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Inbox: Does Guzman project as closer or starter?

Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers questions from Marlins fans
January 11, 2019

Do you think Jorge Guzman can be a future closer for the Marlins? Or do you prefer him to be a starter? -- @antonioadolfo6That's an easy one. Of course, the preference is for Guzman to be a starter. But if he isn't able to command his fastball to both sides

Do you think Jorge Guzman can be a future closer for the Marlins? Or do you prefer him to be a starter?
-- @antonioadolfo6

That's an easy one. Of course, the preference is for Guzman to be a starter. But if he isn't able to command his fastball to both sides of the plate, then his future may ultimately be as a reliever. The Marlins acquired Guzman, their No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline, from the Yankees in December 2017 as part of the Giancarlo Stanton trade.
The flamethrower spent the entire 2018 season at Class A Advanced Jupiter, where his velocity maxed at 101 mph. Guzman is a physical presence, who also is polishing up his slider and changeup. The Marlins added the 22-year-old right-hander to their 40-man roster in the offseason, and he is expected to start off at Double-A Jacksonville, where he will be in the rotation. This season will give a better indication of whether Guzman profiles as a future option for the rotation. If he moves to the bullpen, whether he becomes a closer or not will depend on how effective he is at missing bats. To close, you need swing-and-miss pitches.
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Which teams are still interested in Marlins All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto?
-- @nynfa711

The landscape changed in recent days with Yasmani Grandal reportedly reaching agreement on a one-year deal with the Brewers. With Grandal no longer an option to return, the Dodgers are in the market for a front-line catcher, and they have the prospects and need to make a strong push for Realmuto. I'm hearing, in no particular order, the Dodgers, Braves, Astros, Padres, Reds and Rays have expressed the most interest in Realmuto. The Marlins' firm stance has not changed. They seek an overpay situation: a top prospect and more.
Realmuto agreed to a $5.9 million deal in his second season of arbitration, which is another reason the Marlins have insisted they have no urgency to deal their best player. Along with Realmuto, right-handers Jose Urena and Dan Straily, lefty Adam Conley and infielder Miguel Rojas avoided arbitration.
It's also important to note that if Miami does trade Realmuto, the club would then have to address its catcher situation by finding another option who has big league experience to work with a young pitching staff.
Do you think Starlin Castro will get traded this offseason to make room for Isan Diaz?
-- @josecuba305

The Marlins are open to trading Castro, but the second-base market had been slow moving until recent reports regarding James Dozier, Jed Lowrie and DJ LeMahieu. Teams also are reluctant to take on the $11 million Castro will make this season, and his deal has a club option of $16 million for 2020, with a $1 million buyout. The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline may realistically be a time when teams are more receptive to trading for Castro. As for Diaz, the 22-year-old left-handed hitter is considered the second baseman of the future. I suspect Diaz will open at Triple-A New Orleans, and how he performs will also determine how quickly he reaches the big leagues. If Diaz shows he can hit, Miami would find a place for its No. 9 prospect to play in the big leagues. He did play some third base in the offseason, but the hope is for him to be at second.
What are your thoughts on one of the Marlins' newest additions, Rosell Herrera? Do you think he makes the Opening Day roster?
-- @kevinmiller64__

The Marlins claimed Herrera off waivers from the Royals recently and added him to the 40-man roster, which gives him somewhat of an advantage to make the Opening Day roster, most likely as a utility player. The 26-year-old switch-hitter saw action in the big leagues in 2018 with the Reds and Royals, combining to hit .234/.286/.317. Herrera can play all three outfield positions, second base and third base. He came up as a shortstop and has good speed, but Herrera isn't a power threat..
Besides Realmuto, are there any possible trade candidates on this roster before the start of the season?
-- @ProfessorXXX88

Realmuto has taken up so much of the Marlins' offseason, and whether he stays or goes impacts other positions. For instance, Miami may be more inclined to trade for a first baseman rather than sign a free agent on what would most likely be a one-year deal.
Marlins' trade candidates not named Realmuto
A pitcher who could be dealt by the Marlins before Spring Training is Straily, the projected No. 2 starter. Clubs have touched base this offseason on Straily, who was in his second year of arbitration eligibility. If something makes sense, Straily could be moved.
A number of teams have checked in on Urena, who was arbitration-eligible for the first time. But Urena may be the closest player Miami has to being untouchable. The way its roster is presently constructed, Urena is a workhorse who can give the club 30 starts and about 180 innings. I could see July as a more likely window for Urena to be moved.

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