Payroll parameters set for Marlins

MIAMI — The Marlins are not expected to be big spenders in the offseason, but the front office is confident that there are enough dollars available to upgrade the club.

During a conference call on Wednesday, Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said he has been given a payroll range for 2014. A specific number has not been given.

Miami’s payroll was around $38 million in ’13, and it is believed to be in the same neighborhood for this season. Hill didn’t reveal the exact range.

But it sounds as if something makes sense, the front office will present an argument to team owner Jeffrey Loria.

“We have a range that we’re working on,” Hill said. “We haven’t been given a definitive number at this point, but we know what we need to do. We have a range of where we may be, and we will hit the ground running in Orlando.”

The Marlins will head into the General Managers Meetings in Orlando next week in the market for offensive improvement. Third base and catcher are two areas of need. But Hill noted the club will look to be creative in hopes of improving the offense.

Asked if the payroll ranges is enough to fill needs, Hill said: “I think we’re comfortable with the range that we have, and we can do what we need to do to improve the club. I think if there is something that we feel is mandatory for this club, I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility to go to Jeffrey and see if it is something that we can do.”

The Marlins are looking to build around Giancarlo Stanton, who is not available on the trade market. Miami is open to approaching Stanton and his agent, Joel Wolfe, about a multi-year contract. But they have not yet had any formal discussions.

Hill added the Marlins aren’t necessarily looking for power bats. Productive hitters are what the team’s in the market for, and the team is looking to find players who can take advantage of the spacious gaps at Marlins Park.

Hill also said the Marlins have already reached out to reliever Chad Qualls, who is now a free agent after he was effective in a setup role last season.

— Joe Frisaro

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