Offseason Road Map
At first glance, the Marlins regressed in 2019, posting six fewer wins than a year ago. However, the long-term plan seems to be coming together, as the rebuilt farm system is now widely considered top-five in all of baseball. Changes are imminent in the dugout, as manager Don Mattingly is the only member of the current coaching staff with a contract for next year. The Marlins are also facing decisions on their pending free agents and arbitration-eligible players, with the likes of Starlin Castro and Martín Prado unlikely to return, and Adam Conley a big question mark at this moment. Who figures into the team's future plans and who will be replaced will be the big talking points in the run-up to the Winter Meetings in December and beyond.
Upcoming Roster Squeeze
Thanks to a much improved farm system, the Marlins now have multiple top prospects that could be at risk of being selected in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. To protect them from that fate, they’ll need to be added to the 40-man roster by November 18. These prospects include Sixto Sánchez, Jazz Chisholm and Lewin Díaz. Even with players departing from the major league roster to free up some spaces, Miami may find it difficult protecting everyone.
Free Agent Possibilities (and Pipe Dreams)
Yes, the farm system is now filled with elite prospects, but most of them are not yet ready to be called up, meaning that the major league roster may be thin on talent again next season. That is, unless the Marlins decide to dip their toes into free agency. With some big salaries coming off the books, spending to add established players is a possibility, and there are multiple avenues that the Marlins could take to greatly improve their 2020 outlook with a few signatures. Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon? Extremely unlikely. Yasiel Puig and Nick Castellanos? Now, those are some intriguing names. Hometown hero and veteran starter Gio Gonzalez is a realistic option, too.
Hank Aaron Award Voting
Public voting for the Hank Aaron Award—given to the most outstanding offensive player in each league—is now open thru Wednesday. Despite Starlin Castro's stellar .302/.334/.558 slash line after the All-Star break, Miami's finalist is an extreme long-shot behind the likes of Christian Yelich and the aforementioned Rendon for the National League award. Mike Trout is again a front-runner in the American League race, although Alex Bregman and DJ LeMahieu might have something to say about that.
In 2017, Giancarlo Stanton became the lone Hank Aaron Award recipient in Fish history.
Continuing to be an active member of the community, the Marlins collected and sent more supplies to the Bahamas this week to aid the ongoing relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian's devastation of the islands last month. All in all, the organization has now sent dozens of pallets of essential items with the help of local citizens, as well as donate over $12,00 to the Red Cross.
(Chief Revenue Officer Adam Jones was one of the team reps involved with loading relief supplies onto the trucks. He’ll appear as a special guest on the Fish Stripes podcast in our latest episode posting on Monday! Consider subscribing if you don’t already.)