The Miami Marlins’ payroll commitments are about to plunge, from $70 million this season, to the $45 million range in realistic projections for 2020.
Which leads to the question: Will the Marlins spend this offseason for one or two quality position players to augment baseball’s most anemic offense?
And we’re not talking about past-their-prime stopgaps, like Neil Walker ($2 million this year) or Curtis Granderson ($1.75 million) were this season, but a legitimate middle of the order hitter or two who could transform this offense from dreadful to decent.
Marlins CEO Derek Jeter, whose team was 53-99 through Thursday, was non-committal on Friday about whether that money coming off the books would be re-allocated to improve the roster.
“We are going to sit down and talk about our plans moving forward,” Jeter said. “If there’s a situation we can make our team better, whether that’s through free agency [or trades], we are going to do it. Our job is to make our team better. Having said that, we have guys on the brink. They’re coming. They’re coming quick. You want to give them enough time to continue to develop but you don’t want to block their way.”
Jeter also spoke of improvement from within: “Our players need to get better. ... [With the major league product], we’ve made some progress. We have a long way to go. It’s been tough to watch at times.”
Another Marlins official said the team has prioritized outfield and bullpen as areas to be addressed, with first base and starting pitching also possibilities. A center fielder is badly needed, though the free agent market offers little in that regard. Some money certainly will be spent in free agency.