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Marlins tender six arbitration-eligible players

Miami now needs a new backup catcher.

Ramos is expected to be the Marlins most expensive arbitration-eligible player.
Photo: Lynne Sladky/AP

The Miami Marlins have pledged for the entire offseason that they are committed to keeping their nucleus intact. Miami tendered six arbitration-eligible players before the 8 p.m. ET deadline on Friday night.

Miami tendered Marcell Ozuna, A.J. Ramos, Derek Dietrich, Tom Koehler, David Phelps, and Adeiny Hechavarria. If a player is not tendered, then he would become a free agent. Miami was planning on holding on to all of these players, so the decision to tender them doesn’t come as a surprise.

While Miami held onto six players, they did lose a key backup. According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Central, backup catcher Jeff Mathis will sign a 2-year $4 million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Now, the Marlins are considering external options to fill their backup catcher role, according to’s Joe Frisaro.

The tender deadline comes one week before the Winter Meetings kick off outside of Washington D.C. Even though Miami tendered all of its arbitration-eligible players, they don’t have to stay with the Marlins, as they can still be traded. Usually, players with three to six years of MLB service will qualify for arbitration. However, there are some players that qualify for arbitration with Super Two status. This applies for Dietrich, who has two years, 151 days of MLB service.

Each player that was tendered will receive a salary that is still to be determined. The salaries will most likely be finalized in January. If a player is not signed by the exchange deadline, then their salary will be determined in an arbitration hearing. At four years, 156 days, Phelps has the most service time of the six arbitration-eligible players.

The versatile right-hander made $2.5 million last season. According to MLB Trade Rumors, these are the projected salaries for the six arbitration-eligible players: Phelps ($5.2 million), Ramos ($6.8 million), Koehler ($6.2 million), Ozuna ($4.5 million), Hechavarria ($3.7 million) and Dietrich ($1.8 million).