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Offishial news, 1/11/21: Available outfielders; under-the-radar prospects

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At the dawn of a new week, here’s our latest Miami Marlins coverage.

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Latest on outfield FA market

Kyle Schwarber is off the board. The 2016 World Series hero who was among MLB’s leading home run hitters in 2019 inked a one-year, $10 million deal with the Nationals for what will be his age-28 season. He underachieved in 2020, barely providing replacement-level production, and got non-tendered by the Cubs.

There isn’t anything on the rumor mill suggesting that the Marlins made an effort to sign Schwarber, and I wouldn’t have expected them to. He’s an awkward fit defensively—in recent years, he has only started games at left field (where his glovework rates as below average) and designated hitter. Regular season and postseason combined, Schwarber is a .311 career hitter against Marlins pitching with three home runs in 14 games.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

This move is still worth noting for how it affects the values of other veteran outfielders. Robbie Grossman also received $10 million guaranteed on his Tigers contract, though that is spread across the next two seasons. Free agent Adam Duvall, whose reportedly being considered by the Marlins, is slightly older than Schwarber and Grossman but may command almost as much money thanks to his power and superior defensive reputation. The Red Sox have put Andrew Benintendi on the trade block. Coming off a lost 2020 campaign, he is due $6.6 million in 2021 and has one more year of arbitration eligibility beyond that. Despite his obvious bounce-back potential and name recognition, it shouldn’t cost a big prospect haul to acquire him at this juncture.

Another name that’s been on mind is Mike Tauchman of the Yankees. He’s seemingly being squeezed out of a significant role despite his 2019 excellence (.277/.361/.504, 128 wRC+, 2.6 fWAR in 296 PA) and four remaining years of club control. If Marlins ownership won’t greenlight any more substantial spending this offseason, I can envision a trade for Tauchman.

Launch of Klubot 2.0

On Wednesday, two-time AL Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber will hold a mound session for MLB teams. He’s hoping to demonstrate that he still has plenty left in the tank after being limited to eight pedestrian outings from 2019-20. The right-hander turns 35 years old shortly after Opening Day.

The Marlins have no excuse for declining an invitation to attend. Though starting pitching depth is an organizational strength, they are sorely lacking in experience. As currently constituted, Elieser Hernandez would be the “graybeard” of their rotation. The only starting candidate who has endured anything close to a full major league season is Sandy Alcantara (2019). Moreover, the event is taking place at Cressey Sports Performance in West Palm Beach, a couple exits down I-95 from the Marlins’ spring training complex. Dozens of their current and former players have trained at Cressey’s through the years.

At least a dozen MLB teams will be sending a scout to observe Kluber, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post, including the NL East rival Mets. Just another reason for the Marlins to do their due diligence.

Walk-off Links

  • Miguel Rojas hand-delivered some fantastic Christmas gifts to Marlins fans and filmed their reactions.
  • Lewin Díaz wrapped up his Dominican winter ball stint with Estrellas Orientales, playing 32 total games. He immediately expressed a desire to return to the team next year.
  • Beautiful pics taken by Joseph Guzy of the Marlins-Cubs NL Wild Card Series. Some of my favorites below.
  • After “a very memorable year” with the Marlins, the Mets claimed left-hander Stephen Tarpley off waivers.
  • MLB.com’s Christina De Nicola has the all-time list of South Florida players to appear in regular season Marlins games. Eddy Alvarez and Sean Rodríguez both joined the club in 2020.
  • Left-hander Jake Eder is the Marlins’ most underrated prospect, a front office source tells Jim Bowden of The Athletic. Eder was the club’s fourth-round pick in last year’s MLB Draft.
  • The MLB Pipeline staff believes shortstop Nasim Nuñez has the helium to be a Top 100 MLB prospect by this time next year.
  • Marlins Historian has a new t-shirt available featuring 1997 and 2003 Marlins World Series championship banners.
  • We have made it through 86 chapters of the All-Time Marlins Countdown.
  • Marlins minor league affiliates in Pensacola and Beloit are still waiting to receive their professional development licenses from MLB, owner Quint Studer says. Studer is hopeful to tie the knot with the Fish for the next 10 years.
  • The Batavia Muckdogs were one of the many longtime Minor League Baseball affiliates that were left without a chair when the music stopped on the restructuring process. “A new chapter begins” for them on Tuesday.