For the first time since the MLB lockout began and the final time in 2021, Miguel Rojas co-hosted with Chris Rose on Monday’s episode of Jomboy Media’s The Chris Rose Rotation. Among the topics they covered: Starling Marte’s signing with the Mets.
Marte inked a four-year, $78 million deal with Miami’s division rival in late November. Although the Marlins were genuinely interested in a reunion, their final offer didn’t come close to that, the Miami Herald reported.
The former teammates reconnected on December 5 in the Dominican Republic at the annual Día de Leyendas. Here’s how that conversation went, according to Rojas:
“First thing that I say to him was, ‘What are you doing? You stupid?! You don’t like Miami? You really want to go to New York and deal with the media and all that for a couple extra million dollars? [laughs]
“Remember, Dominican guys have a lot connections in New York as well. He told me about family that he’s got there and all that stuff. But at the end of the day, you just want your players to get the best deal that they can get, and that’s what we’re fighting for. That’s always what you wanna get, and a guy like Marte, mid-30s and he’s getting that kinda deal, it’s pretty amazing.
“It sucks that we lost him...Happy for Marte, but at the end of the day, I was pretty upset too because I wanted him on my team.”
When Rojas says “what we’re fighting for,” he is referring to the MLB Players’ Association—he serves as the union’s designated player rep for the Marlins organization. To this point, Marte has received the seventh-largest contract of the 2021-22 free agent class in terms of total guaranteed dollars. The only older player who ranks above the 33-year-old in that category is future Hall of Famer (and fellow Met) Max Scherzer.
The Marlins’ current projected payroll for 2022 is less than $70 million, only a slight uptick from their 2021 spending. However, they are likely to use some of the Marte money to continue upgrading their outfield and have been linked to a wide variety of free agents and trade targets (most recently Michael Conforto).
Rojas recorded the show from his native Venezuela, where he originally intended to play winter ball with Tiburones de La Guaira. As previously mentioned on Fish Stripes, he changed his mind when the team got eliminated from postseason contention. But Rojas tells Chris Rose that the ongoing lockout and the uncertainty about what insurance coverage he’d have in the event of an injury was another factor that went into his decision.
Marlins players have a group chat via text message and Rojas is using it to address any questions that they may have about how the lockout impacts them. He credits Anthony Bass for helping him disseminate information to the younger guys.
“We’re gonna continue to fight for what’s right for the players and for the game,” Rojas says.