Who do you see the Marlins attempting to acquire via trades or free agency in the offseason? Also, which player or players currently in the Minor Leagues do you see potentially making their MLB debut next season?
With the salaries of Starlin Castro ($11 million) and Martín PradoMartí ($15 million) coming off the books, I see the Marlins having some payroll flexibility to be more active in the free-agent market than they were this year. I don’t necessarily expect Miami to make a major push for high-profile players, those seeking more than $100 million over at least four seasons. But I could see a push for someone like White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu. I hear Abreu is happy in Chicago, and he may not want to leave. But he would be a candidate to consider. A name to watch for is Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak, a left-handed hitter who may be a nice fit for Miami.
There will be several Minor Leaguers in line to make their MLB debut in 2020, including top prospect Sixto Sanchez, Jesus Sanchez (No. 3), Monte Harrison (No. 6), and Edward Cabrera (No. 7).
When will we see Pablo LópezPablo Ló again? And will José UreñaJosé Ureñ end up in the bullpen?
The hope is Lopez and Urena are both active in September. Lopez (right shoulder strain), currently is on rehab assignment with Triple-A New Orleans. Once cleared, he is expected to rejoin the rotation. Urena (herniated disk) was Miami’s Opening Day starter, but he could find himself in a relief role when he is back. He’s started a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Jupiter. One reason Urena is likely headed to a relief role is because of the time he's missed, it's more difficult to build him up to 90 or 95 pitches.
Who is a prospect not on the updated Marlins’ Top 30 list to keep an eye on for the future?
A couple of players who have caught my eye are Gulf Coast League left-hander Luis Palacios and Class A Clinton first baseman Evan Edwards.
Palacios is a Venezuelan native who has yet to experience a loss in three professional seasons. Since 2017, he is 13-0 with a 1.52 ERA in 147 2/3 innings. This year, he is 1-0 with a 1.21 ERA in nine appearances, with four starts.
Edwards was a fourth-round pick from North Carolina State in the 2019 Draft, and after playing in five games at Class A Short-Season Batavia, he was promoted to Clinton. Another left-handed hitter, Edwards fits the mold being a quality hitter with power potential. In 58 total Minor League games, he's hitting .263/.348/.406 with six home runs, 11 doubles, one triple and 33 RBIs.
Is there any talk internally about the possibility of the Marlins offering Brian Anderson an extension?
The fact Anderson isn’t arbitration eligible until 2021, and won’t qualify for free agency until ‘24, decreases the urgency to do a long-term deal right now. That said, even with four more years of club control, Anderson is a core player who is getting better. In my opinion, he is the top candidate the Marlins should look to extend, for several reasons. He’s homegrown (third round pick in 2014), and he has bought in to what the club is building. He can play third base or right field, or both. If the Marlins offered, say, five years at $50 million, they might be able to get a deal done.
Where does Jon Berti fit in next year? And similarly, Harold Ramirez?
Berti may be the biggest surprise this season for the Marlins at the big league level. You don’t often find a 29-year-old rookie who seemingly came out of nowhere and produced. The front office did a terrific job getting Berti, who played in four big league games with the Blue Jays in 2018. Now, with Miguel Rojas (right hamstring strain) on the injured list, Berti is playing regularly at shortstop. He also can play third base, second and center field. He is among the fastest players in the league, and is doing a nice job in the leadoff spot. He has a chance to stick with the club in 2020 in a utility role.
Ramirez, who also was in the Blue Jays’ system last year, is showing he can perform at the big league level. He can hit, and he may be the frontrunner to be Miami’s Opening Day left fielder in 2020.