Marlins open to dealing righty Ureña

December 16th, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- The Marlins put to rest any speculation that would not be extended a contract for the 2020 season at the Dec. 2 tender deadline.

Miami formally tendered Ureña, meaning the organization committed to offering the 28-year-old right-hander a contract for 2020 with a salary to be worked out at a later date. But the tender alone doesn't guarantee Ureña a roster spot. The Marlins still can explore trade options for their most experienced starting pitcher.

At the Winter Meetings, where numerous trade possibilities are discussed, Ureña's name is being tossed around. If Miami can find a match, he could be on the move.

Despite being the Marlins' Opening Day starter the past two seasons, Ureña is expendable because he doesn't have a defined role. In an injury-plagued 2019 season, Ureña went 4-10 with a 5.21 ERA in 24 games (13 starts). His season was interrupted by a lengthy injured list stint after he suffered a herniated disc in June. He went on the IL on June 12 and was reinstated in September, when he ended up throwing 10 innings in relief. In a small sample size, he had a 9.00 ERA working out of the bullpen.

Ureña made $3.2 million in arbitration in 2019, his first year of arbitration, and he is eligible for free agency in '22.

The Marlins are building around a promising core of young starters, headed by All-Star Sandy Alcantara, left-hander Caleb Smith and righty Pablo Lopez. Jordan Yamamoto, Elieser Hernandez and Robert Dugger each have big league experience, and prospects like Sixto Sanchez (Miami's No. 1 prospect and No. 22 overall), Edward Cabrera (No. 6, No. 99 overall) and Nick Neidert (No. 11) are each expected to reach the big leagues at some point in 2020. Behind them are lefty prospects Trevor Rogers (No. 8) and Braxton Garrett (No. 7).

The Marlins' starter depth, along with questions about Ureña's effectiveness out of the bullpen, means they're open to moving the right-hander, who originally signed as international free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2009.