The Marlins are among the teams pursuing free agent outfielder Avisail Garcia, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). But they’re only one of “many” interested organizations, per Heyman.
In our top 50 free agent ranking, we predicted that Garcia would end up with the Miami organization. But we didn’t see an exceptionally strong market developing for his services. While Garcia has some real positives working in his favor, he has some limitations and there aren’t all that many teams with obvious need in the corner outfield.
The real question is whether multiple teams will dream on Garcia’s skillset. Over the past three years, he’s a .288/.337/.473 hitter over 1,476 plate appearances. That’s substantially above average. Garcia graded as a high-quality performer in the field and has exceptional speed — not that you’d necessarily know it from his work on the bases. (Fangraphs grades him a -3.5 run runner.)
You can also focus on the negatives if you prefer. Garcia doesn’t hit a lot of home runs and doesn’t walk much. Instead, he’s highly reliant on his hard contact finding gaps. He sported a .392 BABIP in his productive 2017 season but dipped to .271 in a down 2018 effort.
As Heyman notes, some teams may well see greater value in Garcia than the other top right-handed-hitting corner options. Marcell Ozuna and Nicholas Castellanos will presumably seek a fair bit more money, but neither is overwhelmingly better than Garcia. Yasiel Puig is also an option, but some organizations may not have interest in his hijinks. (The Marlins seem like a great fit for Puig but for his rocky history with manager Don Mattingly.)