MIAMI -- Marlins CEO Derek Jeter and general manager Kim Ng put on a master class in keeping their cards close to their chest on Tuesday afternoon at loanDepot park.
The Marlins entered nine games back in the National League East with 79 games to go. With the July 30 Trade Deadline approaching, the organization is receiving calls on a daily basis. The future of players like Starling Marte and Miguel Rojas, among others, is uncertain. What is clear, however, is that both Jeter and Ng believe a foundation is in place.
"We've been inconsistent," Jeter said of his assessment of the club. "I don't think there's any other way you can say it. We've shown flashes of how good we can be. I think our pitching staff has been a plus for the most part all year. There's going to be times any team, I don't care who you are, you're going to go through some rough patches. But I think our pitching staff has been a plus. Offensively, I think we've shown signs of what we're capable of doing. But we just haven't had the consistency there. Still believe it's a team that can run off a good two, three weeks, and you'd be right back in the middle of things. So one day at a time, but that's the approach we should be taking from the beginning of the season."
Below are some of the questions posed to the pair in separate sessions with reporters:
What's the club's approach? Buy? Sell? A mixture?
"I would characterize it as anything that we feel can make the club better, we're going to explore. We're going to talk to other clubs. I can say that's for the long term as well as the short term. I think this club, I think with the pitching that we have, we have Brian [Anderson] coming back, etc., we are an interesting club, and you can see that when we play our division rivals. We don't roll over for anybody, so I feel this is an interesting division. I feel like if we got on a little roll here and the timing was right, it's interesting. It's a good situation." -- Ng
How would you improve the club? What would you target?
"I don't know. I do know, actually, but I can't share it. Because like I said, I think any time you start talking about adding someone, someone has to leave, right? That's just the nature of the sport. I know when I was a player, I didn't want to hear about it. And when I was a player and people asked how excited you were because you got a new player, first thing I would say is you feel bad for the person that's not here. So there's two ways to look at it. We're always going to look at ways that we can get better offensively, defensively, on the pitching side, whether it's the starters or bullpen. We're always going to look at ways to get better, but also take into consideration if you do acquire someone, you are moving someone. So I try to be sensitive to that." -- Jeter
How close to the Trade Deadline are you willing to wait to make a decision on Marte's future with the club?
"I think that's one option. If we don't get to a situation that we want to be in, there's another option where he stays a Marlin, and you still have opportunity to talk to him. I think there's situations after the offseason, so I wouldn't make the 30th the be-all and end-all of this." -- Ng
Is Marte staying with the Marlins for the foreseeable future a priority?
"I think one thing is it's refreshing to hear players say that they want to be here. When we first got here, I don't think that was necessarily the case. Now we have players that want to stay here and want to play in Miami. I'll leave it at that, because I don't ever get into negotiations [about a] player or non-negotiations with a player. I don't want you to assume that I'm negotiating, but we keep things private. I think that's the best way to handle it, because when you're a player and you start hearing about contract negotiations, or potential contract negotiations or trades, potential trades, I know from experience it affects you on the field. I wouldn't want it to affect anyone on the field. So we'll keep those conversations -- if we're having those conversations -- we'll keep them private." -- Jeter
Rojas mentioned he wants to stay in Miami, but he also understands if him being traded helps the club, he'd be OK. What do you have to say about that?
"'Thank you for your kindness, Miggy. Appreciate it.' What he's meant to the team. Miggy was here, obviously, before we got here. I think he bought into what we were building early on. I think he's done a great job on the field, goes without saying. But I think the way he's been a leader in the clubhouse not only here at the Major League level, but the Minor League guys coming up throughout the system, I think they look up to him. And Miggy's a guy, when he speaks, people listen to him, which is a good thing. So we couldn't be happier Miggy's here." -- Jeter