Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill discussed his team’s plans for the Winter Meetings and beyond in a conference call with the media on Friday. Here are some of the highlights, via MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro (two links) and the Associated Press…
- The Marlins have had “multiple conversations on a lot of fronts” but aren’t particularly close to any moves, Hill said.
- With the number of talented young starters in Miami’s system, it’s not surprising that other teams have shown the most interest in the Marlins’ arms. “We’ve gotten a ton of calls on our pitching,” Hill said. “I think the industry recognizes we have somewhat of a surplus. I feel you can never have enough of it. But we’ve said that if we have an opportunity to help upgrade our club, we will use our inventory to make deals. We’ve gotten a ton of hits on our pitching, but the deals just haven’t been the right deals for us at this point.” The Marlins are reportedly open to listening to offers for righty Nathan Eovaldi and southpaws Andrew Heaney and Brad Hand, possibly as part of the team’s search for first base help or for a veteran starting pitcher.
- In regards to that 1B/SP search, Hill doesn’t “think one is more pressing than the other. We’re working on both in lockstep.”
- Miami is open to dealing a controllable prospect for a player who may be a year away from free agency if it helps the team, though Hill acknowledged the debate that goes into such a decision. “I think we’re just trying to measure the value of the piece that we’re adding versus the control that we would be giving away,” Hill said. “Our situation, we’re never going to be a high revenue, high top of the market, payroll-wise club. So we have to be mindful and protective of our inventory. But we also know that we have to win games. I think that is what we’re trying to balance and make the right decision that helps us, both in the near term and the long term.”
- While the Marlins “continue to monitor” the second base market, “I wouldn’t say it is at the forefront of our goals,” Hill said. “It’s not a very rich market. That’s why I think we were very fortunate to acquire [Enrique Hernandez] at the deadline. It’s not something where there are numerous options out there ready and available that we feel are significant upgrades over what we have.”
- The Marlins have made extension offers to such young stars as Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich, Adeiny Hechavarria and Marcell Ozuna, though Hill isn’t expecting anything to break on that front soon. “They know they’re young in their careers, so I don’t think there’s any urgency. It’s more of an education process as we go through it. If we can gain momentum and make something happen, we’ll all be pleased with it. At a minimum we know at this point they’re all under control for many, many years to come.”