Fish Stripes is covering all the Marlins news and rumors from the MLB Winter Meetings being held in San Diego. This article is dedicated to all of Wednesday’s developments. Catch up on Monday’s here and Tuesday’s here!
5:07 p.m. PT—During a winter in which MLB free agent pitchers have been richly compensated, it’s no wonder that most teams are intrigued by the talented Marlins starters who are each due to earn near the league minimum in 2020.
More than half the league has checked in on the #Marlins controllable starting pitchers -- Sandy Alcantara, Caleb Smith and Pablo López. Extremely unlikely any will be dealt.— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) December 12, 2019
1:45 p.m. PT—Earlier in the week, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro pegged José Ureña as a trade candidate without a “clear role” on the Marlins pitching staff moving forward. Craig Mish now mentions the Blue Jays being among the several teams expressing interest.
The two-time defending Opening Day starter limped to the finish line in 2019 after suffering a herniated disc and posting poor results as a late-inning reliever. He’s under club control through 2021.
11:40 a.m. PT—Eddie Rosario update from Craig Mish:
Twins perhaps willing to move from Alcantara to Pablo López for Rosario says source. Miami not doing that either though. Could Rosario’s defense play in Marlins Park ? Something to ponder. Again, James Rowson knows this player. Have to trust his evaluation on a potential deal.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) December 11, 2019
Pablo López missed half of last season with a shoulder strain, but offers a desirable blend of youth, club control, strike-throwing and a plus changeup. Along with Alcantara and Caleb Smith, López is a virtual lock for the 2020 Marlins Opening Day rotation (assuming he isn’t dealt).
11:30 a.m. PT—My favorite development of the day thus far: Jon Morosi of MLB Network cites the Marlins as an interested team in ex-Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun (along with the Blue Jays, Reds and Brewers).
Calhoun’s bat has been extremely streaky the past two years. He rebounded from a 79 wRC+/0.0 fWAR season in 2018 to produce 108 wRC+/2.5 fWAR in 2019. Historically, he walks frequently though doesn’t act very aggressively on the base paths to take advantage of that.
The Angels declined a $14 million club option for Calhoun rather than retain him for 2020. The 32-year-old may recoup that money and more in the form of a multi-year deal.
9:34 a.m. PT—And here’s Craig Mish validating the Rosario connection!
Marlins have discussed Eddie Rosario with the Twins, per source. Asking price also extremely high. Miami’s new Bench Coach/Offensive Coordinator James Rowson has familiarity with Rosario.— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) December 11, 2019
More about Rosario:
- Slashed .276/.300/.500 with 103 wRC+ last season, almost precisely in line with his career averages
- Primarily handles left field, but can shift to center in emergencies
- Big decline in Sprint Speed, per Statcast, from 28.5 ft/sec in 2015 to 27.1 ft/sec in 2019
- Chases outside the strike zone way too frequently
Rosario is somewhat expendable to Minnesota, Aaron Gleeman of The Athletic explains, because of the presence of top outfield prospects in the organization—namely Alex Kirilloff—who are projected to stick in The Show next season (subscription required).
Like Mazara, Rosario is a left-handed, power-hitting outfielder with two more years remaining of arbitration eligibility. He’s in line for larger salaries than Mazara and significantly older (entering age-28 season), but has a superior track record as an all-around impactful player. Certainly seems to check many of the boxes that the Marlins want.
One obstacle? The Twins—eager to contend now—would presumably expect to receive some sort of major league-ready pitcher in return.
6:00 a.m. PT—On the Swings and Mishes podcast, Craig Mish describes a bizarre negotiating process with the Rangers regarding outfielder Nomar Mazara. The Marlins allegedly showed interest in him earlier in the year, but on Tuesday, they were asked to send right-hander Sandy Alcantara in return, despite Alcantara having far more value than Mazara does.
Texas traded Mazara to the White Sox later that evening for outfielder Steele Walker. Mish is unclear on why the Marlins weren’t “re-approached” with an opportunity to get a deal done using one of their own comparable prospects (such as Connor Scott or Jerar Encarnación).
The takeaway from this is the Marlins remain interested in adding productive outfield bats. In an environment where free agent earnings records are being shattered, they understandably have broadened to the scope of their search to include players already under contract.