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.
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.