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Jeter addresses state of Marlins, plans for '19

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter addressed the media on Thursday afternoon, touching on a wide range of topics that included the managerial status of Don Mattingly in 2019, All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto and the organization's interest in Cuban outfield sensation Victor Victor Mesa.

Asked about Mattingly's status -- who's under contract through 2019 -- Jeter hinted that he would be back.

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MIAMI -- Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter addressed the media on Thursday afternoon, touching on a wide range of topics that included the managerial status of Don Mattingly in 2019, All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto and the organization's interest in Cuban outfield sensation Victor Victor Mesa.

Asked about Mattingly's status -- who's under contract through 2019 -- Jeter hinted that he would be back.

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"He's under contract," Jeter said.

Whether Mattingly would have his contract extended beyond next season was not discussed. But that could be a topic that is covered in the upcoming weeks, or shortly after the end of the season.

Mattingly, who joined the Marlins in 2016, recently was named manager of a collection of big league players who will travel to Japan. The MLB-Japan All-Star Series is scheduled for Nov. 8-15.

"It's a great experience for him to go over there for a short period of time," Jeter said.

Realmuto, the face of the franchise, was selected as an All-Star for the first time. The 27-year-old has two more seasons of arbitration before qualifying for free agency in 2021.

Jeter repeated that the Marlins are open to a contract extension for Realmuto. If one isn't reached, then there is a chance he could be traded in the offseason.

"J.T. and his representatives are very aware of how we feel about him as a player," Jeter said. "Any conversations that we may have are private conversations. But I've been very vocal of how I feel about him, too."

In terms of using all avenues to add championship-caliber players, Jeter noted the organization intends to be more active in the international market. Mesa, 22, and his brother, Victor Mesa, recently were granted free agency by MLB, and they will be working out for big league clubs in October in the Dominican Republic.

"I think [there will be] probably 30 clubs out there interested in seeing him work out, and we're one of those teams," Jeter said.

Winding down his first season as part owner and CEO of the Marlins, Jeter maintained the organization will stick with its long-term plan.

"We'll continue to stay the course. We have a plan," Jeter said. "That plan started with building an organization from the Minor League system on up. We'll continue to do that. We'll continue to add talent to our Minor League system. Whether that's through Drafts, whether that's through trades. Whether that's through the international market."

The Marlins were active last offseason, trading Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees, Marcell Ozuna to the Cardinals, Dee Gordon to the Mariners, and Christian Yelich to the Brewers.

Yelich was an All-Star this season, and has emerged as a frontrunner for the National League MVP award.

In return, the Marlins acquired outfielders Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison, plus second baseman Isan Diaz and right-hander Jordan Yamamoto.

"Christian is a great player," Jeter said. "Everyone would tell you that. He had a lot of great years here in the organization. Hey, we're happy with the four players we got back. We feel they are going to play big parts and big roles in the future of this organization. So that's how I look at it. We wish him the best. I don't know Christian personally, but yeah, he's continued to improve as a player."

Worth noting

• Add Yamamoto to the list of Marlins pitching prospects who will be attending the Arizona Fall League. Yamamoto, Tommy Eveld, Chad Smith and Kyle Keller are Miami pitchers heading to the Fall League. They'll join position players Harrison, Bryson Brigman and Brian Miller.

• The Marlins have 40 prospects, including 21 pitchers, currently participating in their Instructional League, which is taking place at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla. A few of the younger prospects have been working through minor injuries. Shortstop Osiris Johnson, their second-round pick in the June MLB Draft, is taking a few days off due to shin splints in his right leg. Catcher Will Banfield, who broke his toe in August, is getting back on to the field. Shortstop Jose Devers (right shoulder tendinitis) is hitting and fielding, but not doing extended throwing.

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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