Rule 5 Draft May Offer Marlins Depth, Upside

Right now, the Marlins are in the market for affordable options to hit the ball and hopefully, find some power in that process. Don’t expect a splash in the free agent market this offseason as the Winter Meetings amp up on Monday. Instead, expect a more subtle and shrewd move from the Fish as they look to stockpile some depth for next spring’s preseason.

In fact the Marlins picked up Joe Mahoney from the Orioles, which give the Marlins some corner OF depth as well as some 1B potential.

The Rule 5 draft will kick off on Thursday at 10 ante meridiem and although it will be nearly impossible to find a superstar stashed there, a la Dan Uggla, the Marlins can get some depth. Teams have to shell out $50K to draft a player and that player has to stay on their 25 man roster for at least one season. That said, the Marlins can find some hitters which could be MLB ready and could add some depth on the bench and maybe blossom into solid big leaguers. Two hitters offer some interesting possibilities:

  • Nate Freiman hit .298 last season with 24 home runs and 105 RBIs on the Rangers’ AA farm last season. He also collected 154 hits against 95Ks and at 25, and 6’7″, he could be primed to step in and offer some depth at 1B with some upside with the bat. The question is, will the Marlins take a risk on a guy who only plays 1B when they have Logan Morrison already and this may not provide enough flexibility?
  • Another interesting prospect available is Chris McGuiness who had a .268 AVG with 23 home runs and 77 RBIs was also hitting in the Rangers’ system. He finished tied for 4th in his league for home runs and 7th for RBIs. He also had 122 hits with 107 Ks, making for a solid offensive showing last season. McGuiness also had an impressive showing in the Arizona Fall League, collecting some hardware as its MVP while collecting 27 RBIs in 25 games. He also is working on playing corner OF positions to help his versatility, which makes him a prime target to add depth on the Marlins bench and hits from the left side of the plate, which the Marlins have expressed as a need. His advanced approach at the plate also may make him MLB ready and a possible solid contributor to the Marlins next season.

Only 12 teams actually picked in the Rule 5 last season, so expect maybe a pick from the Marlins given that their current roster is at 37 and they have a few extra spots open. Of the two possibilities mentioned, McGuiness seems to be a better fit given his flexibility. There are pitchers available but the Marlins are looking to add a veteran starter which most likely would not be a viable option through the Rule 5 draft.