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Marlins finalize 2-year deal with Dickerson

@JoeFrisaro
January 9, 2020

MIAMI -- Left field appears to be officially settled for the Marlins. On Tuesday morning, the Marlins announced the free-agent signing of veteran outfielder Corey Dickerson to a two-year contract. The move was expected, since news broke that the 30-year-old had reached agreement with Miami on Dec. 30. MLB.com’s Mark

MIAMI -- Left field appears to be officially settled for the Marlins.

On Tuesday morning, the Marlins announced the free-agent signing of veteran outfielder Corey Dickerson to a two-year contract. The move was expected, since news broke that the 30-year-old had reached agreement with Miami on Dec. 30.

MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports the two-year contract is for $17.5 million.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Dickerson, the Marlins designated for assignment right-handed reliever Austin Brice. Across 36 appearances in 2019, Brice posted a 3.43 ERA in 44 2/3 innings.

The addition of Dickerson is a significant one for the Marlins, as the left-handed hitter projects to be the regular left fielder as well as a middle-of-the-order presence.

"From the beginning, we felt like Corey Dickerson was a great fit for our club," president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "When you look at his bat-to-ball skills, and his ability to give you professional at-bats and hit in the middle of the lineup -- not just for average, but for power -- he made a lot of sense."

Dickerson split time last season with the Pirates and Phillies, posting a slash line of .304/.341/.565 with 12 home runs and 59 RBIs in 78 games. Dickerson had a wRC+ of 127 (MLB average is 100).

“Miami was one of the first teams to show interest in me,” Dickerson said. “I actually spoke with my wife while we were playing the Marlins when I was with the Phillies, [saying], 'I could see myself playing here.'”

In 2019, Dickerson was traded from the Pirates to the Phillies at the Deadline, but in mid-September, he was placed on the 60-day injured list with a fractured left foot. He also missed time in the first half with a right shoulder strain.

“I've been 100 percent for a while now,” Dickerson said. “My work this offseason has been completely normal. I'm improving in a lot of areas.”

Upgrading its offense has been Miami’s top offseason priority. Last year, the Marlins ranked last in the Majors in home runs and second to last in runs scored.

The 2020 roster already promises to have a different look, with the additions of Dickerson, infielder Jonathan Villar and first baseman Jesús Aguilar.

Catcher Francisco Cervelli finalized his one-year free-agent contract with the Marlins. Cervelli had been out of the country the past few weeks, and an official announcement of his signing was made Thursday.

A seven-year veteran, Dickerson has appeared mostly in left field the past three seasons. He broke in with the Rockies in 2013, and he has also played with the Rays ('16-17), Pirates ('18-19) and Phillies ('19).

Dickerson was an All-Star with the Rays in 2017, belting a career-high 27 home runs, and he was a National League Gold Glove Award winner with the Pirates in '18. The '17 All-Star Game was at Marlins Park.

“I've always enjoyed the stadium and having my first All-Star Game there,” Dickerson said. “There's a lot of things that attracted to me there. I was very interested early on.”

The Marlins project to have many moving parts in the outfield in 2020. Brian Anderson may wind up in right field if Villar is playing third base. Otherwise, Anderson could be at third.

And prospects Jesús Sánchez and Monte Harrison are getting closer to being big league ready. Sánchez is ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami’s No. 3 prospect, and No. 51 on the Top 100 list. Harrison is No. 5 in the organization and 83rd overall.

The Marlins also have Harold Ramirez as a right-handed complement to Dickerson. Ramirez can play all three outfield spots, but he is best suited to play left field.

Dickerson welcomes the opportunity to be a veteran leader in an organization building around a young core of players and prospects.

"I actually love the process of getting ready and preparing for a game as I do actually playing the game," Dickerson said. "I feel like I have a lot to offer, especially with young guys."

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