Subsequent to the ground-breaking contract extension that the team gave to Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins will still have an ample amount of room for which they can make moves in the offseason. That fact is clearly showcased by the team being recently linked to the likes of James Shields, Michael Morse, Allen Craig and Brandon Moss as potential free agency targets. While any of those players could continue the Marlins' rebuilding process, there are still other ways that the team could improve that won't break the bank.
The most prominent example of that would be through trading. Over the past weeks, rumors have continued to circulate around the team being interested in dealing for players that could help improve the team's downtrodden first-base position. Those rumored names include Atlanta's Evan Gattis and Baltimore's Chris Davis. While either player will definitely add different aspects to the Marlins team, we're going to use this piece to focus on Evan Gattis.
While the Marlins are looking at Gattis to replace Garrett Jones as the team's starting first baseman, the righty has only started a handful of games at that position. During his two-year tenure with the Braves, Gattis has primarily played at catcher while getting a few chances to showcase his defensive skills in the outfield.
Despite Gattis' relative inexperience at the first-base position, his continued performance on the offensive end has been enough to look past that flaw. During the 2014 season, Gattis had a solid .263/.317/.493 split line that included 22 home runs.
Similar to most established power hitters, Gattis' prone to be strikeout prone, which is apparent by his 24.2% strikeout percentage. That percentage would have put him fourth on the team behind Jarrod Saltalmacchia (32.9%), Marcell Ozuna (26.8%) and Giancarlo Stanton (26.6%). In addition to his relatively high strikeout percentage, Gattis also doesn't tend to walk frequently (5.5% of at bats in 2014), which still should take away from how solid he actually is.
Even though Gattis might be destined to start at first-base, despite his relative inexperience at the position, the Marlins could still use him at multiple positions if Redmond isn't quite comfortable with committing to him playing first. Gattis has a bevy of experience at catcher which would allow him to take some games from Jarrod Salalamacchia during the course of the season. Redmond could also use Gattis sparingly in the outfield, as he spent some time at left field during the 2013 season.
While his offensive power and potential as a utility player could make Gattis into a solid all-around weapon for the Marlins, Miami would still have to pay a steep price to receive him in a trade. As Clark Spencer and Barry Jackson mentioned in the initial report, the team would probably have to separate from quality pitching talent, such as top prospect Andrew Heaney. Separating from someone like Heaney may have a negative impact on the team down the line, although Gattis' aforementioned abilities could help push the team closer to their goal of getting back into the playoff hunt.