It’s that time of year, and the Marlins are in the thick of some hot stove talk. Signing a franchise player to a 13 year deal that is worth $325M will turn some heads. Now it is time to prove it wasn’t just a publicity stunt.
Gattis makes some sense. He is 28 and under control until 2018. He played some first, but mostly OF and C. That said, “Orso Blanco” has made an impression against the Fish and his power bat could be a nice fit at Marlins Park. It seems he and Casey McGehee would be best of buds as they both have a rough, old-school baseball persona.
Chris Davis is arbitration eligible and coming off a terrible 2014 campaign where he hit .196 with 26 home runs. This after he hit .286 and 53 HRs in 2013. He also has a glaring hole in his swing.
Both players offer power but flawed games. Gattis may not have a position on the field (probably a better DH candidate) and “Crush” Davis may not be all that much of an upgrade over Garrett Jones.
World Series champion and South Florida native, Michael Morse may be a possibility, Joe Frisaro speculates. He has power and can play 1B and could fit in with the Marlins estimated $65M budget for the upcoming season. All three options are flawed, yes, but should provide relative youth and contractual control moving forward.
Miley was mentioned this past season as the Fish were heading towards to trade deadline trying to stay in the playoff hunt. The lefty would provide a much more stable presence in the rotation and give the Marlins something that they lacked outside of Brad Hand. The question is, how much value the Diamondbacks put on Miley, who was a challenger for NL ROY just a few seasons ago.
The Tigers may want a lot for Price, as is their want. The Fish have not had a good track record in dealing with the Tigers (see Miguel Cabrera) but landing Price would give them a frontline pitcher through 2016. It will probably start with Andrew Heaney as a trading chip to get the Tigers as a partner in any potential deal.
James Shields, another former Ray that GM Dan Jennings knows well, is a free agent and would offer the least resistance in regards to getting him into Miami – that is, if the Fish can match his salary expectations. Shields may be too costly for what the Marlins want to do.
So the Marlins are kicking the tires on several players. They are not yet ready to chase the big names quite yet but if they do have a real commitment to fielding a sustainable, winning team, they have to start building with players that fit their immediate needs as well as their long term goals. They have stockpiled some pretty good arms, which means it may need to shed some of them to get where they need to go.