The Miami Marlins would have a few more decisions to make under the 2014 Fish Stripes Marlins Offseason Plan, primarily involving their arbitration players. If everything goes according to plan, the Marlins will have enough money to make small decisions on a subset of players in arbitration and among free agents leaving the roster. What are some of the remaining things the Fish can do for next year?
There were three players the Marlins were likely to consider as non-tender candidates.
Kevin Slowey ($1.8 million projected): Slowey became an expendable starting pitcher last season and an injured one as well after a midseason elbow injury held him out the rest of the year. But in terms of how he pitched in 2013, he was effective. His overall numbers graded out as close to average for a starting pitcher, and it made sense given his skill set. Slowey's gameplan is predicated on avoiding walks and getting decent strikeout numbers by pounding the zone. His primary difficulty is with the home run, and playing in Marlins Park helps mitigate that problem half of the time. The trade of Henderson Alvarez under our plan makes it so that Miami is short a starter with Brian Flynn moving to the Major League rotation, and Slowey at a mere $1.8 million is probably a better option that Tom Koehler, who looks destined for the bullpen. Decision: Tender
Ryan Webb ($1.5 million projected): This would be Webb's final season under team control, and he has been highly disappointing for most of his career in Miami. At the same time, under our plan, the Marlins would have dealt either Steve Cishek or Mike Dunn and would be down a significant 2013 contributor in the bullpen. Under our plan, we would have A.J. Ramos, either Cisherk or Dunn, and Dan Jennings among the relievers who logged more than 40 innings last season not including Webb. The team could try a number of minor leaguers like Steven Ames, Arquimedes Caminero, Koehler, Chris Hatcher, or Sam Dyson to supplement the pen, but they may want to keep one of their Major League options from last year. Decision: Tender
Koyie Hill ($0.5 million projected): The current plan leaves the Marlins a long-term catching option and allows Jeff Mathis to serve as the primary backup. That leaves the team Rob Brantly and J.T. Realmuto as catching depth, making Hill expendable. Decision: Non-tender
The Marlins have five players who are free agents this offseason, but only one has a chance of returning to the team. Matt Diaz was injured almost immediately after he signed and he never returned to the team. Austin Kearns had a personal family issue and was not seen for the remainder season as well. Juan Pierre and Placido Polanco were both terrible stopgap signings that did not amount to much for the Fish in 2013, and they will not return.
The only player Miami might consider bringing back is Chad Qualls. Qualls had a successful season in relief, posting a 2.62 ERA and 3.32 FIP over 62 innings. Qualls may receive offers elsewhere for more than the money that it would take to retain Ryan Webb, so the Marlins are more likely to let him go and find greener pastures for a competing team. The team would consider a return at $1 million or so for 2014, but any more would push him out of the price range and would likely be unnecessary.
The result of these moves leaves the Marlins with a nice number for their payroll.
|Marlins, 2014||Salary ($mil)|
This falls right into the Marlins' budget but would still probably allow them to pick up one free agent piece like an extra reliever if the team did not feel comfortable featuring Caminero and Ames prominently this season. The team would fall just around where it wants to be for this season and would still be significantly better than last year.
How much better? In the final day of the offseason plan series, we will go over the expectations of this team and what we may see next season. What do you readers think of the assembled team? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.