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Marlins focus on depth with big Meetings moves

Stanton, Ozuna deals part of organization's new direction
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Marlins bookended the Winter Meetings with moves designed to reshape the organization's future.

As Miami bid farewell to All-Stars Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, it welcomed seven players via the two high-profile trades to strengthen its overall depth.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Marlins bookended the Winter Meetings with moves designed to reshape the organization's future.

As Miami bid farewell to All-Stars Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, it welcomed seven players via the two high-profile trades to strengthen its overall depth.

The Winter Meetings opened on Monday with the announcement that Stanton was dealt to the Yankees for Starlin Castro, Jorge Guzman and Jose Devers. And on Thursday, Miami finalized a deal that sends Ozuna to the Cardinals for Magneuris Sierra, Sandy Alcantara, Zac Gallen and Daniel Castano.

Video: Mayo on Marlins' prospect haul in Ozuna trade

"We're on our way," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "We came in with some goals of what we wanted to try to get accomplished. We understood what was in front of us. When we first met at the [General Managers Meetings in November], there wasn't as much clarity as to what the build was going to look like and the pieces you were going to get back, or the pieces you're even going to move at that point. Since then and now, things have obviously become more clear, and we've been able to add some depth to the organization, some quality talent to the organization."

Tweet from @Marlins: Heading home from Orlando with a 4x All-Star & future #Marlins: INF Starlin Castro, RHP Jorge Guzm��n, INF Jos�� Devers (NYY); OF Magneuris Sierra, RHP Sandy Alc��ntara, RHP Zac Gallen, LHP Daniel Castano (STL); RHP Elieser Hern��ndez (HOU), RHP Brett Graves (OAK) in Rule 5 Draft! pic.twitter.com/sDDFAgU39r

What's next
By trading Dee Gordon, Stanton and Ozuna in the span of a week, Miami created vacancies in the outfield and the lineup. Christian Yelich and Braxton Lee, who has no big league experience, are the only outfielders on the 40-man roster.

The Marlins will also explore trade options for Yelich, although there is no urgency to move the 26-year-old. But if the organization feels he will not be receptive to its rebuilding efforts, it may opt to deal him for what would promise to be a big haul.

Hot Stove Tracker

Although Castro, at least for now, is the projected starter at second base, there is a need for a leadoff batter to replace Gordon, who paced the Majors with 60 steals in 2017.

Parting with Stanton and Ozuna moves 96 home runs off the roster, so adding some power hitters to the system will be a priority.

Video: Mattingly on losing Stanton's presence in lineup

"Our focus here is not to just add pitching, but to increase our overall depth," Hill said. "While we do this, we have to get ready for 2018. That's part of the process as we look at ways to get better and build our organization and create a situation we can compete year in, year out. We have to be mindful of what's around the corner, and that's 2018."

As part of the Ozuna trade, the Marlins are bringing in Sierra, who plays center field. The 21-year-old is the logical choice to lead off, but is he ready to be a big league regular?

Rule 5 Draft
Miami selected right-handers Elieser Hernandez (from the Astros) and Brett Graves (A's) in the Major League phase. It picked catchers B.J. Lopez (D-backs) and Sharif Othman (Yankees), first baseman Will Allen III (Tigers) and right-hander Brandon Barker (Orioles) in the Minor League phase. The Marlins lost righty Tyler Kinley to the Twins in the Major League phase and lefty Carlos Diaz to the A's in the Minor League phase.

Marlins' Rule 5 Draft picks to get shot at rotation

GM's bottom line
"This is the direction we are taking, and we're committed to it. We're going to build this thing the right way, from the ground up. We have to stay committed, because when you get off of that path, that's when you empty out your system. For an organization like the Marlins, we have to be able to reach into our system. It has to be a constant and consistent feeder for our Major League team. There is no way for us to be sustainable and have an opportunity year in and year out to be successful if we don't have a deep and productive Minor League system." -- Hill

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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