was very pleased with the negotiations with Seranthony Dominguez. I have him for the next four years at a very team friendly price. His overall also improved, going from an 86-88.
- Jose Martinez has such a good bat – I am happy to have him for the next two seasons at a discounted rate.
- My minor league system is definitely in a different place than it was last year. I will be curious to see how some of my draft picks pan out over the course of the next few seasons. Derrick Meyer is the only player to crack the top 50 at #37.
Where Are They Now?
Below are some of the notable players/prospects I traded away in the past to get my team to where it is at today. I will continue to track their progress – hoping none of these player turn out to be Hall of Famers.
|30||William Ryu||CP||A||21||76||Blue Jays|
- Brian Chu, my former top prospect is now platooning at 2B for the Blue Jays in his first full season in the bigs. They are also starting Scott Ragsdale at shortstop, a player they snaked from me in the Rule 5 draft.
- Antone Cruz is leading off against lefties for the Twins.
- Clinton Hand is the everyday center fielder for the Rangers. T.J. Hager is their closer – another player I lost in the Rule 5 draft.
We head into the 2020 season. I will take a detailed look at my lineups for the season as well as opening day. Do the Marlins have what it takes to make it back to the playoffs? Can they make it to the World Series this year?