Preliminary talks begin with Marlins and free agents
By Joe Frisaro @ManOn2nd
Rumors and reports have been running rampant at the General Managers Meetings this week in Carlsbad, Calif.
The Miami Marlins, who are on record saying they intend to pursue impactful hitters, are already testing the free agent and trade waters.
According to reports, the Marlins have had preliminary discussions with the representatives of outfielders Nick Castellanos and Avisail Garcia. They’re also exploring trade possibilities with the Toronto Blue Jays regarding catchers.
Castellanos, a South Florida native, would be the ideal fit for the Marlins, in search of power hitters.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported on Thursday that Miami has reached out to Castellanos’ agent, Scott Boras.
If the Marlins could sign Castellanos, it would be a tremendous signal to the South Florida market that Miami is sincere in making a major upgrade to the roster.
Castellanos, who belted 34 homers for the Cincinnati Reds in 2021, would bring immediate impact to the middle of Miami’s order.
The Marlins, entering year five of their current ownership, are seeking to make a major leap forward in aiming to contend. In recent years, during their building process, they focused on replenishing their farm system.
With the system substantially stronger, the focus now is on surrounding their current roster, made up mostly of complementary players, with impactful hitters.
Castellanos would immediately uplift the roster, while sending a signal to MLB and the South Florida fan base that the club is serious about becoming a contender.
The former Archbishop McCarthy star was an All-Star in 2021.
ManOn2nd has long lobbied for the Marlins to sign Castellanos.
Now, finalizing a deal will be a challenge, since his asking price will be high, and he’s expected to have a big market. The Reds also placed a qualifying offer on Castellanos, who means the club that signs him would surrender a 2022 draft pick as compensation.
In Castellanos, the cost to sign him is worth it, along with the draft pick. That shouldn’t be an issue.
The Marlins internally also are confident they can make a few key moves to improve the offense while not mortgaging the future.
Growing up in South Florida, Castellanos is well aware of the Marlins’ history of trading away top talent. Remember, he started his career with the Detroit Tigers, where he was a teammate of Miguel Cabrera. So he’s heard stories of the past.
While the Marlins are testing the free agent market, it is believed no major, long-term signings are expected until after the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is finalized.
The Marlins have obvious needs at center field and catcher, but foremost, they really are seeking to upgrade their offense — regardless of position.
Garcia is another interesting free agent possibility. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Marlins have touched base with Garcia’s camp.
With the Milwaukee Brewers last year, Garcia hit 29 homers with 86 RBIs.
On the trade front, the Blue Jays have a surplus of catchers, while the Marlins’ have starting pitching depth.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports the Blue Jays have checked in with the Marlins on right-handers Pablo Lopez and Elieser Hernandez. Catcher Alejandro Kirk could be part of a deal for one of Miami’s arbitration-eligible pitchers.
The GM Meetings are generally when the groundwork is set for eventually making trades and free agent signings.
Unlike recent years for the Marlins, they plan on adding veterans to the roster, not subtracting them.