As MLB offseason officially begins, decisions are on the horizon for Miami Marlins

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The Miami Marlins still do not have a president of baseball operations or general manager in place after Kim Ng’s departure from the organization last month, but the organization has decisions to start making when it comes to its roster as the MLB offseason gets underway.

The Texas Rangers won their first-ever World Series on Wednesday, beating the Arizona Diamondbacks in five games to officially put the offseason in motion.

The team has already made a few housekeeping moves, outrighting outfielder Jonathan Davis as well as pitchers Enmannuel De Jesus and Jeff Lindgren off the 40-man roster, but more impactful decisions will start happening as early as the next few days.

Here’s what you need to know about the state of the Marlins’ roster as the offseason begins.

Impending free agents

Three players on the Marlins’ 40-man roster are slated to be free agents in shortstop Joey Wendle, right-handed reliever David Robertson and first baseman Yuli Gurriel. All three are unlikely to return.

Once those three clear off the roster, the Marlins’ 40-man roster will be at 39 players before any decisions are made.

Miami Marlins base runner Jorge Soler (12) reacts after hitting a two run homerun during the third inning of an MLB game against the Houston Astros at loanDepot park in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Florida, on Tuesday, August 15, 2023. D.A. Varela/dvarela@miamiherald.com
Miami Marlins base runner Jorge Soler (12) reacts after hitting a two run homerun during the third inning of an MLB game against the Houston Astros at loanDepot park in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Florida, on Tuesday, August 15, 2023. D.A. Varela/dvarela@miamiherald.com

Players with options

Five players have options in their contracts — two with player options and three with team options.

Outfielder/designated hitter Jorge Soler, who made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and had a team-high 36 home runs, has a $13 million player option. First baseman/designated hitter Josh Bell, acquired at the trade deadline, has a $16.5 million player option.

The three players with team options are right-handed pitcher Matt Barnes ($8 million or $2.25 million buyout), right-handed pitcher Johnny Cueto ($10.5 million or $2.5 million buyout) and utility player Jon Berti ($3.625 million or $25,000 buyout). Miami will most likely buy out Barnes and Cueto. Berti is a toss-up, but it’s worth noting he remains arbitration-eligible and under team control if Miami does not pick up the team option.

Miami Marlins center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. (2) and second baseman Luis Arraez (3) make their way back to the field against the Milwaukee Brewers in the sixth inning of an MLB game at loanDepot park on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, in Miami, Fla. MATIAS J. OCNER/mocner@miamiherald.com
Miami Marlins center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. (2) and second baseman Luis Arraez (3) make their way back to the field against the Milwaukee Brewers in the sixth inning of an MLB game at loanDepot park on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, in Miami, Fla. MATIAS J. OCNER/mocner@miamiherald.com

Arbitration-eligible players

Not including Berti, whose situation is pending what happens with his team option, the Marlins have 12 arbitration-eligible players.

The full list, sorted by their projected salaries for the 2024 season by MLB Trade Rumors, is as follows: Second baseman Luis Arraez ($10.8 million), left-handed pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($5.9 million), left-handed pitcher Tanner Scott ($5.8 million), catcher Jacob Stallings ($3.6 million), center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. ($2.8 million), outfielder Jesus Sanchez ($2 million), left-handed pitcher A.J. Puk ($1.8 million), left-handed pitcher Trevor Rogers ($1.5 million), utility player Garrett Hampson ($1.3 million), left-handed pitcher Steven Okert ($1.2 million), right-handed pitcher JT Chargois ($1.2 million) and right-handed pitcher Anthony Bender ($900,000).

That’s a projected $38.8 million for those 12 players.

From this group, Stallings would make the most logical sense to be a non-tender candidate. Catcher and shortstop are the two areas that Miami conceivably needs to prioritize this season. First base could also be high on that list pending Bell’s decision. Stallings struggled last season but was Sandy Alcantara’s personal catcher both seasons he was with the organization. Alcantara will not pitch in the 2024 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Miami Marlins first baseman Troy Johnston smiles during their spring training workout at Roger Dean Stadium on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 in Jupiter, FL. David Santiago/dsantiago@miamiherald.com
Miami Marlins first baseman Troy Johnston smiles during their spring training workout at Roger Dean Stadium on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 in Jupiter, FL. David Santiago/dsantiago@miamiherald.com

Rule 5 Draft eligible prospects

Eight of the Marlins’ top-30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline are eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft in December if not added to the 40-man roster.

That group: Outfielder Victor Mesa Jr. (Miami’s No. 6 prospect), shortstop Nasim Nunez (No. 17), shortstop Javier Sanoja (No. 18), first baseman Troy Johnston (No. 22), right-handed pitcher Anthony Maldonado (No. 25), right-handed pitcher Evan Fitterer (No. 26), catcher Will Banfield (No. 28) and infielder Ian Lewis (No. 29).

From those eight, Mesa, Nunez, Johnston, Banfield and Maldonado will likely be the priorities when it comes to who the team chooses to protect.

Key dates to know

Monday: Deadline for decisions regarding player and team options, as well as extending qualifying offers.

Nov. 15: The final day to add prospects to the 40-man roster to protect them from being selected in the Rule 5 Draft.

Nov. 17: The deadline to decide whether to tender players a contract. This primarily impacts players who are arbitration-eligible. Salary figures are not finalized on this day. Rather, it’s just when teams make the decision on if they plan to keep a player in the organization. Players who are not tendered a contract become free agents.

Dec. 4-7: MLB’s annual Winter Meetings take place in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dec. 6: The Rule 5 Draft takes place during Winter Meetings.

Jan. 12: The deadline to exchange salary figures for arbitration-eligible players who have not yet agreed to a contract.

Jan. 15: The international signing period opens.