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Inbox: Could Marlins add one final bullpen arm?

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

Do you think the Marlins are still considering a bullpen arm -- a long reliever or experienced closer? -- @agamez1

Before Spring Training starts next Wednesday, or shortly thereafter, I do expect the Marlins to sign at least one free-agent reliever. The Marlins have been exploring the bullpen market, and they've already stated they'd be interested in a reliever with experience in "high leverage" situations. So it doesn't necessarily have to be someone with significant past closing experience; it could be a setup reliever who is capable of closing, if necessary. I don't anticipate this player being a long reliever. There are plenty of those in the organization, as is. Austin Brice, for instance, is a multi-inning option who was recently claimed off waivers from the Orioles. Some free agents who are still out there who may fit are Tyler Clippard, Nick Vincent or Jake Diekman.

Do you think the Marlins are still considering a bullpen arm -- a long reliever or experienced closer? -- @agamez1

Before Spring Training starts next Wednesday, or shortly thereafter, I do expect the Marlins to sign at least one free-agent reliever. The Marlins have been exploring the bullpen market, and they've already stated they'd be interested in a reliever with experience in "high leverage" situations. So it doesn't necessarily have to be someone with significant past closing experience; it could be a setup reliever who is capable of closing, if necessary. I don't anticipate this player being a long reliever. There are plenty of those in the organization, as is. Austin Brice, for instance, is a multi-inning option who was recently claimed off waivers from the Orioles. Some free agents who are still out there who may fit are Tyler Clippard, Nick Vincent or Jake Diekman.

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With the signings of infielder Neil Walker and outfielder Curtis Granderson to one-year deals, do you think the Marlins' front office wants to flip both of them to contending teams before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline? -- @TDup25

Walker signed a one-year contract worth $2 million, so he is guaranteed a roster spot. Granderson is a non-roster invitee on a Minor League deal. I do believe Granderson has an excellent chance of making the club as a fourth outfielder, pinch-hitter or platoon option in left field. Certainly, with prospects like outfielder Monte Harrison (No. 3 in Miami's system, per MLB Pipeline) and second baseman Isan Diaz (No. 10) getting closer to being big league ready, that could lead to the Marlins looking to trade either, or both, at the Deadline. They did that a year ago with outfielder Cameron Maybin, sending him to the Mariners for infield prospect Bryson Brigman.

What are realistic expectations for Jorge Guzman and McKenzie Mills this season in the Minors and how far up do you believe each of them can get in 2019? -- @fsutoby

Guzman, 23, was added to the 40-man roster earlier in the offseason, and he is ranked as the Marlins' No. 7 prospect. The Marlins continue to groom Guzman to be a starter, although, if he struggles with command, he may wind up in the bullpen at some point. For now, the plan is to see if he can be a starter, and he likely will open the season at Double-A Jacksonville. I think Triple-A would be as far as he advances in 2019.

Mills, a left-hander, was at Double-A Jacksonville last season after being acquired from the Phillies for Justin Bour. Mills is still in the organization, but he will be in Minor League camp.

Which Marlins player do you see getting a contract extension as a building block for the organization moving forward? -- @MatontiOnTheRox

Extensions are usually offered to All-Star-caliber players who have yet to qualify for free agency. Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich are two recent examples. The Marlins signed both before they got close to qualifying for free agency. The only player on the current roster who appears close to fitting that profile is Brian Anderson. To me, it's too early to consider an extension for Anderson, who comes off a solid rookie season. But if he keeps improving, he would be my choice to be offered an extension.

Video: MIA@WSH: Anderson drives a 3-run homer to left-center

Do you view Trevor Richards, if healthy, as a future No. 2 starter if he develops a third pitch to go with his nasty changeup and the fastball he already has? -- @Shaun285

Richards is a solid starter who has shown he can compete at the highest level. And yes, his changeup, based on advanced data, is a very effective pitch. But to say he's a No. 2-caliber starter is a bit of a reach. Richards is more of a back-of-the-rotation candidate who has a chance to be a very reliable performer. Typically, power pitchers profile as top-of-the-rotation starters. I'd say Sandy Alcantara (Marlins' No. 4 prospect) projects more as a No. 2 starter.

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

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