Inbox: Could Marlins swap J.T. for Joc?

Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers questions from fans

January 25th, 2019

Do you think would be in the trade with the Dodgers for J.T. Realmuto?
-- @josecuba305

As I reported a couple of days ago, the Marlins remain in ongoing discussions with the Dodgers for Realmuto. A centerpiece player that is being considered is catcher Keibert Ruiz, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the 39th overall prospect in baseball. A high priority for Miami in any Realmuto deal is getting a catcher in return, and Ruiz is a switch-hitter with tremendous upside who is close to being big league ready.
Does this rule out Pederson being part of a deal? I think Pederson could be another piece in a potential trade. Los Angeles now has a surplus of outfielders, especially with free agent A.J. Pollock reportedly coming to terms. Miami covets a left-handed hitter with power potential, and Pederson fits the description.
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Who would you consider the favorite to win the closer job -- , or ?
-- @TDup25

My guess is Steckenrider will get most of the opportunities, at least early in the season, but the organization may not settle on just one. At the Winter Meetings, manager Don Mattingly said the club is open to playing matchups. Conley, a left-hander, could be called upon to close if left-handed-hitting threats are lined up to bat in the ninth. You could see Conley pitching the eighth and Steckenrider the ninth in one game, and the two switching roles for the next save opportunity. Guerrero, the hardest thrower of the group, may be better suited for a setup role. If he gains better command of a second pitch -- specifically, his slider -- then he could be a more realistic candidate to close.
I was so impressed last year with the transition made to the outfield, especially doing so as a rookie. Do you see him staying out there or does he come back to third base?
-- @Mick6298

Anderson played 91 games in right field and 71 at third base last season, despite being the Opening Day third baseman. The Marlins are open to using Anderson at either spot. Having players capable of playing multiple positions adds flexibility to the roster, and I'm sure you will see the Marlins using Anderson in right field and third base in Spring Training.
Where Anderson plays mostly during the season depends on how the rest of the roster shapes up. If another corner outfielder is added, like Pederson as mentioned above, then Anderson may play more third base. But if is fully healthy, the veteran could be at third, with Anderson staying in right field.

Who is batting leadoff for the Marlins on Opening Day?
-- @MatontiOnTheRox

Right now, there is no clear-cut choice, but that could change by the time full-squad workouts begin for the Marlins on Feb. 18. There's still a few weeks to add a free agent or possibly make a trade for a leadoff candidate.
To answer your question based on where things stand today, I would guess either center fielder or shortstop JT Riddle would lead off. Last year on Opening Day, it was Brinson who got the nod, but he struggled and was moved down in the lineup. Riddle has a good approach, but he has hit mostly at the bottom of the order at the big league level. Another possibility could be , who for the most part batted third last year. Earlier in his career, Castro batted mostly first or second.
Any idea what players you can see the Marlins targeting in the June MLB Draft? I know it's early.
-- @Fitchie6

It's never too early to talk Draft. Mock Drafts already are out, and one of them on MLB Pipeline links Texas Tech third baseman Josh Jung to Miami with the fourth overall pick.

Riley Greene, an outfielder from Hagerty High School in Oviedo, Fla., is someone to really pay attention to. He is a pure hitter, perhaps the best hitting talent in the entire class.
Generally speaking, the Marlins target athletic players who can play up the middle. That's why they went with Connor Scott, a center fielder from Plant High School in Tampa, Fla., in the first round last year.