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Marlins add prospect Neidert, 10 others as NRIs

Miami announces Spring Training broadcast schedule
MLB.com

MIAMI -- Spring Training will provide the Marlins' coaching staff and front office with an opportunity to check out some of the organization's top prospects not currently on the 40-man roster.

Right-handers Nick Neidert, Zac Gallen, Robert Dugger and Tommy Eveld are among 11 new non-roster invitees who will be with the big league club when pitchers and catchers' workouts begin on Feb. 13 at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.

MIAMI -- Spring Training will provide the Marlins' coaching staff and front office with an opportunity to check out some of the organization's top prospects not currently on the 40-man roster.

Right-handers Nick Neidert, Zac Gallen, Robert Dugger and Tommy Eveld are among 11 new non-roster invitees who will be with the big league club when pitchers and catchers' workouts begin on Feb. 13 at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.

Miami also announced the Minor League signings of right-hander Hector Noesi and catcher Santiago Chavez.

Rounding out the latest list of NRIs are right-handers Brett Graves and Ben Meyer, lefty Dylan Lee, infielder Yadiel Rivera and outfielder Brian Miller.

Neidert is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Marlins' No. 4 prospect, Miller is rated No. 12 and Gallen is No. 20.

Video: Miller on his big game vs. Glendale in Fall League

Eveld, a hard-throwing right-hander who participated in the Arizona Fall League, was acquired from the D-backs last July for reliever Brad Ziegler. Neidert and Dugger were acquired by the Marlins from the Mariners in December 2017 as part of the Dee Gordon trade.

Neidert, 22, impressed at Double-A Jacksonville in 2018, posting a 12-7 record with a 3.24 ERA. The right-hander is projected to open the season at Triple-A New Orleans.

Gallen was part of the Marcell Ozuna trade with the Cardinals in December 2017. The 23-year-old spent all of 2018 at Triple-A, and he went 8-9 with a 3.65 ERA in 25 starts.

Miller, 23, was the Marlins' Competitive Balance Round A selection in 2017, and the former University of North Carolina standout combined to hit .295 at Class A Advanced Jupiter and Jacksonville last year.

The Marlins now have 25 non-roster invitees slated to attend big league camp.

Additionally, the organization announced its broadcast schedule for Spring Training, which includes seven games on Fox Sports Florida:

• Feb. 23 vs. Cardinals
• Feb. 25 @ Rays
• March 2 @ St. Louis
• March 17 vs. Cardinals
• March 19 vs. Mets
• March 20 @ Cardinals
• March 24 @ Cardinals

The Marlins' English-language flagship station, 940 AM WINZ, will broadcast 15 games, while the Spanish-language flagship, WAQI 710 AM, will broadcast 10. An additional 14 games will be streamed on MLB.com.

Twenty-nine of Miami's 30 Spring Training games will be broadcast, the exception being a split-squad game against the Astros at their Spring Training complex, The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, on March 6.

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

Miami Marlins

Top prospect Mesa making strong impression

Nine Minor Leaguers taking part in three-day hitting camp
MLB.com

JUPITER, Fla. -- After months of training and conditioning, Marlins top prospect Victor Victor Mesa took some swings Monday on the main field at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. The 22-year-old outfielder from Cuba made a strong first impression.

Mesa was one of nine hitting prospects invited to a three-day camp, which is being supervised by Gary Denbo, Miami's vice president of player development and scouting.

JUPITER, Fla. -- After months of training and conditioning, Marlins top prospect Victor Victor Mesa took some swings Monday on the main field at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. The 22-year-old outfielder from Cuba made a strong first impression.

Mesa was one of nine hitting prospects invited to a three-day camp, which is being supervised by Gary Denbo, Miami's vice president of player development and scouting.

"He's in great shape," Denbo said of Mesa. "He had a great BP. The tools that he brings to the table are obvious. He's very serious about his work. He's done a lot of work with his trainers. It's obvious the work he's done has prepared him for Spring Training."

Ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Marlins' No. 1 prospect, Mesa was rated as the top international prospect when he signed along with his younger brother, Victor Mesa Jr., in October.

Since joining the Marlins, Mesa and his 17-year-old brother have trained together. But they didn't participate in winter ball, and they haven't seen organized game action since defecting from Cuba.

"I feel very anxious," Mesa said through an interpreter. "After all, what makes a player a player is the game. I'm looking forward to doing that."

Tweet from @VictorMesaRios1: Clutching 🧨🏋���������🤸���������#vmjr10 #thechosenone #justgettinstarted #marlins pic.twitter.com/4s0zHnQAB8

The elder Mesa will be a non-roster invitee when the Marlins open Spring Training with pitchers and catchers workouts on Feb. 13 in Jupiter. Full-squad drills get underway five days later.

The Marlins plan on giving Mesa plenty of at-bats in the spring. To expedite the process, Mesa -- as well as other hitters -- will spend time in the bullpen tracking pitches when they aren't playing.

When the season opens, Mesa likely will start off either at Class A Advanced Jupiter or Double-A Jacksonville.

Mesa understands he carries high expectations, especially being a promising star from Cuba living in Miami, which has a large Cuban population.

"I enjoy the Cuban community, it's one of the things I enjoy the most," Mesa said of South Florida. "But also I feel the pressure. They're expecting a lot from me. I want to work with the Marlins' organization, work and try to make everything they expect from me happen."

Video: Frisaro on meaning of Marlins signing Mesa brothers

Because this is his first season of professional baseball in the United States, and the fact he is not on the 40-man roster, Mesa isn't expected to be with the Marlins on Opening Day. Still, it will be a big Spring Training for him to showcase his talents to the organization and big league staff.

"There is great expectations, but I'm just going to focus on working hard, getting better," Mesa said. "I'm going to start knowing everybody in the organization, and going from there."

Among the hitting prospects at the camp were Mesa, Mesa Jr., No. 2 prospect Monte Harrison, infielders Joe Dunand (No. 23), James Nelson (No. 15), Justin Twine and Riley Mahan (No. 26) and outfielders Corey Bird and Milton Smith Jr.

Marlins hitting coach Mike Pagliarulo, assistant hitting coach Jeff Livesey and new Minor League hitting coordinator Eric Duncan are among the instructors at the camp.

This marks the third camp for hitters the Marlins have held in the offseason but the first with the Mesa brothers in attendance.

The elder Mesa is wearing No. 32, the number his father, Victor Mesa Sr., wore during his playing days in Cuba.

"He's got speed. He can fly in the outfield," Denbo said. "His defensive abilities are very good. His throwing arm is very good. We think he's going to hit for a high average. What remains to be seen is if he hits for power or not.

"With that being said, with all that tool package, he's got limited experience in professional baseball. So he's got some work to do. It isn't easy to get to the Major League level. It's even more difficult to stay at the Major League level."

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

Miami Marlins, Victor Victor Mesa

Inbox: Does Guzman project as closer or starter?

Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers questions from Marlins fans
MLB.com

Do you think Jorge Guzman can be a future closer for the Marlins? Or do you prefer him to be a starter?
-- @antonioadolfo6

That's an easy one. Of course, the preference is for Guzman to be a starter. But if he isn't able to command his fastball to both sides of the plate, then his future may ultimately be as a reliever. The Marlins acquired Guzman, their No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline, from the Yankees in December 2017 as part of the Giancarlo Stanton trade.

Do you think Jorge Guzman can be a future closer for the Marlins? Or do you prefer him to be a starter?
-- @antonioadolfo6

That's an easy one. Of course, the preference is for Guzman to be a starter. But if he isn't able to command his fastball to both sides of the plate, then his future may ultimately be as a reliever. The Marlins acquired Guzman, their No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline, from the Yankees in December 2017 as part of the Giancarlo Stanton trade.

The flamethrower spent the entire 2018 season at Class A Advanced Jupiter, where his velocity maxed at 101 mph. Guzman is a physical presence, who also is polishing up his slider and changeup. The Marlins added the 22-year-old right-hander to their 40-man roster in the offseason, and he is expected to start off at Double-A Jacksonville, where he will be in the rotation. This season will give a better indication of whether Guzman profiles as a future option for the rotation. If he moves to the bullpen, whether he becomes a closer or not will depend on how effective he is at missing bats. To close, you need swing-and-miss pitches.

:: Submit a question to the Marlins Inbox ::

Which teams are still interested in Marlins All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto?
-- @nynfa711

The landscape changed in recent days with Yasmani Grandal reportedly reaching agreement on a one-year deal with the Brewers. With Grandal no longer an option to return, the Dodgers are in the market for a front-line catcher, and they have the prospects and need to make a strong push for Realmuto. I'm hearing, in no particular order, the Dodgers, Braves, Astros, Padres, Reds and Rays have expressed the most interest in Realmuto. The Marlins' firm stance has not changed. They seek an overpay situation: a top prospect and more.

Realmuto agreed to a $5.9 million deal in his second season of arbitration, which is another reason the Marlins have insisted they have no urgency to deal their best player. Along with Realmuto, right-handers Jose Urena and Dan Straily, lefty Adam Conley and infielder Miguel Rojas avoided arbitration.

It's also important to note that if Miami does trade Realmuto, the club would then have to address its catcher situation by finding another option who has big league experience to work with a young pitching staff.

Do you think Starlin Castro will get traded this offseason to make room for Isan Diaz?
-- @josecuba305

The Marlins are open to trading Castro, but the second-base market had been slow moving until recent reports regarding Brian Dozier, Jed Lowrie and DJ LeMahieu. Teams also are reluctant to take on the $11 million Castro will make this season, and his deal has a club option of $16 million for 2020, with a $1 million buyout. The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline may realistically be a time when teams are more receptive to trading for Castro. As for Diaz, the 22-year-old left-handed hitter is considered the second baseman of the future. I suspect Diaz will open at Triple-A New Orleans, and how he performs will also determine how quickly he reaches the big leagues. If Diaz shows he can hit, Miami would find a place for its No. 9 prospect to play in the big leagues. He did play some third base in the offseason, but the hope is for him to be at second.

What are your thoughts on one of the Marlins' newest additions, Rosell Herrera? Do you think he makes the Opening Day roster?
-- @kevinmiller64__

The Marlins claimed Herrera off waivers from the Royals recently and added him to the 40-man roster, which gives him somewhat of an advantage to make the Opening Day roster, most likely as a utility player. The 26-year-old switch-hitter saw action in the big leagues in 2018 with the Reds and Royals, combining to hit .234/.286/.317. Herrera can play all three outfield positions, second base and third base. He came up as a shortstop and has good speed, but Herrera isn't a power threat..

Besides Realmuto, are there any possible trade candidates on this roster before the start of the season?
-- @ProfessorXXX88

Realmuto has taken up so much of the Marlins' offseason, and whether he stays or goes impacts other positions. For instance, Miami may be more inclined to trade for a first baseman rather than sign a free agent on what would most likely be a one-year deal.

Marlins' trade candidates not named Realmuto

A pitcher who could be dealt by the Marlins before Spring Training is Straily, the projected No. 2 starter. Clubs have touched base this offseason on Straily, who was in his second year of arbitration eligibility. If something makes sense, Straily could be moved.

A number of teams have checked in on Urena, who was arbitration-eligible for the first time. But Urena may be the closest player Miami has to being untouchable. The way its roster is presently constructed, Urena is a workhorse who can give the club 30 starts and about 180 innings. I could see July as a more likely window for Urena to be moved.

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

Miami Marlins, Starlin Castro, Isan Diaz, Jorge Guzman, Rosell Herrera, J.T. Realmuto, Dan Straily, Jose Urena

Marlins grooming prospect Diaz as 2B of future

MLB.com

MIAMI -- It's no mystery the Marlins are in the market for an impactful left-handed hitter, and the organization just might have a secret weapon lurking in its farm system.

Second baseman Isan Diaz made big strides at the Double-A and Triple-A levels in 2018, and he wrapped up his year by playing winter ball in Puerto Rico. The 22-year-old is ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 9 prospect, and the No. 4 second-base prospect overall.

MIAMI -- It's no mystery the Marlins are in the market for an impactful left-handed hitter, and the organization just might have a secret weapon lurking in its farm system.

Second baseman Isan Diaz made big strides at the Double-A and Triple-A levels in 2018, and he wrapped up his year by playing winter ball in Puerto Rico. The 22-year-old is ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 9 prospect, and the No. 4 second-base prospect overall.

Of all the Marlins' prospects, Diaz is regarded as the closest to being big league ready.

The Marlins consider Diaz their second baseman of the future, and his estimated time of arrival in the big leagues could hinge on how much longer Starlin Castro remains with the organization.

Video: MIA@STL: Diaz slugs a home run to the opposite field

Castro is in the final year of his contract, and the four-time All-Star may be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Miami is exploring trade options for Castro, but his $11 million salary makes it extremely unlikely that he will be dealt before Spring Training begins on Feb. 13 at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium Complex in Jupiter, Fla.

Diaz played some third base in the offseason, but the Marlins are grooming him as their second baseman. While he is expected to start off at Triple-A New Orleans, reaching the big leagues around midseason is certainly possible.

A native of Puerto Rico, Diaz recently wrapped up winter ball for the Gigantes de Carolina squad, hitting .272/.348/.368 with six doubles, one triple, one home run and 13 RBIs in 33 games.

Acquired from the Brewers in the Christian Yelich trade last January, Diaz opened 2018 at Double-A Jacksonville before a promotion to New Orleans.

Video: ATL@MIA: Blaylock talks NOLA Baseball with Diaz

In 119 Minor League games, his slash line was .232/.340/.399 with 23 doubles, five triples, 13 homers and 56 RBIs. At Double-A, his numbers were .245/.365/.418 with 19 doubles, one triple, 10 homers and 42 RBIs. There were some growing pains at New Orleans, where his slash line was .204/.281/.358 with three homers and 14 RBIs in 36 games.

In Diaz, the Marlins feel they have a second baseman with 20-homer power, and he has shown the ability to hit the ball hard to all fields. According to Miami's internal analytics, 9 percent of the balls Diaz put in play in the Minors in 2018 had an exit velocity of at least 105 mph. The MLB average is 7 percent.

More than just the numbers, the Marlins didn't hesitate to expose Diaz to higher-level pitching, and he saw more of it in the offseason.

When you add in 33 games in the Puerto Rican Winter League, Diaz appeared in 152 total contests, with 545 combined at-bats. That gave Diaz a sampling of what the rigors would be like over a full Major League season. Additionally, Diaz participated in a tournament with the Puerto Rican national team.

Tweet from @diaz_isan: #NewProfilePic pic.twitter.com/SYXrTpi8GW

The Marlins are giving Diaz even more preparatory experience before camp begins.

Diaz, outfielder Monte Harrison, the Marlins' second-ranked prospect, and right-hander Jordan Yamamoto (No. 17) have been invited to the Rookie Career Development Program, which is being held this week in Miami.

Prospects from all 30 big league clubs are invited to the annual event that features seminars and guest speakers.

Harrison, like Diaz, is expected to open the season at New Orleans. How quickly he progresses to the big leagues depends on how he continues to refine his approach at the plate, while demonstrating he can make consistent contact.

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

Miami Marlins, Isan Diaz

Inbox: When will Mesa arrive on scene?

Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers questions from Marlins fans
MLB.com

Last year, the Marlins' rotation was made up mainly of right-handers. Wei-Yin Chen was the only left-handed starter most of the time. Do you envision the Marlins pursuing a left-handed starter in free agency? Who would be a potential candidate? -- @Havana_Casino

You raise an interesting point. Chen indeed is the lone lefty in the projected Opening Day rotation, and Miami doesn't have much lefty starting-pitching depth at its upper levels. Last month, the Marlins traded southpaw Dillon Peters to the Angels for right-handed reliever Tyler Stevens.

Last year, the Marlins' rotation was made up mainly of right-handers. Wei-Yin Chen was the only left-handed starter most of the time. Do you envision the Marlins pursuing a left-handed starter in free agency? Who would be a potential candidate? -- @Havana_Casino

You raise an interesting point. Chen indeed is the lone lefty in the projected Opening Day rotation, and Miami doesn't have much lefty starting-pitching depth at its upper levels. Last month, the Marlins traded southpaw Dillon Peters to the Angels for right-handed reliever Tyler Stevens.

:: Submit a question to the Marlins Inbox ::

I don't anticipate Miami being active in free agency looking for a left-handed starter, unless it is a non-roster invitee situation. But keep this in mind, Caleb Smith is returning from surgery to repair a torn left pectoral muscle. Smith is expected to take it slow early in Spring Training, and he may not be completely ready for Opening Day. If he isn't, and barring any setbacks, Smith could be a second lefty to join the rotation at some point in the first month or two of the season.

Video: MIA@SF: Smith nabs McCutchen with a nice pickoff move

How do you see the Marlins using JT Riddle and Miguel Rojas? Will they platoon, or will one play a different position? -- @jason_beland

Unless the Marlins acquire a shortstop in a trade, I envision more of the same from the Marlins at shortstop. Riddle, 27, has been slowed by injuries in each of his first two seasons. He appeared in 102 games in 2018, after seeing time in 70 games in his rookie ('17) campaign. So this is a critical time for Riddle to show if he can handle the premier position. A year ago, his offseason was hindered by the fact he was recovering from surgery and wasn't able to build up his strength. The club is hopeful Riddle rebounds and provides some production from the position. As for Rojas, you know what you're going to get. He's a true pro, and impresses defensively. Of the two main shortstop candidates, Rojas is more likely to see time at third, second or first.

Video: MIA@NYM: Rojas lays out to rob Frazier of a hit

Considering all the moves made by the Marlins over the past year, do you feel the farm system is much more respectable, and do you see a bright future? -- @mpowis3

Without question, the system is deeper, and has added layers of talent -- ranging from Class A ball through Triple-A. Dating back to 2017, the Marlins have made more than 15 trades that brought in more than 30 players. Of that group, 15 are ranked by MLB Pipeline on Miami's Top 30 prospects list. What the organization doesn't appear to have right now is that marquee "can't miss" talent like Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez when they were breaking into pro ball. But Miami has an influx of very talented athletes. As an organization, it is profiling athletes who can play up the middle and move to the corner spots, if necessary. Keep in mind, many players in the system are considered to have "first-round talent." Not all went in the first round, but players like international signings Victor Victor Mesa and his brother, Victor Mesa Jr., are regarded as players who would have first-round talent. Lewis Brinson was a first-rounder. Yes, he struggled in his first full big league season, but he has elite athleticism and talent.

Video: Frisaro on meaning of Marlins signing Mesa brothers

What are the odds that Victor Victor Mesa cracks the Opening Day roster? If he doesn't, where will he start off -- Double-A or Triple-A? -- @AidanWagner9

No one realistically expects Mesa, who signed in October, to be big league ready from Day 1. Remember, he isn't yet on the 40-man roster. The 22-year-old prospect from Cuba has been spending his offseason training with his younger brother, Victor Mesa Jr., and he hasn't seen much game action in about a year. In terms of his development timeline, he is considered to be at the Double-A level, but I wouldn't be surprised if he starts off at Class A Advanced Jupiter to get his timing down, and then depending on how he performs, he could get promoted to Double-A. The athleticism and tools are very impressive. One scout clocked one of his throws from the outfield at a workout at 93 mph. There are some questions as to if he will hit. That's where development will play a part. Clearly, Mesa will be one of the most followed players in Spring Training.

What is the likelihood we will see a reunion with Logan Morrison? -- @welch_04

Morrison, of course, was drafted by Miami and played with the organization from 2010-13. Now 31, Morrison would fit what Miami is looking for, a left-handed-hitting first baseman. Whether he is the top priority remains to be seen. Morrison struggled last year with the Twins. As a free agent, he may be a candidate to sign in January.

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

Miami Marlins, Victor Victor Mesa

Marlins select RHP Ferrell in Rule 5 Draft

Miami loses outfield prospect Lee in Triple-A phase
MLB.com

LAS VEGAS -- Utilizing all avenues to acquire new talent, the Marlins selected right-hander Riley Ferrell from the Astros in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday.

The Rule 5 Draft is the last order of business at the Winter Meetings, which wrapped up with Miami not completing any significant trades. The Marlins also didn't lose any players off their Triple-A roster in the MLB phase, which means lefty reliever McKenzie Mills will remain with New Orleans. In the Triple-A phase, Miami lost Double-A outfielder Braxton Lee, who was taken by the Mets.

LAS VEGAS -- Utilizing all avenues to acquire new talent, the Marlins selected right-hander Riley Ferrell from the Astros in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday.

The Rule 5 Draft is the last order of business at the Winter Meetings, which wrapped up with Miami not completing any significant trades. The Marlins also didn't lose any players off their Triple-A roster in the MLB phase, which means lefty reliever McKenzie Mills will remain with New Orleans. In the Triple-A phase, Miami lost Double-A outfielder Braxton Lee, who was taken by the Mets.

In Ferrell, the Marlins envision a candidate who will get an immediate chance to pitch in high-leverage innings in the big leagues. The Astros selected the right-hander in the third round of the 2015 Draft out of Texas Christian University.

"He is somebody we had followed out of the Draft," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "He had a history of pitching in high-leverage innings in college and has had success since he's come into professional ball. As we looked at options for us in the Rule 5 Draft, we think we will have opportunity in bullpen."

Tweet from @Marlins: With the fourth pick in the MLB phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft, the Miami Marlins selected RHP Riley Ferrell from the Houston Astros organization. Welcome to Miami, Riley! #OurColores pic.twitter.com/eYLWVh9yVh

The cost to take players in the MLB phase is $100,000.

Ferrell must spend the season on Miami's big league roster, unless he is on the disabled list.

MLB Pipeline ranked the 25-year-old reliever as the Astros' No. 17 prospect. He split time in 2018 at the Double-A and Triple-A levels, combining for a 4-3 record with a 4.53 ERA in 43 games. In 51 2/3 innings, Ferrell struck out 67 and walked 34. His fastball has been in the 95-99 mph range, and he mixes in a power slider.

Ferrell enjoyed better success at Double-A, where he posted a 1.90 ERA in 21 appearances. At Triple-A, his ERA jumped to 6.75.

A year ago, Miami made two selections in the MLB phase, taking right-hander Elieser Hernandez from the Astros and right-hander Brett Graves from the A's. Both spent the entire season with the Marlins.

Video: WSH@MIA: Hernandez freezes Turner, strands bases full

On Monday, the Marlins outrighted Graves to Triple-A, along with infielder Yadiel Rivera, to reduce the club's 40-man roster to 38.

The Marlins actually have another player on their 40-man roster who is under Rule 5 restrictions: hard-throwing right-hander Julian Fernandez, who was claimed off waivers recently from the Giants. He missed all of 2018 due to Tommy John surgery and is not expected to be available until at least June. Because Fernandez was a Rule 5 Draft selection a year ago for San Francisco, he still is subjected to Rule 5 guidelines.

Mills, acquired from the Phillies in August for Justin Bour, was left unprotected on the 40-man roster. He is listed as the club's No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

History of the Rule 5 Draft

Lee, acquired by Miami in June 2017 from Tampa Bay in the Adeiny Hechavarria deal, was on the Marlins' Opening Day roster in '18. He ranked as Miami's No. 29 prospect.

The emergence of outfield prospect Brian Miller made Lee expendable.

The Marlins have traditionally been active in the Rule 5 Draft, with their most famous selection coming at the 2005 Winter Meetings. That year, they selected Dan Uggla from the D-backs' system, and he became a three-time All-Star second baseman.

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

Miami Marlins, Riley Ferrell, Braxton Lee, McKenzie Mills

Marlins round out roster by adding 7 players

MLB.com

MIAMI -- A year ago, the Marlins overhauled their roster, trading core and All-Star players for coveted prospects. More than 30 new players were brought into the system through trades that dated back to June 2017.

On Tuesday, three of those top-ranked Minor Leaguers moved closer to reaching the big leagues. Outfielder Monte Harrison, right-hander Jorge Guzman and second baseman Isan Diaz were among seven players who had their contracts selected. They are now part of Miami's 40-man roster, which is full.

MIAMI -- A year ago, the Marlins overhauled their roster, trading core and All-Star players for coveted prospects. More than 30 new players were brought into the system through trades that dated back to June 2017.

On Tuesday, three of those top-ranked Minor Leaguers moved closer to reaching the big leagues. Outfielder Monte Harrison, right-hander Jorge Guzman and second baseman Isan Diaz were among seven players who had their contracts selected. They are now part of Miami's 40-man roster, which is full.

Per Pipeline, Harrison is ranked second, Guzman sixth and Diaz ninth. There is a chance of these three could reach the big leagues in 2019.

Marlins Top 30 prospects

Also added to the roster are right-handers Jordan Yamamoto, Jordan Holloway and Kyle Keller, as well as lefty Jose Quijada.

Miami also announced hard-throwing right-hander Julian Fernandez was claimed off waivers from the Giants on Monday. Fernandez, who turns 23 on Dec. 5, is coming off Tommy John surgery, and he missed all of 2018. He will have to spend the entire season either on the active roster or the disabled list to remain in the Marlins' organization.

Miami entered the day with four openings on the 40-man roster, so three corresponding moves were necessary. Outfielder Braxton Lee, right-hander Ben Meyer and lefty Dillon Peters were designated for assignment.

On Tuesday all 30 clubs had to add players eligible for the Rule 5 Draft to their 40-man roster if they wanted to protect them.

The Rule 5 Draft is scheduled for Dec. 13, on the morning of the final day of the Winter Meetings, which begin on Dec. 10 in Las Vegas.

By rule, players first signed at age 18 must be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons or they become eligible to be drafted by other organizations through the Rule 5 process. Players signed at 19 years or older have to be protected within four seasons. Clubs pay $100,000 to select a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft. If that player doesn't stay on the 25-man roster for the full season, he must be offered back to his former team for $50,000.

For this year, that means an international or high school Draft pick signed in 2014 -- assuming he was 18 or younger as of June 5 of that year -- has to be protected. A college player taken in the 2015 Draft is in the same position.

With no roster spaces available, the Marlins left unprotected three of their top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline. Infielder Christopher Torres (No. 18), outfielder Brayan Hernandez (No. 26) and left-hander McKenzie Mills (No. 30) are now eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 Draft.

Last year, the Marlins were active in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft, selecting right-handers Elieser Hernandez from the Astros and Brett Graves from the A's.

The Marlins acquired Harrison, Guzman and Diaz through trades last offseason. Harrison and Diaz, along with Yamamoto were part of the Christian Yelich deal with the Brewers.

Guzman was a centerpiece in the Giancarlo Stanton deal with the Yankees.

Harrison spent the season at Double-A Jacksonville, where he batted .240 with 19 home runs and 48 RBIs. The 23-year-old was a standout in the Arizona Fall League, batting .290 with a .383 on-base percentage and 16 RBIs.

Guzman, one of the hardest throwers in the system, spent the season at Class A Advanced Jupiter, where he had a 4.03 ERA in 21 starts, and struck out 101 in 96 innings. With a 100 mph fastball, Guzman is expected to open the season at Double-A.

Diaz advanced from Double-A to Triple-A New Orleans in '18, combining for 13 home runs and 56 RBIs, to go with a slash line of .232/.340/.399.

Fernandez, a native of the Dominican Republic, has had his fastball clocked at 100 mph. At the 2017 Rule 5 Draft, he was selected by the Giants off the Rockies' roster. But in Spring Training, he suffered a UCL tear that required Tommy John surgery on March 29. Fernandez must be on the roster (but he could serve time on the disabled list) for the entire 2019 season.

According to Marlins' data, Fernandez's average fastball velocity in 2017 was 98.4 mph, and he topped at 103 mph.

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

Miami Marlins, Isan Diaz, Jorge Guzman, Monte Harrison

Impactful Harrison making strides in AFL

Miami's No. 2 prospect putting ball in play more consistently
MLB.com

MIAMI -- For Monte Harrison, his raw power, speed and athleticism have always been obvious. The major question about the Marlins outfield prospect is whether he can make enough contact to be truly impactful.

Harrison has provided some answers playing for the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League. He has been putting the ball in play with more consistency, and the results have been impressive.

MIAMI -- For Monte Harrison, his raw power, speed and athleticism have always been obvious. The major question about the Marlins outfield prospect is whether he can make enough contact to be truly impactful.

Harrison has provided some answers playing for the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League. He has been putting the ball in play with more consistency, and the results have been impressive.

The 23-year-old is batting .308 with a .403 on-base percentage, two doubles, one triple and 16 RBIs in 17 games. In 65 at-bats, he has struck out 16 times and drawn 10 walks.

Tweet from @wboor: #Marlins prospects also contributing with the bat. Here���s a two-run triple from Monte Harrison. @MLBPipeline pic.twitter.com/7uqyMGEdwi

A power threat, Harrison likely will always deal with swings and misses in his game. It's a matter of how much he can reduce his strikeouts that will tell when he is big league-ready.

Harrison is expected to be added to the Marlins' 40-man roster this offseason, and he will be in Spring Training camp with the Major League club. While making the Opening Day roster may be a long shot, he projects to start off at Triple-A New Orleans. If Harrison performs there, a big league callup is realistic around midseason.

What's encouraging is Harrison is showing positive signs this fall playing in Arizona. One reason is he has adjusted his swing from his 2018 season at Double-A Jacksonville, where he fanned 215 times in 521 at-bats.

Before heading to Arizona, Harrison refined his mechanics while working out at the Marlins' Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.

Most noticeable is Harrison scrapped the high front leg kick he used during the Double-A season. He has been using more of a front foot pivot as a timing mechanism.

Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill noted that all of the Minor League players were given a personalized plan with objectives to work on in the offseason.

Tweet from @MLBazFallLeague: Sooo, we had some fun today during batting practice: @Team_Harrison3 pic.twitter.com/lDhcOLu9RU

For Harrison, it was pretty straight forward: Put the ball in play more. The data shows that when he does, he can be a force. According to the Marlins' internal metrics, 20 percent of the balls Harrison put in play had an exit velocity of 105 mph or higher. For context, the MLB average is seven percent.

"We have player plans where we look at their areas of improvement and what they need to do to continue to get better and make it to the big leagues," Hill said. "It was no secret that we're trying to cut down on the strikeouts for Monte and get his swing a little more under control so that he could have more contact, and make more impact, and do more damage."

Salt River is the only park in the Arizona Fall League that has Statcast™ readings. In Harrison's home games, 55.6 percent of the balls he has put in play (10 of 18) had an exit velocity of greater than 100 mph. He's 7-for-10 on those struck balls, including a high of 114.6 mph.

Ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 2 prospect, Harrison went through a transition year in 2018.

A potential five-tool talent, Harrison was acquired by the Marlins from the Brewers as part of the Christian Yelich trade.

A three-sport standout at Lee's Summit West High School in Missouri, Harrison turned down an opportunity to play football at the University of Nebraska to begin his professional baseball career.

Harrison dealt with injuries in 2015-16 before combining to bat .272/.350/.481 with 21 home runs and 67 RBIs at two levels of Class A ball in '17.

The Marlins kept Harrison at Double-A Jacksonville for the entire 2018 season, where he was refining his swing but using a high front leg kick. Hitting was a work in progress, with Harrison finishing .240/.316/.399 with 19 home runs, 48 RBIs and 28 stolen bases.

Video: Marlins prospect Harrison on playing under new regime

An underlying issue all season were the 215 strikeouts and just 44 walks in 136 games and 583 plate appearances.

Harrison's strikeout percentage was 36.9, and his walk percentage was 7.5.

"As he finished his Double-A season and reported to Jupiter prior to reporting to Arizona, it was something that we discussed with him," Hill said. "Eliminating the higher leg kick kept him a little more under control and kept his swing a little more under control.

"He's a young player that we still believe has tremendous upside, and we're excited to see him continue his improvement and for him to get better."

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

Miami Marlins, Monte Harrison

How does Mesa change Marlins' outfield for '19?

Top international prospect joins Brinson, Sierra, Harrison, others in high-upside unit
MLB.com

MIAMI -- Victor Victor Mesa projects to be a major part of the Marlins' outfield of the future, but what does his arrival mean for the organization in 2019?

Miami has deepened its outfield over the past two seasons, acquiring in trades players like Lewis Brinson, Magneuris Sierra and Monte Harrison. Mesa joins the mix, but still there is uncertainty how the three outfield spots will shape up next year. There are no fewer than eight players who are in the mix to either open 2019 with the big league club or join the roster at some point during the season.

MIAMI -- Victor Victor Mesa projects to be a major part of the Marlins' outfield of the future, but what does his arrival mean for the organization in 2019?

Miami has deepened its outfield over the past two seasons, acquiring in trades players like Lewis Brinson, Magneuris Sierra and Monte Harrison. Mesa joins the mix, but still there is uncertainty how the three outfield spots will shape up next year. There are no fewer than eight players who are in the mix to either open 2019 with the big league club or join the roster at some point during the season.

"That's our goal, to get better and add as much talent as we can, and put ourselves in position to where we can bring a championship back to South Florida," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said.

On Monday, the Marlins took a step in that direction by signing Mesa, 22, and his brother Victor Mesa Jr., a 17-year-old outfielder.

Video: Mesa brothers introduced as newest Marlins by Jeter

The brothers defected from Cuba in May, and were immediately on the Marlins' radar. In Victor Victor -- MLB Pipeline's No. 1 international prospect -- they envision a five-tool talent with a skill set, in their opinion, similar to touted Nationals' outfielder Victor Robles.

"When you think about what Victor Victor represents, he's a five-tool player," Hill said. "It fits what we've done through our trades [and] through our Draft picks on the amateur side: Athletic. Above-average bat. Above-average runner. Above-average defender. Above-average throwing arm. Fits very well with the type of player that we like."

Video: Hill discusses impact of Mesa brothers on Marlins

The Marlins anticipate the elder Mesa being in big league camp in Spring Training, and he likely will open 2019 either at Class A Advanced Jupiter or Double-A Jacksonville. If he performs there, it will be only a matter of time before he gets called up to the big leagues. So it's not out of the question that at some point next season -- most likely in the second half -- Mesa could be playing in Miami.

However his situation plays out, the Marlins have some interesting outfield scenarios to consider heading into Spring Training.

Based on the current roster, the frontrunners to start the season with the big league club are Brinson, Austin Dean and Derek Dietrich. If he doesn't start at third base, there is a possibility that Brian Anderson could be in right field, a position he appeared at in 91 games this year.

Sierra may also be in the mix, but the 22-year-old speedster struggled after being brought up this year, and he may start off at Triple-A New Orleans. Sierra appeared in 54 games with Miami, and batted .190. He's currently playing winter ball for Toros del Este in the Dominican Republic. In his first seven games, he hit .400.

For now, Brinson is the favorite to start in center, but the 24-year-old will have to perform. He comes off a rough 2018 in which he hit .199 with 11 home runs and 42 RBIs. He showed moderate improvement after the All-Star break, hitting .239/.263/.337.

Video: MIA@PHI: Brinson plates Dietrich with an RBI triple

In terms of his raw ability to impact the baseball, Brinson did show encouraging signs as the season progressed, even if it wasn't shown by his standard statistics. For instance, according to Statcast™, his hard-hit percentage on balls in play since June 1 was 43.2 percent, which is the highest on the team over that span. Hard-hit rate are balls with exit velocities of 95 mph or above.

Mesa, ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 1 prospect, may move fast through the system. So might Harrison, ranked second by Pipeline, who could also reach the big leagues next year.

Harrison is impressing in the Arizona Fall League, batting .375 with a .474 on-base percentage in nine games. The 23-year-old had a single on Tuesday night that was clocked off the bat at 114.6 mph. Although he struck out 215 times at Double-A Jacksonville this year, Harrison belted 19 home runs. The question is if he can make enough consistent contact to be impactful.

Video: Harrison on improving in the Arizona Fall League

According to the Marlins' data, 20 percent of the balls Harrison put in play had exit velocities of 105 mph or higher. The MLB average is seven percent.

Another prospect who may make the leap to Triple-A and even Miami next year is Brian Miller. A left-handed hitter who plays center field, Miller combined to hit .295 with a .338 on-base percentage at Jupiter and Jacksonville. He is a top-of-the-order option who swiped 40 bases in the Minor Leagues this year, and he's also fine tuning his game in the Fall League.

Video: Marlins prospect Miller on developing his game

The Marlins have plenty of outfield options. Now, it's a matter of which players show they are ready.

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

Miami Marlins, Lewis Brinson, Monte Harrison, Magneuris Sierra

Mesa signings show new approach for Marlins

Club hopes to leverage multi-ethnic appeal of Miami to be more aggressive in international market
MLB.com

MIAMI -- Signing the Mesa brothers not only adds two potentially impactful position players to the Marlins' system, it also sends a signal that the organization intends to be aggressive in the international market.

In previous years, that hasn't always been the case, as Miami didn't allocate as many resources or show as strong a commitment to acquiring top international talent. That philosophy has changed.

MIAMI -- Signing the Mesa brothers not only adds two potentially impactful position players to the Marlins' system, it also sends a signal that the organization intends to be aggressive in the international market.

In previous years, that hasn't always been the case, as Miami didn't allocate as many resources or show as strong a commitment to acquiring top international talent. That philosophy has changed.

On Monday, the Marlins made their biggest international free agent splash in almost two decades -- announcing the signings of outfielders Victor Victor Mesa and Victor Mesa Jr. The two defected from Cuba in May, and Miami made a strong push to land them both after Major League Baseball declared them free agents.

"Historically, this organization hasn't really invested in the international market, but that's something we wanted to do moving forward," Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter said.

Video: Derek Jeter discusses Marlins signing Mesa brothers

Not since Miguel Cabrera signed for around $2 million in 1999 have the Marlins made an international signing as high-profile as the Mesa brothers. Victor Victor, 22, is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 1 international prospect, and he is ranked as Miami's new No. 1 overall prospect. His brother, 17, is still a relatively unknown, but his talents were evident during an Oct. 5 showcase at Marlins Park.

Victor Victor signed for $5.25 million, and Victor Jr., signed for $1 million.

Video: Victor Victor Mesa discusses signing with Marlins

The Marlins ownership group, headed by Bruce Sherman and Jeter, are now making international signings a priority.

Why not?

With its large Cuban community, the Marlins feel they have a geographical and cultural advantage over many clubs. Miami's diversity was certainly used as a sales pitch to the Mesa brothers. Even their showcase was in Miami.

"Look, if that's an advantage for us, we need to use it," Jeter said. "And it is. A lot of the international players would love to come here and play in Miami. Any so-called advantage that you have, you have to use it. These players were very comfortable when they came here to Miami, and I know that they are looking forward to the day they can be here at the Major League level."

"It's not a secret: There are a lot of Latinos here, a lot of Cubans, so we feel like home here," Victor Victor said through an interpreter. "But mostly, the seriousness, the plan that this organization has, the way that they've been working with us is one of the things that really attracted us the most."

Video: The Mesa brothers are are welcomed to Miami

Giving themselves the best chance to signing the brothers took some work. The Marlins made three trades this month to boost their international bonus pool from $4.3 million to almost $6.6 million. That put them on equal footing with the Orioles as the two franchises with the most dollars to spend. When offers are financially similar, the Marlins think they can use the draw of Miami as an advantage.

"From the beginning, with the new ownership group, you sit down with Mr. Sherman and Derek, and you tell them where we can improve, and where we can get better," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "We had not been very active internationally. We knew that was an area we needed to get better. We're the Gateway to the Americas, as Derek said. We should be aggressive and competitive when it comes to international talent.

Video: Hill discusses impact of Mesa brothers on Marlins

"That's what we did from the second we heard the brothers were going to be available. We put ourselves in the best position possible to make them Marlins. Making trades that included international money, and it put us in a position where we could be aggressive and get, in our opinion, two impactful position players and add them to our system."

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

Miami Marlins

Marlins make big splash, ink Mesa brothers

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

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

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 trade Barraclough to Nats, eye Cuban stars

Miami deals reliever for international bonus-pool value
MLB.com

MIAMI -- The Marlins continued to get a head start on the Hot Stove season on Wednesday, dealing right-hander Kyle Barraclough to the Nationals for an undisclosed amount of international bonus pool money. It was the Marlins' second trade in four days to build up more international dollars for their pursuit of Cuban prospects Victor Victor Mesa, Victor Mesa Jr. and Sandy Gaston.

Miami dealt right-handed prospect Ryan Lillie to the Reds, also for international pool money, on Saturday. Before the two deals, the Marlins had $4.3 million in their international allotment, the second most of any team. Only the Orioles, at $6.7 million, have more. How much that gap has narrowed isn't yet known.

MIAMI -- The Marlins continued to get a head start on the Hot Stove season on Wednesday, dealing right-hander Kyle Barraclough to the Nationals for an undisclosed amount of international bonus pool money. It was the Marlins' second trade in four days to build up more international dollars for their pursuit of Cuban prospects Victor Victor Mesa, Victor Mesa Jr. and Sandy Gaston.

Miami dealt right-handed prospect Ryan Lillie to the Reds, also for international pool money, on Saturday. Before the two deals, the Marlins had $4.3 million in their international allotment, the second most of any team. Only the Orioles, at $6.7 million, have more. How much that gap has narrowed isn't yet known.

Victor Victor Mesa, 22, and Victor Jr., 18, are both outfielders. Gaston is a 16-year-old right-hander. Victor Victor Mesa is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the top international player on the market, and Gaston is ranked 16th. Major League Baseball recently cleared the three players as free agents, and on Friday they had a showcase in front of about 75 scouts at Marlins Park.

Barraclough, 28, had an uneven and perplexing 2018, going 1-6 with a 4.20 ERA in 61 appearances. He saved 10 of 17 chances. The right-hander became the Marlins' closer in the first half and had a 1.28 ERA in 42 1/3 innings before the All-Star break. In June, he was named the National League Reliever of the Month, not allowing a run and allowing just two hits in 11 2/3 innings. But in the second half, his ERA ballooned to 13.50 in 13 1/3 innings and was 1-for-5 in save chances.

The Marlins acquired Barraclough from the Cardinals in 2015, and in four seasons, he is 15-12 with a 3.21 ERA with 11 saves in 27 chances. The Marlins entertained trade possibilities for him at the non-waiver Trade Deadline in July. The 28-year-old is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time this offseason.

With Barraclough's departure, right-hander Drew Steckenrider is the Marlins' projected closer heading into the Hot Stove season.

Ziegler retires
Former Marlins reliever Brad Ziegler announced his retirement on Wednesday, his 39th birthday. The right-handed submarine-style pitcher opened the season as Miami's closer, but was dealt to the D-backs in July for right-hander Tommy Eveld, who currently is pitching in the Arizona Fall League. Ziegler signed a two-year contract with the Marlins in December 2016.

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

Miami Marlins, Kyle Barraclough

Marlins deal prospect to Reds, clear int'l money

Right-hander Lillie on move as Miami eyes Cuban trio
MLB.com

MIAMI -- On Saturday, the Marlins announced a Minor League trade that could have major implications in their pursuit of Cuban prospects Victor Victor Mesa, his younger brother, Victor Mesa Jr., and Sandy Gaston.

Miami dealt right-hander Ryan Lillie, a fifth-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, to the Reds for an undisclosed amount of international bonus pool money.

MIAMI -- On Saturday, the Marlins announced a Minor League trade that could have major implications in their pursuit of Cuban prospects Victor Victor Mesa, his younger brother, Victor Mesa Jr., and Sandy Gaston.

Miami dealt right-hander Ryan Lillie, a fifth-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, to the Reds for an undisclosed amount of international bonus pool money.

Video: Top Prospects: Ryan Lillie, RHP, Marlins

The Marlins have strong interest in signing the two Mesa brothers and Gaston, who were recently declared free agents by Major League Baseball. The three worked out Friday in front of about 75 scouts at Marlins Park.

All 30 big league clubs were invited to Friday's showcase, which lasted about three hours. Victor Victor Mesa, 22, and Victor Jr., 17, are both outfielders, and Gaston is a hard-throwing 16-year-old right-hander, whose fastball maxed out at 97 mph during the workout.

Trading Lillie boosts the Marlins' international bonus pool allotment, which was $4.3 million before the trade. Only the Orioles at $6.7 million have more bonus money than Miami.

The Marlins are also exploring other trades for additional international bonus money.

The Marlins have repeatedly stated that they intend to be aggressive in the Latin American market. With Miami's large Cuban-community, the club is targeting additional Cuban prospects and selling to them the advantages of living and playing in South Florida.

After Friday's workout, the Mesa brothers and Gaston sent out photos via their social media platforms wearing Marlins uniforms and caps.

Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter and other top club executives dined with the three Cuban prospects Friday.

Victor Victor Mesa played in the 2017 World Baseball Classic for Cuba, and his younger brother was on Cuba's 18-under national team.

Lillie, 22, pitched at three levels in 2018 -- combining for a 3.44 ERA in 22 starts. He spent most of the season at Class A Greensboro, going 6-2 with a 2.58 ERA in 80 1/3 innings. The right-hander who attended the University of California-Riverside, also made seven starts at Class A Advanced Jupiter, with a 4.93 ERA in 34 2/3 innings.

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

Miami Marlins