Heading into the start of the Winter Meetings, president of baseball operations Michael Hill made the organization's goals clear. The team was looking to add depth and experienced players while not exceeding the budget. With the signing of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Rafael Furcal, and Garrett Jones and the addition of Carter Capps and Brian Bogusevic, Miami is still not done.
Before Monday, the Marlins said they were only going to make a deal if they felt it was right. The most obvious need is third base, where a stop-gap type player is necessary to buy time for prospect Colin Moran, who could be ready as soon as 2015.
"Our expectation was to get everything done," Hill said. "So we still have work to do. Are we pleased that we were able to do some of the things we were able to do? Definitely. But we still need to do more."
Third base was the biggest area of concern for the Marlins heading into the annual meetings. Juan Uribe was one of the main names being discussed internally. Miami was hoping to get a third baseman in return for Logan Morrison, however after looking for late inning relief options, the team went with Capps, a hard-throwing right-handed option out of the bullpen.
"I think we've done a lot to reshape our roster and prepare us for 2014," Hill said. "Are we finished? No, but we've changed the look of this roster from 2013, and added pieces we think will help us win more games in 2014."
After the departure of Ryan Webb and Chad Qualls, the Marlins may still be in the market for another reliever. A.J. Ramos, Mike Dunn, Capps and Steve Cishek will be among those in manager Mike Redmond's bullpen.
Adding offense was the Marlins' primary goal, and after protecting Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup with Furcal, Jones, and Saltalamacchia, Miami's offense should be significantly improved.
MLB.com confirmed that the Marlins will continue looking exclusively for third base options.
For all the activity of late, the one position the club most coveted when it arrived in Lake Buena Vista remains unresolved. Third base is the highest priority, and it continues to be so. Not that the matter promises to be unsettled much longer. The Marlins essentially are weighing whether to trade one of their surplus pitchers for a controllable service time position player who can handle third base until prospect Colin Moran is ready.
The team is not leaning toward trading for a stopgap. Miami would do that through free agency.
Adding a veteran reliever to provide experience to a young bullpen also is an objective.
After losing 100 games in 2013, Hill and general manger Dan Jennings are working to put the best product on the field on a nightly basis.
"The goal is to give Red the most versatile 25 guys that we can," Hill said."This is why you build and try to create depth. As long as we have needs at the Major League level, we will work and try to fill those needs."
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