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Marlins Winter Meetings rumors: Monday

Stay updated on the latest Marlins news and rumors from the first full day of action in San Diego.

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

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 Monday’s developments.

5:02 p.m. PT—In addressing the media late Monday afternoon, president of baseball operations Michael Hill explained what he’s seeking in terms of relief pitching (h/t Wells Dusenbury, Sun Sentinel):

“As we look to build our bullpen this offseason—obviously we want stuff and guys who have above average stuff—but guys who have command of the strike zone. It’s something we’ve put a focus on in getting a variety of looks in the ‘pen to give [Don Mattingly] and [pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr.] different options to help us win games.”

Hill went on to compliment Sergio Romo specifically for his mentorship and productivity in 2019. However, the front office continues to cast a wide net, “exploring the entire market of eligible guys,” he said.

1:04 p.m. PT—Come home, Sergio Romo!

Last offseason, Romo lingered in free agency into spring training. But in 2019, he boosted his stock as the Marlins closer (and later, as a high-leverage reliever for the Twins). Understandably, his market has developed much quicker this time around.

Several months ago, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Romo’s fond feelings toward the Marlins. That being said, the veteran right-hander will cost significantly more than the $2.5 million salary he settled for previously.

12:54 p.m. PT—First official Marlins transaction of the meetings: Tyler Kinley is headed to Colorado. More context here.

9:45 a.m. PT—And just like that, the Marlins have seemingly addressed the outstanding questions regarding their 2020 coaching staff. Billy Hatcher is in, according to Joe Frisaro, Eric Duncan received a promotion and Jeff Livesey has been assigned to a minor league position.

Unofficially, here’s what the staff appears to be:

  • Manager Don Mattingly
  • Bench coach James Rowson
  • Pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr.
  • Hitting coach Eric Duncan
  • First base coach Billy Hatcher
  • Third base/infield coach Trey Hillman
  • Bullpen coach Wellington Cepeda
  • Bullpen coordinator Rob Flippo
  • Catching coach Eddy Rodriguez

Hatcher has nearly four decades(!) in professional baseball. He was a light-hitting journeyman outfielder in the majors from 1984-1995, then embarked on a coaching career with long tenures in the Rays and—most recently—Reds organizations.

9:36 a.m. PT—Joe Frisaro of confirms the report of Gosuke Katoh’s signing, which includes an invite to big league spring training.

8:03 a.m. PT—FNTSY Sports Radio host Craig Mish bumped into ex-Marlins hitting coach Mike Pagliarulo, who says he was “definitely taken by surprise” when the team fired him last May. Pagliarulo is seeking new opportunities at the Winter Meetings.

As a reminder, the 2020 Marlins coaching staff hasn’t been finalized yet! Jeff Livesey and Eric Duncan handled the hitting coach duties on an interim basis after Pags’ departure, but we are still awaiting confirmation regarding whether they will be do the same moving forward.

7:26 a.m. PT—Free agent Nicholas Castellanos is a South Florida native, but The Athletic’s Jim Bowden casts serious doubt about a potential homecoming. He’s apparently out of the Marlins’ price range.

The Marlins are still expected to add a veteran outfielder before the winter is through, but presumably one willing to accept a shorter-term deal. The organization doesn’t want to “block” its strong internal options at the position, including Jesús Sánchez, Monte Harrison and JJ Bleday.

On average, as compiled by Jon Becker, Castellanos was predicted by experts to earn $61.2 million guaranteed in free agency. That’s roughly identical to old friend Marcell Ozuna ($62.9M). Outfielders who should be available for significantly less include Yasiel Puig ($31.1M), Avisaíl García ($16.8M) and Kole Calhoun ($14.4M).

7:00 a.m. PTNikkan Sports reports that former Yankees infielder Gosuke Katoh has signed with the Marlins on a minor league deal. The 25-year-old is a former second-round draft pick with a lifetime .251/.354/.374 slash line and 38 home runs over his seven professional seasons, upping that to .267/.362/.401 with a career-high 11 long balls in 2019 (split between Double-A/Triple-A).

Defensively, Katoh has been used primarily at second base, but he demonstrated his versatility last season by making double-digit starts at every infield position.

As he explained in The Players’ Tribune in April, the right-handed Katoh became a left-handed hitter to model his game after childhood hero Ichiro Suzuki.

Photo courtesy of the Katoh Family (h/t The Players’ Tribune)

Most likely, Katoh will begin the 2020 season with Triple-A Wichita.