Entering the offseason the Marlins were keen on signing a left-handed-hitting outfielder, and on Saturday afternoon, they succeeded. As first reported by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Marlins came to an agreement with outfielder Corey Dickerson on a two-year, $17.5 million deal. It’s still pending a physical and the club has not announced it.
In 2019, Dickerson hit .304 with 12 home runs and 59 RBI in just 79 total games with the Pirates and Phillies. His playing was limited due to a fractured left foot and a posterior right shoulder strain. The 30-year-old has slashed .286/.328/.504 in his career overall (117 wRC+). He was also an All-Star for the Rays in 2017 and won a Gold Glove award with the Pirates in 2018.
The Cardinals were among the other MLB teams to consider signing Dickerson this offseason, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Miami had been in the mix for fellow free agents Avisaíl García and Kole Calhoun before they went to the Brewers and Diamondbacks, respectively. Dickerson’s $17.5 million guarantee represents fair market value considering that García received $20 million and Calhoun received $16 million on their deals.
There are some platoon concerns with Dickerson—he owns a.533 SLG vs. RHP and .409 SLG vs. LHP. His previous teams have been hesitant to use him as true everyday starter. FNTSY Sports Radio host Craig Mish anticipates that Miami will handle him similarly with left field as his main defensive position, and perhaps with Jonathan Villar getting reps in center (Dickerson hasn’t played CF since 2015).
Meanwhile, Yasiel Puig remains a free agent. Dickerson’s contract takes the team’s payroll up into a similar range as last season’s; it’s unclear whether ownership would be willing to make more significant commitments considering that the Marlins won’t be realistic contenders in 2020.
Nonetheless, this signing undoubtedly makes the Marlins better and more entertaining. When healthy, Dickerson has been a reliable player, and the foot injury that shortened his 2019 campaign shouldn’t impact his readiness for spring training.
The 40-man roster is currently full, so there must be two corresponding moves in the near future to make the arrivals of Dickerson and Francisco Cervelli official.