The Marlins are known to be looking for more outfield help, with Kyle Schwarber already reported as one of the names on the team’s radar. Barry Jackson and Craig Mish of The Miami Herald shed some more light on the Marlins’ pursuit, writing that Schwarber is looking for a three-year contract worth around $60MM.
Such a deal would top the Marlins’ four-year, $53MM pact with Avisail Garcia in dollars if not years, though it would also fall short of the four years and $70MM MLBTR projected Schwarber to land this winter. Three years and $60MM is still a healthy sum, particularly for a team with Miami’s traditionally limited payrolls, yet the Marlins have already shown a greater willingness to spend in order to upgrade their offense.
The Phillies are another team that has been linked to Schwarber, while the Red Sox and Nationals (the slugger’s two most recent clubs) have also expressed some level of interest in a reunion. Since several of the top free-agent bats have already landed new deals, Schwarber’s status as one of the top hitters available has only risen, so it’s fair to assume that other teams have already shown interest or will do so once the post-lockout dust settles. It remains to be seen whether Schwarber’s market will develop to the point where the Marlins or any other club eventually puts a four-year offer on the table.
Of other outfielders linked to the Marlins, Nick Castellanos “is viewed as too expensive,” while Eddie Rosario is another consideration if Schwarber is also ultimately deemed to be beyond Miami’s price range. Recent reports indicated that Castellanos is looking to score a seven- or eight-year contract, and even if that is an aim-high projection that could be lowered post-lockout, it would still seem like Castellanos might not be a fit for the Fish. Additionally, signing Castellanos have a further cost in the form of draft pick compensation, since he rejected the Reds’ qualifying offer.
The Marlins could possibly avoid the free agent route entirely by landing an outfielder in a trade, as before the lockout, Jackson and Mish note that Miami was in “ongoing discussions with one American League team.” The in-house fallback plan would be to have Brian Anderson play right field and the newly-acquired Joey Wendle take over as the everyday third baseman, but the Fish would prefer to have an established outfielder on the grass rather than Anderson, even if Anderson has looked at home as an outfielder. Anderson had a 7.9 UZR/150 and +6 Defensive Runs Saved over 1223 innings as a right fielder in 2018-19, but is also coming off an injury-plagued 2021 season.
Miami’s offseason pursuits led them to consider such players as Starling Marte, Manny Pina, and Yan Gomes, with the first two receiving contract offers. For Marte, the Marlins and two other teams made four-year offers worth roughly $60MM, and according to Jackson/Mish, Miami was prepared to spend a little more to bring Marte back to South Beach. Marte’s camp wanted something around a $70MM payday, however, and ended up topping that number handily with the $78MM over four years that Marte received from the Mets.
Pina was another player the Marlins lost to a division rival, as while the Fish offered Pina $4MM on a one-year deal, the Braves doubled that offer and signed Pina for two years and $8MM. However, the Marlins instead landed a longer-term target in Jacob Stallings, acquiring the backstop from the Pirates for a three-player trade package. Interestingly, Jackson/Mish write that the Red Sox came very close to trading for Stallings, which would have indicated the Sox were ready to move on from Christian Vazquez either next winter (2022 is Vazquez’s last year under contract) or perhaps this offseason if a trade partner could have been found.