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Marlins make big splash, ink Mesa brothers

No. 1 international prospect Victor Victor signed for $5.25 million
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- The Marlins have become major players on the international stage.

After nearly two decades of not dabbling significantly in Latin American prospects, the Marlins on Monday announced the signings of Cuban outfield prospects Victor Victor Mesa and Victor Mesa Jr., sending a signal to the industry that Miami intends to be active on the international front.

MIAMI -- The Marlins have become major players on the international stage.

After nearly two decades of not dabbling significantly in Latin American prospects, the Marlins on Monday announced the signings of Cuban outfield prospects Victor Victor Mesa and Victor Mesa Jr., sending a signal to the industry that Miami intends to be active on the international front.

The brothers were introduced at a news conference attended by Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter and president of baseball operations Michael Hill.

Video: Derek Jeter discusses Marlins signing Mesa brothers

"From Day One, we stressed as an organization, the importance of building this organization with depth in the Minor League system, and the need to invest in the international market," Jeter said. "Today, we have done just that. We have had the opportunity to sign two of the top prospects in the international class."

• Marlins changed their Twitter name to celebrate

Victor Victor, 22, is considered to be Double-A ready, but the Marlins will wait to see how he performs in big league camp in Spring Training before deciding where he will start off in 2019. This offseason, he may play winter ball in the Dominican Republic.

Video: Victor Victor Mesa discusses signing with Marlins

Victor Jr., 17, has been a switch-hitter, who likely will hit exclusively left-handed in pro ball. He likely will get some playing time in a few weeks with the Marlins' Dominican instructional league squad.

According to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez, Victor Victor will receive about $5.25 million, and his younger brother agreed to $1 million.

"Since they left Cuba, it's just been training for them," Hill said. "We're excited that they're signed now. We're going to continue the discussion of what's next for them, because it's late October now. We do have our Dominican instructional league that just started, and the Dominican Winter League is going on. We still have to decide what's next, but the first part of it was making them Marlins."

Victor Victor is ranked No. 1 on the international prospects list by MLB Pipeline.

Video: Top International Prospects: Victor Victor Mesa, OF

Signing the Mesa brothers is the Marlins' biggest international free-agent splash since securing the services of Miguel Cabrera as a 16-year-old from Venezuela in 1999. Cabrera came to terms for around $2 million, and he's gone on to build Hall of Fame-worthy credentials.

"I'm just very proud to be part of the organization, and be part of the city," Victor Victor said through an interpreter. "All the culture here is one of the things I like the most."

For the Marlins, the signings are expected to help the organization on and off the field, in a market that has a large Cuban community. But Jeter added that ultimately, it is about putting a winner on the field.

"They're both great players," Jeter said. "Obviously, on the business side [it helps], but the bottom line is we feel like we got two of the top players on the international market. We're going to invest in international talent. We're not just doing it to appease fans. We're doing it because we want these players to come up and perform and help us win.

Exactly what to expect from the Mesas is still relatively unknown, because the two departed from Cuba in May, and there isn't a long history of evaluations on either of them.

Victor Victor batted .354 with seven home runs and 40 stolen bases in the 2016-17 season for Serie Nacional in Cuba. In the '17 World Baseball Classic, he was 3-for-7 with two doubles.

Victor Jr., hit .320 (8-for-25) for the Cuban 18U team in the 2017 World Cup.

Video: Hill discusses impact of Mesa brothers on Marlins

What is known is that the Mesa brothers have strong baseball bloodlines. Their father, Victor Mesa Sr., was a star outfielder in Cuba for nearly two decades. He's also been a longtime coach on the island.

"I think this was a family decision," Hill said. "You're talking about two very talented brothers. You could see that the dad was very proud of both, and we're very happy we were able to get both."

The general opinion is if Victor Victor had been in the June MLB Draft, he would have been considered a first-round talent.

Instagram from @victormesajr10: A legend of baseball 🙏⚾️ #mikelowell

On Friday night, Victor Victor Mesa posted a photo on Instagram of himself and his brother sitting in the Marlins' clubhouse. The two held the Cuban flag, and behind them were white Marlins jerseys, sporting their names and the No. 32.

Instagram from @victorvictormesa: 5 de octubre 2018Representando 🇨 #victorvictormesa

The picture was taken on Oct. 5 when the Mesa brothers and fellow Cuban prospect Sandy Gaston held their showcase for more than 75 scouts at Marlins Park.

To secure their services, the Marlins made three trades in October to acquire international bonus pool money. Earlier in the month, they dealt Minor League right-hander Ryan Lillie to the Reds for $750,000 and a few days later sent reliever Kyle Barraclough to the Nationals for $1 million.

Video: Victor Mesa Jr. talks about signing with Marlins

Last Tuesday, prospects Adonis Gaston and Brayan De Paula were dealt to the Astros for $500,000.

The three trades boosted Miami from $4.3 million of international pool money to around $6.55 million. Only the Orioles had about the same amount of bonus money to spend.

With Miami's large Cuban community, the Marlins sold to the Mesa brothers that the market was a natural fit for them.

"When I was doing the showcase, I was thinking this could someday be my park," Victor Jr. said in Spanish.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins

Miami Miami: Marlins update Twitter

The Marlins announced on Monday the signings of Cuban outfield prospects Victor Victor Mesa and his brother, Victor Mesa Jr. Victor Victor is the No. 1 ranked international prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. This is big news to the team. So big, in fact, they wanted to make sure its Twitter account reflected it. 

Inbox: Will Realmuto be with Marlins in '19?

Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers questions from Miami fans
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

If J.T. Realmuto doesn't sign an extension, will he be traded [next] season or will the Marlins wait until 2020 to trade him?
-- @patrick_rotella

What's next for Realmuto will be the top Hot Stove storyline for the Marlins, because many believe the All-Star catcher will not agree to an extension. In my opinion, for that to change, the Marlins must present to the 27-year-old a path to contending within the next two years. Otherwise, they probably should look to make a trade.

If J.T. Realmuto doesn't sign an extension, will he be traded [next] season or will the Marlins wait until 2020 to trade him?
-- @patrick_rotella

What's next for Realmuto will be the top Hot Stove storyline for the Marlins, because many believe the All-Star catcher will not agree to an extension. In my opinion, for that to change, the Marlins must present to the 27-year-old a path to contending within the next two years. Otherwise, they probably should look to make a trade.

Submit a question to the Marlins inbox

Realmuto has two more years left in arbitration before he qualifies for free agency. He is reaching his prime at a time the Marlins appear to still be a few years away from seriously contending. But, if the team expresses to him that by 2020 it can be knocking on the door for a playoff spot, and the contract offer is right, then perhaps Realmuto commits long-term to Miami.

That said, the Marlins likely will still explore trade scenarios this offseason to see what may be out there. Like last offseason, if something makes sense, the front office will consider it. Either way, Realmuto promises to be a prominent name to follow once free agency and trades pick up after the World Series. Potential trading partners could be the Yankees, who have said they will keep Gary Sanchez, Astros and Nationals.

Who's the next prospect you foresee being someone worth watching aside from the ones you have mentioned this year?
-- @rla1999

I'm going to give you two right-handed relievers, and both are currently pitching in the Arizona Fall League. Keep an eye on Tommy Eveld and Chad Smith.

Acquired from the D-backs in July for Brad Ziegler, Eveld is a 6-foot-5, 24-year-old. He's a towering figure with a mid-90s fastball. In some ways, he draws comparisons to current Miami reliever Drew Steckenrider, a rangy, right-hander with a heavy fastball. Eveld likely will open next year at Triple-A New Orleans. His combined Minor League numbers were a 1.07 ERA in 50 1/3 innings with 61 strikeouts and 11 walks.

Smith, 23, was an 11th-round pick in 2016 by the Marlins from the University of Mississippi. He had 45 strikeouts in 35 1/3 innings at Class A Advanced Jupiter. On Wednesday night in the Arizona Fall League, his fastball was between 94-99 mph.

Any word on the potential logo change and what it will mean for the 2019 season?
-- @luisrdavi

We've known for some time that Marlins ownership has been planning to rebrand the logo and uniforms for 2019, and an unveiling could take place sometime next month. In many ways, this was an evaluation year for the new ownership, as it assessed every department from top to bottom. As we saw, orange was largely phased out after Spring Training. The team didn't wear the color once in the regular season.

Video: Michael Hill on the Marlins building for the future

An official rebranding is expected sometime in November, after the World Series and before Thanksgiving. Exact details remain to be seen, but the Marlins have been gathering feedback from fans through their Dimelo (Talk to Me) program. The input from fans is being factored into whatever the final logo will be, including colors, design and what type of font is used. Many fans are wondering if teal, which was prominent in the early years of the franchise, will make a comeback. I wouldn't be surprised if it does, but I don't know if it will be the primary color.

Will the Marlins look into the possibility of signing Manny Machado?
-- @bsschiller

As much as I'd like to see the Marlins bring in more players from South Florida, it's also important that they are the right fit. Despite being a Miami native, Machado will hit free agency likely wanting to be on a contender, not with a team in the second year of a building process.

The timing isn't right for the organization to pursue a free agent expected to sign for more than $250 million. Such a deal is way too risky for the Marlins, who are still in the process of trying to work out a new local television deal with Fox Sports Florida. Also, a naming rights partner isn't expected until 2020, at the earliest. So, there aren't those revenue streams at this point to justify spending so heavily on one All-Star, when the club is more than a player away from seriously contending.

[Is] Drew Steckenrider the early favorite for closer?
-- @DavidMarcillo77

I'd say that's a safe assumption, especially when you consider Kyle Barraclough was traded to the Nationals earlier this month. Dealing Barraclough opened the door for Steckenrider to at least be considered the front-runner to close heading into Spring Training. I wouldn't be surprised if the club also pursues a veteran who has either closed or pitched in high-leverage situations in the past. But I don't anticipate that being a pricy free agent.

The Marlins aren't knocking on the door to being a playoff team right now, and allocating resources on a closer is not a priority. Steckenrider is a strike thrower, and he misses bats. He had a 10.30 strikeouts-per-nine-innings rate this year. Adam Conley is another possibility, but he is a lefty and may be more valuable in a setup role, because he can pitch multiple innings.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, J.T. Realmuto, Drew Steckenrider

Harrison picks up three hits in AFL

MLB.com

Monte Harrison made a splash at Surprise Stadium on Monday afternoon when he delivered a two-run single in the top of the seventh inning to blow open the game for the Salt River Rafters.

It was one of three hits on the day that Harrison would collect for the Rafters. Salt River led the Surprise Saguaros 5-4 before Harrison's hit, but the Marlins' No. 2 ranked prospect offered the insurance the Rafters were seeking to put the Saguaros away.

Monte Harrison made a splash at Surprise Stadium on Monday afternoon when he delivered a two-run single in the top of the seventh inning to blow open the game for the Salt River Rafters.

It was one of three hits on the day that Harrison would collect for the Rafters. Salt River led the Surprise Saguaros 5-4 before Harrison's hit, but the Marlins' No. 2 ranked prospect offered the insurance the Rafters were seeking to put the Saguaros away.

Gameday

2018 Arizona Fall League rosters

Salt River tacked on one more run in the seventh, which would be their last score for the game, but it was all they needed, as they would go on to beat Surprise 8-5.

Harrison recognizes that the Fall League offers him the chance to play against some of the top prospects in baseball, but the 23-year-old remains unfazed by the talent inside the other dugout.

"If you can't create self-confidence then you can't play this game," said Harrison. "There's a lot of failure in this game. ... It's always been about, "How can I get myself ready for the game?'"

Harrison's confidence may be two-fold, because on the same day that the center fielder delivered with a big game, his Major League team delivered with a big hit of its own. The Marlins announced the signing of 22-year-old Victor Victor Mesa, the Marlins' No. 1 ranked prospect (the honor previously belonged to Harrison), and his 17-year-old brother, Victor Mesa Jr.

"The Marlins have a bright future for sure," Harrison said. "They seem like good dudes who know how to play baseball. So we're going to bring them into the organization, we're trying to make them feel like [they are] at home. We're going to try to win a championship, and that's what we preach about."

The Marlins acquired Harrison earlier this year in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers, and now the organizations hopes his talent, along with the newly-minted Mesa brothers, catapults Miami to a new era of baseball.

Sam Hilliard and Josh Fuentes held their own in representing the bright potential that the Colorado Rockies farm system has to offer. Hilliard, the Rockies' No. 9-ranked prospect, went 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Fuentes went 2-for-4 with a homer and matched Hilliard with two RBIs of his own.

The win came in convincing fashion for the Rafters, who got off to a hot start when they scored two runs in the first inning. For the first six innings, the Saguaros offense kept pace with the Rafters, largely due to a monstrous game from Julio Pablo Martinez. Martinez received a resounding applause from the crowd in the ninth inning, when he hit a double to complete his cycle. The 22-year-old Cuban native went 4-for-4 on the night with two RBIs.

Isaac Colindres is a senior journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Each team's most exciting postseason win

MLB.com @williamfleitch

I don't know about you, but I'm still shaking from Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Red Sox and Astros on Wednesday night -- an epic game with constant twists and turns, controversies and an unforgettable ending. That's the reason postseason baseball is so electrifying, and we'll be lucky to have another game even close to it this October.

But the crazy question is this even among the five most memorable Red Sox postseason victories? They've had a lot.

I don't know about you, but I'm still shaking from Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Red Sox and Astros on Wednesday night -- an epic game with constant twists and turns, controversies and an unforgettable ending. That's the reason postseason baseball is so electrifying, and we'll be lucky to have another game even close to it this October.

But the crazy question is this even among the five most memorable Red Sox postseason victories? They've had a lot.

Thus, today at The Thirty, inspired by that game, we're taking a look at the most exciting postseason win of the divisional era (since 1969) for each MLB team. This isn't necessarily the biggest win or most important win. It's just the most viscerally exciting one. Every team's got at least one. Some have plenty.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: 1993 World Series, Game 6: Blue Jays 8, Phillies 6
There's actually a temptation here to go with Game 4 of this series, when the Blue Jays scored six runs in the eighth inning to take a 15-14 lead that would become the final score … but come on, a ninth-inning comeback that ends in a World Series title has to be the pick.

Video: '93 WS, Gm 6 PHI@TOR: Carter's walk-off WS homer

Orioles: 1969 ALCS, Game 2: Orioles 1, Twins 0 (11 innings)
How different was baseball 50 years ago? Orioles pitcher Dave McNally threw an 11-inning shutout in the first-ever ALCS. The Orioles won on a walkoff single by Curt Motton, who had 89 career RBIs over eight seasons. He got the hit off Ron Perranoski, the game's first reliever, who came in with two outs in the 11th.

Rays: 2008 ALCS, Game 2: Rays 9, Red Sox 8 (11 innings)
After losing Game 1 at home to the defending champs, the Rays fell behind 2-0 and 3-2, blew leads of 5-3 and 8-6, yet somehow hung in through 11 innings -- thanks in part to secret weapon rookie David Price -- before winning on Melvin Upton Jr.'s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded. The Rays would take a 3-1 series lead before finally eking out the series in Game 7.

Red Sox: 2004 ALCS, Game 4: Red Sox 6, Yankees 4 (12 innings)
It's not like the Game 5 14-inning marathon wasn't a stunner either, but the Dave Roberts steal is going to live longer than all of us.

Video: 2004 ALCS Gm 4: Roberts sets up, scores tying run

Yankees: 2001 World Series, Game 5: Yankees 3, D-backs 2 (12 innings)
So many games this series to pick from, but this is the one that had Yankee Stadium roaring the loudest.

Video: 2001WS Gm5: Brosius ties the game in the 9th

AL CENTRAL

Indians: 1995 World Series, Game 3: Indians 7, Braves 6 (11 innings)
It ended with Eddie Murray's walk-off single in the 11th, but it was wild long before that, with the Braves scoring three in the eighth to take their first lead of the game and the Indians tying it right back up in the next inning.

Royals: 2014 AL Wild Card Game: Royals 9, A's 8 (12 innings)
No Denkinger Game here. The Royals were toast in this game, trailing 7-3 headed into the bottom of the eighth. They scored three that inning, followed by the vroom-vroom Jarrod Dyson steal in the ninth that helped score the tying run. The A's then took the lead again in the top of the 12th, but the Royals won it in bottom half on Salvador Perez's single. They would win their next seven postseason games en route to the World Series.

Video: AL WC: Royals advance to ALDS on Perez's walk-off hit

Tigers: 1972 ALCS, Game 4: Tigers 4, A's 3 (10 innings)
No one remembers this game, mainly because the Tigers ended up losing the series, but the A's scored two in the top of the 10th to take a 3-1 lead. Detroit came back, largely because of an error by second baseman Gene Tenace, and won it on a walkoff single from Jim Northrup. This wild 10-inning postseason game still finished in three hours, four minutes, by the way.

Twins: 1991 World Series, Game 7: Twins 1, Braves 0 (10 innings)
Obviously.

White Sox: 2005 World Series, Game 3: White Sox 7, Astros 5 (14 innings)
Every game in this series was great -- it's the closest four-game sweep you'll ever see -- but this was the epic 14-inning game with Geoff Blum's homer in the top of the 14th that barely hung on. Forty-three players were used in this game.

AL WEST

Angels: 2002 World Series, Game 6: Angels 6, Giants 5
The Russ Ortiz keep-the-ball game, the Angels were down 5-0 and facing elimination heading into the bottom of the seventh. Two three-run innings later, they forced a Game 7 and won their first (and only) title.

Astros: 2017 World Series, Game 5: Astros 13, Dodgers 12 (10 innings)
We still can't believe this game happened.

Video: WS2017 Gm5: Astros come together to steal Game 5

Athletics: 1973 World Series, Game 3: A's 3, Mets 2 (11 innings)
It can be tough to pick one game when a team has lost 11 of its last 12 postseason series, so we'll go back to the 1970s, when the A's came back from a 2-0 deficit to win in the 11th inning in a game that featured Reggie Jackson, Tom Seaver, Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers, Sal Bando, Rusty Staub, Bud Harrelson and Willie Mays.

Mariners: 1995 ALDS, Game 5: Mariners 6, Yankees 5 (11 innings)
We all just remember the walk-off now, but this game had five lead changes leading up to the final wild play.

Rangers: 2011 ALCS, Game 2: Rangers 7, Tigers 3 (11 innings)
This series, strangely, had two different extra-inning games that the Rangers won by four runs. This was the most thrilling one, ending on Nelson Cruz's grand slam off poor Ryan Perry.

Video: ALCS Gm2: Cruz wins it with a walk-off slam in 11th

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves: 1992 National League Championship Series, Game 7: Braves 3, Pirates 2
Honestly, Pirates fans, I'm sorry to even bring this up.

Marlins: 2003 NLCS, Game 6: Marlins 8, Cubs 3
Sure, to Cubs fans this is a nightmare, but from the Marlins' perspective, this is one of the most amazing postseason comebacks of all time. (Sure, the answer here is probably Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, but that'd be too easy.

Mets: 1986 World Series, Game 6: Mets 6, Red Sox 5 (10 innings)
Authors have written novels specifically about this game.

Nationals: 2012 NLDS, Game 4: Nationals 2, Cardinals 1
A taut, well-pitched game that ended in Jayson Werth's big blast, which everyone thought would send the Nationals to the NLCS the next night (it didn't).

Phillies: 2008 NLCS, Game 4: Phillies 7, Dodgers 5
If you needed to explain the appeal of baseball to an alien, showing them the Matt Stairs homer in the eighth inning of this game would be a great place to start.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Stairs wallops a two-run homer to right

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: 1982 ALCS, Game 5: Brewers 4, Angels 3
The first World Series trip was clinched by Cecil Cooper's staggering single in the seventh inning of a decisive game.

Cardinals: 2011 World Series, Game 6: Cardinals 10, Rangers 9 (11 innings)
The second-easiest call on this entire list.

Cubs: 2016 World Series, Game 7: Cubs 8, Indians 7 (10 innings)
The easiest call on this entire list.

Video: Must C Championship: Cubs win the 2016 World Series

Pirates: 1979 NLCS, Game 2: Pirates 3, Reds 2 (10 innings)
The day after an extra-inning game, the Pirates played another one -- a back-and-forth battle in which the Pirates took the lead on Dave Parker's RBI single in the 10th and held on with Don Robinson in the bottom half.

Reds: 1975 World Series, Game 7: Reds 4, Red Sox 3
The dirty secret is that this game was just as exciting as Game 6, but nobody talks about it nearly as much, because more people are from the Boston area than the Cincinnati area.

NL WEST

D-backs: 2001 World Series, Game 7: D-backs 3, Yankees 2
There are a shocking number of blown saves by Mariano Rivera on this list.

Video: Must C Classic: Gonzalez walks off, wins World Series

Dodgers: 1977 NLCS, Game 3: Dodgers 6, Phillies 5
The Kirk Gibson moment is the great moment, but this one, which featured a wild three-run comeback in the top of the ninth with two outs, may have been even more of a nail-biter.

Giants: 2014 NLDS, Game 2: Giants 2, Nationals 1 (18 innings)
It seems impossible that a postseason game could go 18 innings. The hero of this game remains Yusmiero Petit, who sneaked in a one-hitter over six innings before the Giants won it in the 18th.

Padres: 1984 NLCS, Game 5: Padres 6, Cubs 3
The Cubs had a 3-0 lead headed into the bottom of the sixth, but Leon Durham's error opened the floodgates, and the Padres were off to their first World Series.

Rockies: 2007 NL West Tiebreaker Game: Rockies 9, Padres 8 (13 innings)
Not technically a postseason game, but it doesn't matter, because Matt Holliday didn't touch the plate, and it didn't matter.

Video: Holliday scores the game-winning run

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

Marlins HR sculpture to be relocated

MLB.com

The Marlins will remove the seven-story "Homer" sculpture from Marlins Park. The Art in Public Places board of Miami-Dade County unanimously voted Tuesday in favor of the Marlins' plan to relocate the colorful, mechanical artwork to a location outside the ballpark, a source told MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. The Miami Herald was the first to report the news.

The sculpture, which operates after each Marlins home run, will now anchor a new art walk outside the stadium, and the Marlins will replace it with a new standing-room area beyond the outfield wall near center field. Tickets for the area would be aimed at younger fans with tickets priced less than $12.

The Marlins will remove the seven-story "Homer" sculpture from Marlins Park. The Art in Public Places board of Miami-Dade County unanimously voted Tuesday in favor of the Marlins' plan to relocate the colorful, mechanical artwork to a location outside the ballpark, a source told MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. The Miami Herald was the first to report the news.

The sculpture, which operates after each Marlins home run, will now anchor a new art walk outside the stadium, and the Marlins will replace it with a new standing-room area beyond the outfield wall near center field. Tickets for the area would be aimed at younger fans with tickets priced less than $12.

Public art is protected in the county, and the Marlins argued that the sculpture can be enjoyed more in a public place, rather than only by ticket-buying fans. The plan received opposition from Red Grooms, the New York-based artist who designed the sculpture, which complicated matters because it risked devaluing the piece if Grooms disavowed it. The Marlins agreed to pay the county up to $2.5 million if Grooms opts to remove his name from the work, per the Herald.

Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter reportedly met with Grooms last month when the club was in New York to play the Mets.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Miami Marlins

The top pending free agent for all 30 teams

MLB.com @williamfleitch

With trade season in the past, we can now look forward to two wonderful baseball things: the postseason and the Hot Stove. The fun thing about the Hot Stove is that, unlike the postseason, everyone gets to be involved. Whether your team won the World Series or finished 50-plus games out of first place, you're a part of the Hot Stove. The offseason is for everyone.

This week, we take a look at the top pending free agent for every team heading into this offseason. Some of these players will re-sign with their old team, some of them will be the object of bidding wars, but all of them have a decision to make. As do their former employers.

With trade season in the past, we can now look forward to two wonderful baseball things: the postseason and the Hot Stove. The fun thing about the Hot Stove is that, unlike the postseason, everyone gets to be involved. Whether your team won the World Series or finished 50-plus games out of first place, you're a part of the Hot Stove. The offseason is for everyone.

This week, we take a look at the top pending free agent for every team heading into this offseason. Some of these players will re-sign with their old team, some of them will be the object of bidding wars, but all of them have a decision to make. As do their former employers.

For the sake of discussion here, we are counting players who have an option to opt out of their contract, if we consider them more likely to do so than not.

American League East

Blue Jays
Marco Estrada
Estrada is having the worst year of his career, and has particularly struggled since June -- though lingering back soreness might have a little bit to do with that. He was an All-Star only two years ago.

Video: TOR@MIA: Estrada K's Brinson on foul tip

Orioles
Adam Jones
He obviously loves it in Baltimore, but it might get a little ugly there the next few years. He still has plenty to offer a competitive team.

Video: TOR@BAL: Jones cranks a grand slam to left in the 5th

Rays
Carlos Gomez
Gomez has had his worst season since his Twins days, but someone will surely give him a shot as a fourth outfielder.

Video: TB@ATL: Gomez plates Wendle with a single to left

Red Sox
Craig Kimbrel
He has talked about how much he'd like to return to the Red Sox. But considering how good he has been, once again, they'll have to pay for the privilege.

Video: TB@BOS: Kimbrel retires Kiermaier, earns 37th save

Yankees
Andrew McCutchen
McCutchen will be one of the most fascinating free-agency cases this offseason. He could make himself some money with a big postseason.

Video: DET@NYY: McCutchen makes the catch in right

AL Central

Indians
Andrew Miller
Michael Brantley and Cody Allen would also have been options. But even after a somewhat down year, the way baseball is played now, someone's going to pay through the nose for Miller.

Video: LAA@CLE: Miller fires a fastball past Young for the K

Royals
Alcides Escobar
Considering the Royals' devotion to Escobar over the years, they might as well sign him for five more seasons at this point.

Video: DET@KC: Escobar lays out for the stop, nabs Iglesias

Tigers
Jose Iglesias
Since Victor Martinez has said he's going to retire, we'll go with the slick-fielding shortstop.

Video: MIN@DET: Iglesias drives 2-run smash to left

Twins
Joe Mauer
His massive contract is finally expiring. But by all accounts, he and the team look like they'd be happy to see him back next year.

Video: OAK@MIN: Mauer moves to 2nd in Twins all-time hits

White Sox
James Shields
Though Shields hasn't been that bad this year, it's difficult to see the White Sox picking up his $16 million option.

Video: CWS@NYY: Shields tosses 5 2/3 frames of 2-run ball

AL West

Angels
Jim Johnson
He's still hanging around, and is still a pretty effective relief pitcher. The other major free agent, Garrett Richards, had Tommy John surgery and won't be back until 2020.

Video: KC@LAA: Johnson fans Moustakas to retire side in 5th

Astros
Dallas Keuchel
The former AL Cy Young Award winner will be one of the more fascinating names on the market this summer (as will his teammate, Charlie Morton).

Video: HOU@LAA: Keuchel tosses 7 strong frames vs. Angels

A's
Jonathan Lucroy
The A's would surely be happy to bring him back on another one-year contract, but someone else might be willing to go longer at this point.

Video: MIN@OAK: Lucroy cranks a 3-run homer to left field

Mariners
Nelson Cruz
Thirty-eight years old or not, every team could use a guy who hits at least 35 homers every year.

Video: SEA@OAK: Cruz crushes a solo homer to left-center

Rangers
Adrian Beltre
The future Hall of Famer has said he wants to return to Texas in 2019, but he'll have suitors out there.

Video: MIN@TEX: Beltre clubs solo homer, strikes karate pose

National League East

Braves
Nick Markakis
He picked an excellent time to have the best season of an already excellent career.

Video: TB@ATL: Markakis dives to rob Bauers in the 9th

Marlins
None

Seriously. Now that they traded Brad Ziegler at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Marlins have no pending free agents -- though that could change when the 40-man roster gets tighter this offseason. But this is a good thing. The Marlins are laying a foundation.

Mets
Devin Mesoraco
He has been a handy player since he came over from the Reds, rebuilding his value enough that he might get a nice deal this offseason.

Video: NYM@PHI: Mesoraco clubs a solo homer to left field

Nationals
Bryce Harper
You might have heard a little bit about his pending free agency.

Video: WSH@NYM: Harper clears bases with pinch-hit double

Phillies
Wilson Ramos
Fitting for a team that's just starting to build, its only major free agents (Ramos and Asdrubal Cabrera) were Trade Deadline acquisitions.

Video: WSH@PHI: Ramos cuts the lead with RBI double in 9th

NL Central

Brewers
Joakim Soria
It's up in the air whether or not the Brewers will pick up his $10 million option this offseason. He's just off the disabled list, and it's not like the Brewers don't have plenty of bullpen options. (You could also say Mike Moustakas for this, but given the premium teams are putting on their bullpen these days -- and the fact that Moose struggled to get a multiyear deal last year -- Soria could end up being more in demand.)

Video: MIL@CIN: Soria fans Dixon, earns 1st win of season

Cardinals
Bud Norris
Norris, along with Jordan Hicks, has been the most stable part of a Cardinals bullpen, which was once one of the worst in baseball but is now one of the best.

Video: PIT@STL: Norris induces double play to notch the save

Cubs
Daniel Murphy
Every hit he gives the Cubs makes him a little more money this offseason.

Video: CIN@CHC: Murphy smacks a 2-run homer to right-center

Pirates
Jordy Mercer
Mercer feels like he has played for the Pirates since Sid Bream, but it has actually only been since 2012.

Video: PIT@SF: Mercer drives in Freese with an RBI single

Reds
Matt Harvey
One of the teams that could probably use him the most is … Cincinnati.

Video: MIL@CIN: Harvey fans Peralta, the side in the 4th

NL West

D-backs
A.J. Pollock
The D-backs have a ton of pending free agents, but none have been as critical to the team's success -- and will be as desired by other teams -- as Pollock.

Video: SEA@ARI: Pollock gives D-backs lead with 2-run single

Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw and Manny Machado
There's no way we could pick just one of these two -- though Kershaw is no guarantee to actually hit the market. The Dodgers ace can opt out of the final two years and $65 million on his contract this winter. Kershaw can also do what CC Sabathia and the Yankees did in 2011, and renegotiate the contract in lieu of an opt-out.

Video: AR@LAD: Machado barehands slow roller to get the out

Giants
Hunter Pence
It has been another lost season for Pence. But if he can get healthy in the offseason, he might be worth a one-year flyer.

Video: TEX@SF: 'Underpants' lifts pinch-hit homer in 7th

Padres
Freddy Galvis
Galvis hasn't missed a game since 2016, for what it's worth.

Video: COL@SD: Galvis dives to make grab on Story's liner

Rockies
DJ LeMahieu
How much teams factor in Coors Field in their evaluations of LeMahieu -- and he actually has a higher slugging percentage on the road this year than in Denver -- will determine where, and for how much, he'll spend the next few years of his career.

Video: COL@SD: LeMahieu swats a solo homer to left-center

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

Yamamoto continues hot start in Fall League

MLB.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Marlins No. 16 prospect Jordan Yamamato has come a long way.

The right-hander started the season with Class A Advanced Jupiter and was promoted to Double-A Jacksonville before the end of the year. In a stellar 2018 campaign, Yamamoto posted a 1.83 ERA in 68 2/3 innings across three levels in the Minors.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Marlins No. 16 prospect Jordan Yamamato has come a long way.

The right-hander started the season with Class A Advanced Jupiter and was promoted to Double-A Jacksonville before the end of the year. In a stellar 2018 campaign, Yamamoto posted a 1.83 ERA in 68 2/3 innings across three levels in the Minors.

2018 Arizona Fall League rosters

And now, with the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League, he's picked up where he left off a season ago -- getting outs.

Yamamoto tossed three innings against the Mesa Solar Sox on Wednesday night in his second AFL start, allowing one run on two hits and one walk while striking out six. He has given up five hits in six innings so far in the Fall League, allowing only one run and striking out 11.

After the outing, Yamamoto said the reason for his success isn't complicated.

"Just learning to pitch, just learning who I am and what I can do and using that to my advantage," Yamamoto said. "Throwing the ball in the zone, getting hitters out, trusting my defense and let the bats do their work."

Yamamoto's repertoire is focused on movement featuring a fastball topping out in the low 90s. His high tempo is an emphasis as a crafty pitcher who constantly attack hitters.

"I like to work fast. ... I'm not trying to be out here for 3 1/2 hours, I don't think anyone wants to be out here for 3 1/2 hours," Yamamoto said. "A hitter is going to get himself out seven out of 10 times, and that's a Hall of Famer, so my advantage is to throw the ball in the zone and hopefully it all goes well."

Yamamato got some offensive help from the Marlins' No. 1 prospect, Monte Harrison, early in the game.

Harrison sharply grounded a ball up the middle for an RBI single in the first inning and later scored to increase Salt River's lead to 3-0. He added a second RBI single on a ground ball through the left side of the infield in the seventh.

Harrison's two-hit night increased his average to .318, and he now has six RBIs in the Fall League.

Both Yamamoto and Harrison were part of the trade that sent Christian Yelich to the Brewers prior to the start of the season. And both could potentially be a big part of the Marlins' future as the franchise continues to rebuild.

Jake Trybulski is a senior journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Miami Marlins, Jordan Yamamoto

Marlins pass O's in int'l bonus money after trade

Club deals prospects Giron, De Paula to Houston, with eye on signing three Cuban prospects
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- With their sights set on signing three coveted Cuban prospects, the Marlins on Tuesday made yet another trade to increase their chances, dealing Minor Leaguers Adonis Giron and Brayan De Paula to the Astros for $500,000 in international bonus pool money, according to a source.

The latest trade puts the Marlins in a more favorable position to sign Cuban prospects Victor Victor Mesa, his brother, Victor Mesa Jr., and Sandy Gaston. A few weeks ago, MLB granted free agency to all three, and they are eligible to sign at any time.

MIAMI -- With their sights set on signing three coveted Cuban prospects, the Marlins on Tuesday made yet another trade to increase their chances, dealing Minor Leaguers Adonis Giron and Brayan De Paula to the Astros for $500,000 in international bonus pool money, according to a source.

The latest trade puts the Marlins in a more favorable position to sign Cuban prospects Victor Victor Mesa, his brother, Victor Mesa Jr., and Sandy Gaston. A few weeks ago, MLB granted free agency to all three, and they are eligible to sign at any time.

Video: Hill discusses hosting Mesa, Gaston at showcase

Miami has been taking steps to make a clean sweep on all three.

Giron, 17, is an outfielder, and De Paula, 19, is a left-handed pitcher. Both spent 2018 with the Marlins' Dominican Summer League squad.

In the past 10 days, the Marlins have completed three separate trades to boost their international bonus pool allotment.

On Oct. 6, right-handed pitching prospect Ryan Lillie was dealt to the Reds for $750,000, and on Oct. 10, reliever Kyle Barraclough was sent to the Nationals for $1 million.

Before the three trades, the Marlins had the second-most international bonus pool money available at $4.3 million. Only the Orioles, with $6.7 million, have had more. But Tuesday's trade is believed to have pushed the Marlins' figure to above the Orioles'.

Before the Hot Stove season heats up after the World Series, the Marlins have made their immediate offseason priority to increase their international resources.

The Mesa brothers are both outfielders, with Victor Victor, 22, being ranked by MLB Pipeline as the top player on the international market. Gaston, 16, is a right-hander rated No. 16. Victor Jr. is 17 years old.

Earlier this month, the three had a showcase at Marlins Park, where around 75 scouts attended.

The Marlins have made it clear they intend to be active on the international market, and are selling the fact that Miami, with its large Cuban community, is a natural fit for the Mesa brothers and Gaston.

Giron had a slash line of .255/.331/.362 with three home runs and 30 RBIs, and De Paula posted a 2.23 ERA in 15 games with four starts.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins

Key 2018-19 free agents for all 30 MLB teams

MLB.com

An impressive collection of talent will hit the open market when free agency gets underway this offseason, and players are eligible to sign with a new team five days after the conclusion of the World Series. Here is a division-by-division breakdown of the key free agents for all 30 Major League clubs.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

An impressive collection of talent will hit the open market when free agency gets underway this offseason, and players are eligible to sign with a new team five days after the conclusion of the World Series. Here is a division-by-division breakdown of the key free agents for all 30 Major League clubs.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Atlanta Braves
Key free agents: RHP Brad Brach, 1B Lucas Duda, 3B Ryan Flaherty, OF Nick Markakis, C Rene Rivera, RHP Anibal Sanchez, C Kurt Suzuki, LHP Jonny Venters

Markakis was a valuable member of a youthful Braves club in 2018, providing veteran leadership and making the All-Star team for the first time in his career. Atlanta has a stellar farm system that is loaded with pitching prospects, which is one of the reasons why Sanchez is unlikely to be back after his impressive rebound campaign. But without an obvious replacement for Markakis in right field, the door remains open for the soon-to-be 35-year-old to return. Suzuki has formed a productive catching tandem with Tyler Flowers over the past two seasons, but the 35-year-old may be too expensive to bring back for a part-time role.

Miami Marlins
Key free agents: None

The Marlins' roster is replete with players who are at the early stages of their big league careers, putting them years away from free agency. After trading multiple big-name players last offseason, Miami will likely now look to deal veterans Starlin Castro and Martin Prado, as they are owed nearly $27 million combined in 2019.

New York Mets
Key free agents: LHP Jerry Blevins, OF Austin Jackson, C Devin Mesoraco, RHP AJ Ramos, INF Jose Reyes

There's a chance the Mets won't bring back any of these players after they combined for -1.7 Wins Above Replacement in 2018, per FanGraphs. With Travis d'Arnaud, T.J. Rivera and Juan Lagares returning from injuries, the Mets have obvious replacements for Mesoraco, Reyes and Jackson next year. Blevins is more likely to be back than Ramos, whose recovery from right shoulder surgery is expected to extend into next June and possibly longer.

Philadelphia Phillies
Key free agents: 3B/OF Jose Bautista, INF Asdrubal Cabrera, LHP Aaron Loup, C Wilson Ramos

All four players on Philadelphia's list were acquired late in the 2018 campaign as the Phillies made a playoff push that ultimately fell short. Instead of bringing back Ramos, who is sure to fetch a sizable multi-year deal, the Phils may give 25-year-old Jorge Alfaro another chance to show he can handle starting duties behind the plate. Cabrera could be a fallback option if the Phillies are unable to land Manny Machado in free agency.

Washington Nationals
Key free agents: OF Bryce Harper, RHP Jeremy Hellickson, RHP Kelvin Herrera, RHP Greg Holland, 1B Mark Reynolds, C Matt Wieters

Harper will be one of the top free agents available this offseason, and the Nats will likely make a major push to keep him in Washington. The club might also be interested in bringing back Holland and Hellickson, but the two righties are sure to draw interest from other clubs after boosting their value with the Nats. Washington is expected to try to upgrade at the catcher spot, which could leave Wieters looking for a new home.

NL CENTRAL

Chicago Cubs
Key free agents: RHP Jesse Chavez, LHP Jorge De La Rosa, LHP Jaime Garcia (club option), LHP Cole Hamels (club option), OF Jason Heyward (can opt out of his contract), RHP Brandon Kintzler (club and player options), 2B Daniel Murphy, RHP Pedro Strop (club option), LHP Justin Wilson

The Cubs have many decisions to make this offseason, most notably regarding the $20 million club option for Hamels, who was acquired from the Rangers at the non-waiver Trade Deadline and recorded a terrific 2.36 ERA over 12 starts. They also have a bevy of bullpen arms that are set to depart or have club options. The Cubs could try to retain Chavez and Strop, and Murphy could also be back (particularly given Addison Russell's suspension), as president of baseball operations Theo Epstein spoke highly of the second baseman's contributions after his acquisition from the Nationals.

Cincinnati Reds
Key free agents: RHP Matt Harvey

Cincinnati elected to keep Harvey at the non-waiver Trade Deadline instead of flipping him to a contender, and now face a decision about the right-hander, given that he has expressed openness to returning and the Reds will be seeking starting pitching depth this offseason. Outside of Harvey, the Reds don't have any key departures or options to worry about this winter, though Scooter Gennett and Billy Hamilton are due for free agency following the 2019 season.

Milwaukee Brewers
Key free agents: LHP Gio Gonzalez, OF Curtis Granderson, RHP Jeremy Jeffress (club option), LHP Dan Jennings, C Erik Kratz, RHPJordan Lyles (club option), LHP Wade Miley, 3B Mike Moustakas (mutual option), IF Eric Sogard, RHP Joakim Soria (club option)

The Brewers have most of their pitching depth locked up beyond this season, with Gonzalez, an in-season acquisition, and Miley, who was initially signed to a Minor League contract before the season, the only two starters set for free agency this offseason. Soria, a key piece of the Brewers' bullpen in their playoff run, has a $10 million team option for 2019, while closing option Jeffress has a much cheaper $3.175 million team option. The 38-year-old Kratz and 37-year-old Granderson are also bound for free agency. Given their security all over the roster, the Brewers are set to contend again in 2019 even if they don't make a big offseason splash.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Key free agents: IF/OF Josh Harrison (club option), IF Jung Ho Kang (club option), SS Jordy Mercer

After making a splash by trading for Chris Archer in 2018, the Pirates appear to be mostly set with their pitching staff but will be looking for a bat in the offseason, likely at shortstop, especially if they don't end up bringing Kang back after his late-season cameo. Even if they don't make a Manny Machado-sized splash at shortstop, the market is deep this offseason, with Jose Iglesias, Freddy Galvis and Adeiny Hechavarria among the names that will be in play. It seems unlikely that the Pirates will pick up Harrison's $10.5 million option.

St. Louis Cardinals
Key free agents: 1B Matt Adams, RHP Bud Norris, C Francisco Pena, RHP Tyson Ross

Adam Wainwright already avoided free agency by agreeing to a one-year deal to return for his 15th season with the Cardinals. Improving the bullpen to build around Jordan Hicks will be a priority for the Cardinals, especially with the departure of Norris, who provided stability at closer for much of the season. Though Adams likely won't be on the Cardinals' radar again, St. Louis is thought to be looking for an impact left-handed hitter, with needs at outfield and third base.

NL WEST

Arizona Diamondbacks
Key free agents: RHP Clay Buchholz, LHP Patrick Corbin, RHP Randall Delgado, 2B Daniel Descalso, LHP Jake Diekman, 1B Paul Goldschmidt (club option), OF Jon Jay, C Jeff Mathis, OF A.J. Pollock, C Chris Stewart, OF Yasmany Tomas (player option)

The D-backs could lose two key contributors this winter, with Corbin and Pollock likely to exceed Arizona's price range, but Buchholz, Descalso and Mathis are strong candidates to return. Neither Goldschmidt nor Tomas is expected to hit the open market. The D-backs are sure to pick up Goldschmidt's $14.5 million club option for 2019, and Tomas will undoubtedly exercise his player options for '19-20, valued at $15.5 million next year and $17 million in '20, after spending all of '18 in the Minors.

Colorado Rockies
Key free agents: C Drew Butera, OF Carlos Gonzalez, OF Matt Holliday, 2B DJ LeMahieu, RHP Seunghwan Oh (club option), RHP Adam Ottavino, OF Gerardo Parra

The Rockies will have to decide whether they want to compete for LeMahieu this winter or if they're ready to turn the reins at second base over to one of their middle-infield prospects, Garrett Hampson and Brendan Rodgers. They also face decisions in the outfield, where Gonzalez, Parra and Holliday are impending free agents, and in the bullpen with Ottavino and Oh, who has a $2.5 million option for 2019 with a $250,000 buyout.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Key free agents: RHP John Axford, 2B Brian Dozier, C Yasmani Grandal, RHP Daniel Hudson, LHP Clayton Kershaw (opt out), SS Manny Machado, RHP Ryan Madson, LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu

Machado is among the headliners in this year's star-studded free agent class, and longtime Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw could add his name to the mix if he opts out of his contract. The Dodgers will try to retain Machado, whom they acquired from the Orioles at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, but they'll have stiff competition as he's likely to cash in for a big payday. The oft-injured Ryu posted a 1.97 ERA through 15 regular season starts in 2018 and pitched well in the playoffs to improve his stock heading into free agency.

San Diego Padres
Key free agents: C A.J. Ellis, SS Freddy Galvis

The Padres' 2018 roster will remain mostly intact with only Galvis and Ellis entering free agency, and both are candidates to return. Ellis is less likely to be re-signed, however, with young catchers Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia in the mix. San Diego may also let Galvis walk if he wants a multi-year deal, with Fernando Tatis Jr. (San Diego's No. 1 prospect, per MLB Pipeline) nearing big league readiness and Luis Urias (San Diego's No. 4 prospect) likely to take over as the club's starting second baseman in 2019.

San Francisco Giants
Key free agents: OF Gregor Blanco, RHP Madison Bumgarner (club option), LHP Derek Holland, C Nick Hundley, RHP Mark Melancon (can opt out of his contract), OF Hunter Pence, 3B Pablo Sandoval

The Giants are expected to pick up Bumgarner's $12 million option, and Melancon is almost certainly staying put for the final two years of his four-year, $62 million deal, but the club will likely part ways with veterans Pence and Blanco. The Giants may try bring back Holland, who enjoyed a bounceback campaign and anchored an injury-riddled Giants rotation in 2018, and Hundley, who capably backed up Buster Posey.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Baltimore Orioles
Key free agents: OF Adam Jones

The O's list has just one man on it, as they traded nearly every player on an expiring contract, including Manny Machado, Zach Britton and Brad Brach, during their 2018 roster purge. Baltimore would have dealt Jones as well, but he was unwilling to waive his 10-and-5 rights. Jones may be interested in returning, but he would likely need to accept a significantly reduced role as the Orioles look to the future.

Boston Red Sox
Key free agents: RHP Nathan Eovaldi, RHP Joe Kelly, RHP Craig Kimbrel, 2B Ian Kinsler, IF Eduardo Nunez (player option), 1B/OF Steve Pearce, 2B Brandon Phillips, LHP Drew Pomeranz, LHP David Price (can opt out of his contract), LHP Chris Sale (club option)

Even if the Red Sox pick up Chris Sale's $15 million club option for 2019, which they likely will, and David Price doesn't opt out of the four years and $127 million remaining on his contract, they still have a number of important players hitting free agency. Kimbrel is the biggest name among them, though it's unclear if Boston will be willing to hand out a big contract for a player who regressed some from '17 to '18 and was shaky in the playoffs. The Red Sox will probably look to re-sign Eovaldi, who excelled after joining the club in a July trade (3.33 ERA, 2.88 FIP).

New York Yankees
Key free agents: LHP Zach Britton, OF Brett Gardner (club option), LHP J.A. Happ, SS Adeiny Hechavarria, RHP Lance Lynn, OF Andrew McCutchen, RHP David Robertson, LHP CC Sabathia, 2B/OF Neil Walker

The Yankees have a busy offseason ahead of them, especially on the pitching side of the ledger. Even if prospect Justus Sheffield is ready to claim a rotation spot behind Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka, that still leaves two open starting jobs. Meanwhile, the Yankees' vaunted bullpen could lose two key pieces in Robertson and Britton. Gardner was New York's longest-tenured player in 2018, but the club may pass on his $12.5 million club option ($2 million buyout) after the veteran outfielder posted a .690 OPS this past season.

Tampa Bay Rays
Key free agents: OF Carlos Gomez, RHP Sergio Romo

Romo was an integral member of the Rays' pitching staff for much of the 2018 season, racking up 25 saves and making five appearances as an "opener." However, he recorded a 10.00 ERA in September and will be 36 years old on Opening Day in '19. The cost-conscious Rays may opt to move on and give an opportunity to a younger alternative. As for Gomez, the veteran outfielder is unlikely to be back after posting a .634 OPS over 118 games in 2018.

Toronto Blue Jays
Key free agents: RHP Tyler Clippard, RHP Marco Estrada, 1B Justin Smoak (club option), INF Yangervis Solarte (club option)

Much like Baltimore, Toronto dealt many impending free agents during the 2018 season, including Josh Donaldson, J.A. Happ, Steve Pearce, Curtis Granderson and John Axford. With Rowdy Tellez looking ready for an expanded role at first base, the Jays could pick up Smoak's reasonable $8 million club option and then trade the veteran this offseason. Estrada is likely gone after recording a 5.27 ERA with a 4.97 FIP in 61 starts over the past two years, as the Blue Jays can likely get similar production from a younger and cheaper pitcher.

AL CENTRAL

Chicago White Sox
Key free agents: RHP Jeanmar Gomez, RHP Miguel Gonzalez, RHP Nate Jones (club option), LHP Hector Santiago, RHP James Shields (club option)

The White Sox are close to emerging from their rebuild, and the club could look for more pitching help this offseason, since Michael Kopech is now sidelined for 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. They have a $4.65 million option for Jones that they could exercise, but it seems unlikely that they'd exercise Shields' $16 million club option.

Cleveland Indians
Key free agents: RHP Cody Allen, OF Michael Brantley, OF Melky Cabrera, RHP Carlos Carrasco (club option), OF Lonnie Chisenhall, OF Rajai Davis, 3B Josh Donaldson, OF Brandon Guyer (club option), LHP Andrew Miller, LHP Oliver Perez, IF Adam Rosales, RHP Josh Tomlin

Miller headlines a productive crop of prospective free agents departing Cleveland this season, with outfield and the bullpen being the two areas that stand to be hit hardest by the departures. Allen, Brantley and Miller are eligible for the $17.9 million qualifying offer. The Indians do have some security in the bullpen with midseason acquisitions Brad Hand and Adam Cimber both controllable for several more seasons, but bolstering the relief corps will be an offseason priority for the Tribe, who got subpar seasons from both Allen and Miller in 2018. Outfield is also an area of need, especially if Brantley departs, with no clear-cut starter at any of the three spots entering the offseason.

Detroit Tigers
Key free agents: SS Jose Iglesias, LHP Francisco Liriano, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Iglesias, Liriano and the retiring Victor Martinez are the key departures for the rebuilding Tigers, who also dealt impending free agent Mike Fiers to the A's in August. The Tigers will likely be in the market for a shortstop, as they don't have an immediate heir lined up in the event of Iglesias' departure, and will likely look to add to the rotation.

Kansas City Royals
Key free agents: SS Alcides Escobar, RHP Jason Hammel (mutual option), RHP Wily Peralta (club option)

After trading Jon Jay, Lucas Duda, Kelvin Herrera and Mike Moustakas this season, the Royals figure to let Escobar walk, as Adalberto Mondesi is now their starting shortstop. The Royals will almost certainly pay a $2 million buyout to get Hammel off the books instead of exercising his $12 million mutual option for 2019, but they could bring back Peralta, their closer, on a cheaper $3 million team option, especially since they'll likely be looking for bullpen help this offseason.

Minnesota Twins
Key free agents: RHP Matt Belisle, 2B Logan Forsythe, C Chris Gimenez, 1B/DH Joe Mauer, 1B/DH Logan Morrison (club option), RHP Ervin Santana (club option)

The most pressing offseason question for the Twins will be at first base with the possible departure of Mauer to either free agency or retirement and Morrison's disappointing performance in 2018, after which the Twins are not expected to pick up his $8 million option for 2019. The departures of Forsythe, Brian Dozier (traded to Dodgers) and Eduardo Escobar (traded to D-backs) also leave openings in the middle infield for the Twins. The Twins need lots of help in the bullpen and could always use more starting depth, with Santana's option unlikely to be picked up.

AL WEST
Los Angeles Angels
Key free agents: RHP Jim Johnson, RHP Garrett Richards, RHP Junichi Tazawa, OF Chris Young, OF Eric Young Jr., RHP Blake Wood

The Angels will retain much of their core. Johnson will likely draw interest on the open market for clubs in need of dependable bullpen arms. Richards pitched well in 16 starts this season, but will be out of action until 2020 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Young also suffered a season-ending injury (labral tears in both hips) but is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Houston Astros
Key free agents: DH Evan Gattis, UTIL Marwin Gonzalez, LHP Dallas Keuchel, C Martin Maldonado, RHP Charlie Morton, LHP Tony Sipp

Keuchel figures to be one of the most sought-after starting pitchers on the market this winter. The 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner has spent his entire career with the Astros, but could anchor another team's staff in 2019. Morton also figures to draw considerable interest coming off his first All-Star season at age 34. Maldonado will be part of a deep class of veteran backstops.

Oakland A's
Key free agents: LHP Brett Anderson, RHP Trevor Cahill, RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Edwin Jackson, OF Matt Joyce, 2B Jed Lowrie, C Jonathan Lucroy

The A's looming free agents are headlined by a pair of veterans in Lucroy and Lowrie. Lucroy is more likely to return with Franklin Barreto ready to take over as Oakland's everyday second baseman. Joyce is likely the odd man out in a crowded A's outfield. It's unclear if the A's will try to retain any of their veteran starting pitchers.

Seattle Mariners
Key free agents: 2B Gordon Beckham, DH Nelson Cruz, LHP Zach Duke, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, OF Cameron Maybin, RHP David Phelps, UTIL Andrew Romine, OF Denard Span (mutual option), RHP Adam Warren

Cruz represents the biggest free agent choice for the Mariners this winter. Both sides have expressed interest in a reunion, but Seattle must decide whether it wants to commit to a multi-year deal with the 38-year-old slugger or utilize that money elsewhere, with needs on the pitching staff and in center field. Span has a $12 million mutual option with a $4 million buyout. Iwakuma left the Mariners in September to pursue pitching opportunities in Japan.

Texas Rangers
Key free agents: SS Elvis Andrus (can opt out of his contract), 3B Adrian Beltre, C Robinson Chirinos (club option), RHP Bartolo Colon, RHP Doug Fister (club option), RHP Yovani Gallardo, LHP Matt Moore (club option), LHP Martin Perez (club option)

The Rangers are awaiting Beltre's decision on his baseball future, and if the third baseman opts to continue playing, they could re-sign him. Andrus could opt out of his contract, leaving four years and $58 million on the table, but is more likely to stay put. The Rangers will likely pick up Chirinos' option, and decline their options on Moore and Fister. Perez's option is for $7.5 million and it remains to be seen what Texas will do with the left-hander coming off a down year. Colon and Gallardo aren't expected to return.

Thomas Harrigan is an editor for MLB.com.

Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Marlins all-time retired numbers

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- Founded in 1993, the Marlins franchise has no officially retired numbers, though no player has worn No. 16 since Jose Fernandez's death in a boating accident in September of 2016. Former team owner Jeffrey Loria talked about retiring 16, but that has not happened yet.

From their inaugural 1993 season through 2011 -- the team's entire run as the Florida Marlins -- the No. 5 was retired in honor of the first team president, Carl Barger, who died before the Marlins played their first game. Barger's favorite player was Joe DiMaggio, who wore No. 5. In February of 2012, the Marlins agreed to unretire No. 5 and allow Logan Morrison to wear it. Morrison did so as a tribute to his father, Tom, who passed away in 2010 after battling lung cancer, and who idolized another famous No. 5 -- George Brett.

MIAMI -- Founded in 1993, the Marlins franchise has no officially retired numbers, though no player has worn No. 16 since Jose Fernandez's death in a boating accident in September of 2016. Former team owner Jeffrey Loria talked about retiring 16, but that has not happened yet.

From their inaugural 1993 season through 2011 -- the team's entire run as the Florida Marlins -- the No. 5 was retired in honor of the first team president, Carl Barger, who died before the Marlins played their first game. Barger's favorite player was Joe DiMaggio, who wore No. 5. In February of 2012, the Marlins agreed to unretire No. 5 and allow Logan Morrison to wear it. Morrison did so as a tribute to his father, Tom, who passed away in 2010 after battling lung cancer, and who idolized another famous No. 5 -- George Brett.

Note: On April 15, 1997, the Marlins joined every team in MLB in retiring No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins

Miller scores two runs, steals in Fall League

MLB.com

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Saturday:

Gameday: Peoria 6, Salt River 5 | Scottsdale 9, Surprise 7 (11) | Mesa 11, Glendale 8

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Saturday:

Gameday: Peoria 6, Salt River 5 | Scottsdale 9, Surprise 7 (11) | Mesa 11, Glendale 8

AL East

Blue Jays (Surprise)
Santiago Espinal, Blue Jays No. 22 prospect, hit a triple and scored two runs as part of a 2-for-5 showing for the Saguaros. Jackson McClelland struck out a pair in 1 2/3 hitless frames out of the bullpen. The right-hander has now allowed a hit in 5 2/3 innings (three appearances) this fall.

Orioles (Glendale)
Baltimore's No. 12 prospect, center fielder Ryan McKenna, went 2-for-5 with two triples, two RBIs and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot. He's slashing .318/.423/.638 for a 1.059 OPS in AFL play. Right-hander Tanner Chleborad gave up a run on four hits over two relief innings, striking out one.

Rays (Peoria)
Rays No. 9 prospect Lucius Fox went 1-for-3 with two walks, two runs and an RBI out of the leadoff spot. He also stole a base, his sixth in eight games, during which he's hit .412 with 14 hits and 11 runs scored. Javelinas starter Matt Krook earned the win after allowing one earned run on one hit over three innings. He issued two walks, struck out three and recorded five ground-ball outs.

Red Sox (Mesa)
Second baseman Esteban Quiroz was 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, dropping his AFL average to .188. Left-hander Josh Taylor came out off the bullpen to throw a scoreless seventh inning.

Yankees (Glendale)
Shortstop Thairo Estrada, the Yankees' No. 16 prospect, was 1-for-4 with a single. First baseman Steven Sensley was 2-for-5 with a pair of singles to up his AFL average to .242. On the pitching side of the ledger, right-hander Jordan Foley started and surrendered five runs on four hits over two innings, walking one and getting strikeouts on five of the six outs he recorded. Righty Kyle Zurak was hit hard as well, giving up four runs (two earned) over a third of an inning out of the bullpen, giving up three hits and walking two.

AL Central

Indians (Glendale)
Third baseman Yu Chang, Cleveland's No. 6 prospect, turned in an impressive 3-for-4 performance, with a double, RBI and run scored. Right fielder Connor Marabell was 1-for-5 with a single and an RBI. And left-hander Rob Kaminsky was the final pitcher out of the bullpen for Glendale, tossing a scoreless eighth inning, allowing a hit and fanning two.

Royals (Surprise)
Meibris Viloria walked and struck out twice as he finished 0-for-3, while speedster Nick Heath tallied a single in four at-bats and was walked. On the mound, Scott Blewett allowed one earned run on three hits in his second AFL start. Tossing 3 1/3 frames, the Royals' No. 26 prospect issued three walks and struck out a pair.

Tigers (Mesa)
Daz Cameron, Detroit's No. 8 prospect, played center field and had a big night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and three runs scored. No. 12 prospect Jake Rogers went 1-for-3 with a double and two runs scored. Right-hander Sandy Baez, the Tigers' No. 26 prospect, surrendered three runs on three hits in the ninth inning. Right-hander Eduardo Jimenez tossed two scoreless innings of relief, yielding three hits and striking out two. And right-hander John Schreiber came on in relief to pitch a scoreless eighth with a strikeout.

Twins (Salt River)
Twins No. 18 prospect Travis Blankenhorn drove in a pair of runs, doubled and went 1-for-4 out of the leadoff spot for the Rafters.

White Sox (Glendale)
Chicago's No. 9 prospect, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe, had two singles and an RBI as part of a 2-for-4 effort, upping his AFL average to .278. No. 28 prospect Lax Rivera started at second base and went 1-for-4 with a single and an RBI. Right-hander Danny Dopico tossed 1 2/3 scoreless frames out off the bullpen, walking one and fanning two.

AL West

A's (Mesa)
Oakland's No. 30 prospect, outfielder Skye Bolt, went 1-for-4 with a triple and a walk and is hitting .333 so far in AFL play.

Angels (Mesa)
After striking out five in three shutout frames in his first Fall League start, 23-year-old right-hander Jesus Castillo got roughed up on Saturday, giving up five runs (all earned) on seven hits and walk over three innings while striking out just one. On the offensive end, however, a trio of Angels contributed to Mesa's 11-8 win. The team's No. 4 prospect, Jahmai Jones, notched his second straight multihit game, and third in seven games, going 2-for-5 with three RBIs out of the DH spot. Infielders David MacKinnon and Roberto Baldoquin each went 1-for-4 with a run scored, with Baldoquin also driving in a run. MacKinnon's hit was his first of the AFL season, after starting 0-for-10. Baldoquin's hit was his second. He entered the game with one hit in 13 at-bats.

Astros (Scottsdale)
Ronnie Dawson was a game-changer on the basepaths as he swiped four bags in as many chances. He also went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two walks, giving the outfielder a .296 average and seven steals in the AFL. Abraham Toro-Hernandez was 2-for-5, and Erasmo Pinales contributed with a scoreless frame out of the bullpen.

Mariners (Peoria)
Mariners No. 9 prospect Wyatt Mills lowered his ERA to 1.59 with a perfect inning out of the bullpen. David McKay added a scoreless frame, pitching around a hit. Ian Miller (No. 20) came up empty in four trips to the plate from the bottom of the lineup.

Rangers (Surprise)
Yanio Perez plated a run with a sacrifice fly but went 0-for-3 as the Saguaros' designated hitter. Demarcus Evans was sharp out of the bullpen as he recorded four of his five outs via strikeout while tossing 1 2/3 hitless innings. Rangers No. 15 prospect C.D. Pelham was tagged for two earned runs on three hits in 1 1/3 frames.

NL East

Braves (Peoria)
After entering in relief in the fifth inning, Braves No. 12 prospect Kyle Muller delivered two one-hit frames with three strikeouts and two walks. At the plate, Braxton Davidson went 0-for-2 but walked three times.

Marlins (Salt River)
Marlins No. 11 prospect Brian Miller scored two runs, going 1-for-3, and reached with a walk. He also swiped a bag, his second in 10 games after racking up 40 steals across two levels during the regular season. Kyle Keller, Tommy Eveld and Chad Smith combined for four scoreless frames out of the Rafters 'pen.

Mets (Scottsdale)
Mets No. 2 prospect Peter Alonso (No. 58 overall) connected on his third AFL home run, as his tape-measure two-run shot in the ninth helped the Scorpions force extra innings. The homer was Alonso's lone hit in six at-bats. Mets No. 1 prospect Andres Gimenez (No. 55 overall) went 0-for-4 with a walk from the bottom of the lineup.

Nationals (Salt River)
Nationals No. 2 prospect Carter Kieboom (No. 37 overall) went 1-for-4 with a walk, his first Fall League RBI and stolen base. Daniel Johnson (No. 7) doubled and scored a run as part of a 1-for-3 showing, while Jake Noll struck out twice in four trips to the plate.

Phillies (Scottsdale)
Darick Hall put the Scorpions on the board against Surprise with a solo shot to lead off the fourth inning. It was the second AFL homer for Hall, who went deep 26 times across two levels during the regular season. Outfielder Austin Listi went 3-for-6 with an RBI and two runs scored. On the mound, Luke Leftwich (BB) and Jonathan Hennigan (2 K) each posted a scoreless frame, with the latter earning the save.

NL Central

Brewers (Peoria)
Brewers top prospect Keston Hiura (No. 30 overall) has multiple hits in four of eight games in the AFL after his second two-hit showing in as many days. He finished 2-for-4 with an RBI double that pushed his AFL-leading RBI total to 17. Trent Grisham (Brewers' No. 19) and Weston Wilson both had RBI singles.

Cardinals (Surprise)
Saguaros leadoff man Tommy Edman went 1-for-4 with his first AFL double and also picked up his fourth steal. Second baseman Andy Young delivered a solo shot in the sixth inning for his first Fall League homer and finished 1-for-3 with two walks. The Cardinals middle-infield tandem is hitting .333 and .381, respectively, this fall. Lane Thomas drove in a run with a sacrifice fly but was 0-for-4.

Cubs (Mesa)
Chicago's No. 6 prospect, second baseman Nico Hoerner, bounced back from an 0-for-4 line on Friday by going 2-for-3 with a triple, homer and three RBIs. Left fielder D.J. Wilson, the Cubs' No. 16 prospect, went 1-for-4 with a single and two runs scored. And right-hander Bailey Clark pitched a scoreless sixth inning, giving up one hit.

Pirates (Surprise)
Pirates No. 5 prospect Cole Tucker started the scoring for Surprise with a two-out, two-run double in the first inning, and then helped force extra innings with a single in the bottom of the ninth. He finished the game 2-for-5 with three RBIs. Will Craig (No. 16) was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. Relievers Matt Eckelman (IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER) and Geoff Hartlieb (2 IP,4 H, 3 R, 1 ER) both scuffled.

Reds (Scottsdale)
Reds No. 3 prospect Taylor Trammell (No. 17 overall) drove home the game-winning run in the 11th inning to cap a 4-for-6, two-RBI performance. Shed Long (No. 8) walked twice and scored two runs out of the leadoff spot.

NL West

D-backs (Salt River)
D-backs No. 5 prospect Daulton Varsho upped his Fall League average to .353 with a 2-for-4 performance. Drew Ellis (No. 9) plated two runs with a double in the fourth inning. Bo Takahashi struck out two of the three batters he faced during a perfect inning in relief.

Dodgers (Glendale)
Dodgers No. 2 prospect (No. 39 prospect overall) Keibert Ruiz went 1-for-4 with a single, walk and two runs scored. Cody Thomas was Glendale's designated hitter, going 1-for-5 with a single, RBI and run scored. And right-hander Andre Scrubb pitched a scoreless fifth inning to lower his AFL ERA to 4.15.

Giants (Scottsdale)
Matt Winn reached base twice via a walk and scored a run before finishing 0-for-3. Chase Johnson struck out a pair during a scoreless inning in relief, while Giants No. 19 prospect Melvin Adon bumped triple digits during his appearance later in the game. Sam Wolff earned the win despite permitting an unearned run in the 10th inning.

Padres (Peoria)
Padres No. 25 prospect Austin Allen produced exit velocities of 106.9 mph (double to right field) and 112.5 mph (lineout to center). Hudson Potts (No. 23) also hit a double, as both players finished 2-for-4. Buddy Reed (No. 13) reached on a walk, stole a base and scored a run. Relievers Travis Radke and Dauris Valdez each allowed two earned runs in one inning.

Rockies (Salt River)
Rockies No. 11 prospect Tyler Nevin went 1-for-4, while Sam Hilliard (No. 9) finished 0-for-5. Starter Ryan Castellani (No. 10) could not complete two innings, as he was chased after he allowed five earned runs on four hits and four walks in 1 2/3 frames. Jesus Tincoco (No. 20) allowed a run on three hits with three strikeouts over 1 1/3 innings, and Justin Lawrence (No. 17) added a scoreless frame later in the game.