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Marlins FAQ: How will Miami keep improving?

@JoeFrisaro
November 1, 2019

MIAMI -- The first two years of the Marlins’ building process focused largely on stockpiling the Minor League system. The organization has succeeded on that front, developing one of the top farm systems after ranking near the bottom previously. In preparing for the 2020 season, the front office will place

MIAMI -- The first two years of the Marlins’ building process focused largely on stockpiling the Minor League system. The organization has succeeded on that front, developing one of the top farm systems after ranking near the bottom previously.

In preparing for the 2020 season, the front office will place more attention on giving manager Don Mattingly more talent to work with. After finishing 57-105, the Marlins will be looking to add to their roster while not wanting to rush their high-end prospects.

As a guide to what’s ahead, MLB.com addresses some frequently asked offseason questions.

Which Miami players are free agents?

Outfielder Curtis Granderson and infielders Neil Walker, Martín Prado and Starlin Castro.

When does free agency start?

Players became eligible to file for free agency immediately at the conclusion of the 2019 World Series, and they may sign with other clubs six days after the end of the World Series.

Are any of Miami’s free agents likely to receive qualifying offers, and what is the deadline for that?

None of the free agents will be extended a qualifying offer. The deadline for free agents to accept a qualifying offer is 15 days after the end of the 2019 World Series.

Which players have options, what’s the dollar figure and impact on payroll?

The Marlins declined to exercise infielder Castro's $16 million club option for 2020 and picked up his $1 million buyout, making him a free agent. Having Castro's contract off the books adds some more payroll flexibility. The estimated 2020 payroll is about $80 million.

Which players are arbitration eligible?

Right-hander José Ureña, left-hander Adam Conley and shortstop JT Riddle. Salary arbitration filing begins in January 2020, with Jan. 10 as the date to exchange salary arbitration figures.

Who might be a non-tender candidate?

Riddle. The tender deadline is Dec. 2.

Who needs to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason to avoid the Rule 5 Draft, and do they have a crunch for roster spots?

RHP Sixto Sánchez, RHP Edward Cabrera, RHP Nick Neidert, LHP Will Stewart, SS Jazz Chisholm and 1B Lewin Díaz. All are expected to be added to the 40-man roster, which must be set by Nov. 18.

Which key players have at least one option entering 2020?

First baseman/outfielder Garrett Cooper, outfielder Lewis Brinson, third baseman/outfielder Brian Anderson and second baseman Isan Diaz.

Key players who are out of options?

Left-handers Jarlin García and Adam Conley; right-handers Ureña, Tayron Guerrero and Austin Brice; outfielder Magneuris Sierra and catcher Jorge Alfaro.

What kind of help do the Marlins need, and will they be active in free agency? Who might they target?

Due to player versatility, the Marlins don’t feel they have one or two specific areas of need. In general, they are seeking position players, preferably those with a “hit first” mentality and power potential. First base is the closest position to a specific area of need. Bullpen is another area that will receive plenty of attention in free agency, as well as backup catcher.

Potential free-agent targets?

Catchers Francisco Cervelli and Austin Romine; outfielders Corey Dickerson, Melky Cabrera and Jon Jay; first basemen José Abreu and Justin Smoak; infielder Howie Kendrick and pitchers Gio González and Tyler Clippard.

When are the Winter Meetings?

Dec. 9-12 in San Diego.

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