The Marlins are intent on adding offense, and are exploring both the free agent and trade routes to accomplish this goal. On the open market, the Marlins have shown interest in Avisail Garcia (as per The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson) and they have spoken with agent Scott Boras, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Boras represents any number of top hitters in this year’s free agent market, though Heyman observes that outfielder Nick Castellanos is from Miami, even if it’s “hard to see [the Marlins] affording him.”
Using MLBTR’s Top 50 Free Agents list as reference, we have Castellanos pegged for a five-year, $115MM deal, not to mention the additional draft pick compensation the Marlins would need to surrender since Castellanos has rejected the Reds’ qualifying offer. Garcia is projected for three years and $36MM, which much more realistic even for a Marlins team that has expressed a willingness to flex a bit more financial muscle this winter. As it happens, our Garcia estimate is pretty close to the three-year, $30MM extension offer the Marlins floated at Starling Marte last summer, so that could give some hint as to what the team is prepared to spend.
Garcia is less expensive and is a better defender than Castellanos, though Castellanos has a more consistent track record as a hitter. Garcia does happen to be coming off one of the best seasons of his career, after hitting .262/.330/.490 with a personal-best 29 homers in 515 PA with the Brewers. While Garcia alone wouldn’t elevate Miami’s lineup, Heyman believes the Marlins could “acquire multiple hitters that cost somewhat less” than one big splashy acquisition like Castellanos.
The opportunity also exists for the Marlins to trade from their pitching surplus, and MLB Network’s Jon Morosi tweets that the Blue Jays are one of the teams who have been in touch with Miami. Heyman identifies Pablo Lopez and Elieser Hernandez as the Marlins’ “most available arms,” likely in the context of Lopez and Hernandez being the type of big league-ready pitchers that would appeal to a win-now team like Toronto.
Since the Jays have a catching surplus and the Marlins have a need behind the plate, Alejandro Kirk seems like a logical trade possibility, Morosi opines. Kirk may have the most trade value of any Blue Jays catcher besides star prospect Gabriel Moreno, and Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith writes that Moreno “appears extremely unlikely” to be dealt anywhere. Toronto could also be a fit for the Marlins’ outfield needs, as Nicholson-Smith notes that the Jays have been getting a lot of interest in their catchers and outfielders at the GM Meetings.