ORLANDO (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins are expected to be dealers in Orlando as general managers and other baseball executives gather for the annual winter meetings.
Up first on the agenda is a vote from the Hall of Fame committee. Joe Torre, Tony LaRussa, Bobby Cox, were unanimously selected Monday morning. Also on the ballot were owner George Steinbrenner and player’s union chief Marvin Miller were all on the ballot this year.
The real action will be players getting moved via trade and free agent signings. The free agent market is weak, which could spur trade conversations. A total of 42 of 168 free agents already have agreements in place including Robinson Cano, Jacoby Ellsbury, Joe Nathan, and Tim Hudson.
Among the free agents remaining some of the best include: Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz, Kendrys Morales, Stephen Drew, and pitchers Bronson Arroyo, Matt Garza, and Ervin Santana.
The biggest contract thus far was given to Cano who received a 10-year, $240 million contract from the Seattle Mariners.
The Marlins won’t be spending that type of money over four or five years, but the Marlins do have a glut of what every team wants: quality young pitching.
The Marlins addressed its need at catcher by signing free agent Jarrod Saltalamacchia and added infield help by nabbing Rafael Furcal. The team is also closing on a deal with first baseman Garrett Jones, according to Marlins.com.
Jones hit .233 with 15 home runs and 51 RBI’s in 144 games last year for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Morrison hasn’t played in more than 100 games in two years. Last year, he hit .242 with six home runs and 36 RBI’s.
The Fish are reportedly looking to deal first baseman Logan Morrison and the team has a desperate need at third base until Colin Moran is ready to be called up to the main roster. Moran played last year in the minors and in 42 games hit .299 with four homers and 23 RBI’s.
The Marlins will build the pitching rotation around rookie of the year Jose Fernandez who will team up with Nathan Eovaldi, and Jacob Turner to form a solid three-man starting lineup. The Fish also have Henderson Alvarez and Brad Hand who both have solid major league experience and both could be trade bait.
The Fish also have prospect Andrew Heaney, a left-handed pitcher from Oklahoma State University who is 9-3 in the minors with a 1.6 ERA and a strikeout-walk ratio of 89-26. Heaney went 4-1 in AA to end last year and could be ready to make the jump to the majors this season.
The Marlins also have high hopes for fellow lefty Justin Nicolino. He’s 8-4 in his minor league career with a 3.11 ERA and has a 3-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Miami also appears set in the outfield with slugger Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Jake Marisnick, Marcell Ozuna, and Justin Ruggiano all vying for playing time. Stanton and Yelich will man two of the outfield spots with Marisnick and Ozuna battling for the final opening.
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