WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The teardown for the Marlins ended with J.T. Realmuto being traded to the Phillies days before Spring Training started, and now the organization is focused on building towards a brighter future.Realmuto was the final core player remaining from a 2017 Miami squad that featured Giancarlo
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The teardown for the Marlins ended with J.T. Realmuto being traded to the Phillies days before Spring Training started, and now the organization is focused on building towards a brighter future.
Realmuto was the final core player remaining from a 2017 Miami squad that featured Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon. But as talented as that nucleus was, it never finished above .500, winning 77 games in its final season together.
Now that all of the players have been dealt, the Marlins are in the process of building back the organization, with an emphasis on strengthening from the Minor League levels on up.
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The sweeping changes of the past two years also have positioned the franchise to strategically add players, where necessary.
"We have complete support of ownership and whatever direction we feel is in the best interests of the Marlins," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said on Sunday night at Spring Training media day at the Hilton West Palm Beach.
Over the next couple of years, the Marlins are expected to be more active in the free-agent market.
"When that time comes, I fully expect that ownership will continue to support us in whatever we feel is necessary," Hill said.
This offseason, the Marlins added three key veterans: infielder Neil Walker, outfielder Curtis Granderson (as a non-roster invitee) and reliever Sergio Romo.
Walker projects to play first base, and Romo will be used in a variety of roles, perhaps even opening and closing. Although Granderson is on a Minor League deal, he likely will make the club and play left field.
"We have a very young roster, but I think you've seen when we've had an opportunity to add a key veteran piece, via Neil Walker, Curtis Granderson, Sergio Romo, ownership has been very supportive in allowing us to add the pieces that we think are the right pieces for this organization," Hill said.
Spring Training opened for the Marlins last Wednesday, with pitcher and catcher workouts at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex. Full-squad workouts begin at 1 p.m. ET on Monday.
The Marlins have 68 players in camp, and they are not actively shopping for any more, even though there are many veteran free agents still on the market.
Carlos González was a potential fit, but the Marlins are not ready to commit to the veteran outfielder who has spent nearly his entire career with the Rockies.
At least for the early part of camp, the Marlins prefer to give opportunities to their young players.
"We're very happy that we've been able to layer talent throughout the organization -- from the big leagues all the way down to the lower rungs of the Minor League system," Hill said.
"We're very happy with the numbers we have in camp right now. We have 68 in camp now. But as long as there are players available, we'll continue to look and see if there are ways for us to get better, and try to be opportunistic if an opportunity presents itself. But we're very pleased with the numbers we have in camp."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.