By Joe Frisaro @ManOn2nd
JUPITER, Fla. — Jorge Soler gives the Miami Marlins the power bat they prioritized. But the arrival of the 30-year-old outfielder doesn’t necessary settle who will play center.
The Marlins are giving Jesus Sanchez a chance to play center, and right fielder Avisail Garcia is another option. Bryan Del La Cruz and utility player Jon Berti are defensive options.
Berti, a natural infielder, got the start in center field on Wednesday against the Washington Nationals at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.
“I will say, one of the attractions of Avi Garcia was the ability, as well as the willingness to play center field,” Marlins general manager Kim Ng said. “Jesus has now shown a willingness to play center field. We had never really approached him until this point.”
For now, the Marlins are going with more of an offensive-first approach to center field. They also have until the end of Spring Training if Sanchez and Garcia seem comfortable at the position.
The Marlins haven’t ruled out still shopping for a center fielder on the trade market.
“Knowing that center field is a difficult position to replace,” Ng said. “I think we’re fairly well situated to be able to do that. But again, I think we’re always looking for ways to improve the club.”
Soler is expected to play mostly left field, along with some DH.
Could the Marlins revisit acquiring Bryan Reynolds in the next few weeks, or even at the July trade deadline? Absolutely.
But there are other center field trade options as well. Most of them are defensive first alternatives.
Closing book on Yelich trade: Isan Diaz was designated for assignment on Tuesday, closing the book on the Christian Yelich trade with the Milwaukee Brewers prior to the 2018 season.
The deal will go down as one of the worst by the Marlins. Now, all four players in the deal — Lewis Brinson, Jordan Yamamoto, Monte Harrison and Diaz — are gone. None really enjoyed much success in Miami on mostly rebuilding teams.
With the Marlins primed to make a run at a playoff spot, they felt the time was right to move on.
“You to make sure that they’ve gotten an opportunity,” Ng said. “We saw what we needed to see. In particular instances, definitely lots of at-bats at the big league level. Monte was out of options. Isan, I think, got a lot of time playing at the big league level last year.”
All four are still relatively young and have a chance to catch on elsewhere.
“Still good players,” Ng said. “For us, we just ran out of time. I think is really the situation. They’re still young. They still have upside. But given where we are, I think we just had to move on. We’ve added some really good players this year. It’s really not an indictment on them.”
Sixto optioned: The Marlins optioned Sixto Sanchez to Triple-A Jacksonville. He is not yet on a throwing program.
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