As the core of young Marlins’ players start to come together, questions surrounding the team still linger coming off the team’s first playoff appearance since 2003.
Among these, the outfield is still a topic of concern as we reach the eve of Spring Training 2021. Top prospect JJ Bleday appears a year or so away from reaching the majors, and a strong argument can be made for Lewis Brinson’s futility.
Per FanGraphs, Corey Dickerson, Starling Marte, and Garrett Cooper project to see a bulk of the playing time. With recent news pointing towards a reversion to a one-DH league in 2021, Cooper, primarily a first baseman, has logged 34 games in right field during his career, though hasn't appeared at the position since 2019.
Dickerson and Marte will be off the books after the 2021 season, so finding a reputable replacement would be paramount to bolstering an offense that finished last season with a middling 92 OPS+.
The Padres Tommy Pham could serve as a short-term solution, like the aforementioned Dickerson and Marte, Pham is a free agent after next season, and is set to earn $8.9 million in 2021.
Despite finishing 2020 with a career-worst 74 OPS+, Pham has an extended track record of success, posting a .284/.381/.475 slash line from 2017-2019. Unlike Dickerson, who has slugged more than 100 points less against lefties, Pham is a career .295/.416./,479 against lefties, which could make for a dynamic platoon should Miami look to take on Pham’s salary.
Another Tommy who may make sense is the Cardinals Tommy Edman. Like his first name counterpart, Edman followed up a strong 2019 season—his first in the majors—with a sophomore slump, finishing with a .368 slugging percentage in 55 games.
Edman offers positional versatility as well, appearing at 6 positions in parts of two seasons, including all three outfield positions. With news of the Nolan Arenado reportedly heading to St. Louis, Edman, primarily a third baseman, could struggle to find playing time should he not start in the outfield or second base.
The Oakland A’s, a team never afraid to trade away premium talent—i.e Josh Donaldson, Ben Zobrist, and Drew Pomeranz, among others—could do the same with Stephen Piscotty.
While not the kind of player expected to bring a championship to Miami, Piscotty offers the Marlins a player under team control for another two seasons, where he’ll earn $15.1 million. Concern surrounding Piscotty centers on his recent offensive production, as the former Cardinal owns an 89 OPS+ since the start of 2019. For his career Piscotty owns an OPS+ of 108.
Should the team not look to ship away any prospect capital for either of these players, a bevy of reputable, cost-effective names still flood the free agent market.
Adam Duvall knows the division from his time with Braves, and finished last season with 16 home runs in 57 games. Defensively, Duvall has long been regarded as a premium glove in the outfield, netting 47 defensive runs in parts of seven big league seasons.
Other notable names that could be on the team’s radar include former Marlin Cameron Maybin, Josh Reddick, and Yasiel Puig, the latter of which has long-been connected to the organization dating back to last season.
What should the Marlins’ m.o. be to address their outfield situation?
This poll is closed
Allow the younger players regular playing time
Acquire a bat via the trade market
Scour the free agent market for cost-effective options