Front office additions, GM Meetings updates

BOCA RATON, Fla. — The Marlins aren’t expected to finalize any major moves at the General Managers Meetings, but the organization continues to round out its scouting department.

Miami has four new additions to their staff. Willie Fraser has been hired as the advance scout. Also joining the organization are Paul Ricciarini (special assignment scout), Jim Cuthbert (special assignment scout) and Gary Pellant (pro scout).

GM Meetings buzz

* There is plenty of speculation that center fielder Marcell Ozuna, who turns 25 on Thursday, will be traded. The club is willing to listen on potential offers, but the sentiment is Miami is leaning heavily in favor of retaining Ozuna. It would take a really attractive package for Ozuna to be moved.

* It’s no secret the Marlins covet a front-line starter, but the reality is the club may wind up making a bigger push for a closer. Yes, this is a deep starting pitching free agent market, but the club has made it clear it will not compete for the top-tier starters like David Price or Zack Greinke. Miami isn’t willing to go into the $180 million or higher range for any pitcher. But what about, say, Yovani Gallardo? There are reports he could be signed in the five-year, $75 million range.

Miami could be willing to sign a starter to that type of deal. But Gallardo doesn’t appear to be the target. The concern with Gallardo is he is more of a five or six-inning starter than someone who regularly logs seven or more innings.

The Marlins also are being careful about signing pitchers who have been extended qualifying offers. Because the Rangers made a qualifying offer to Gallardo, if he were to sign with Miami, the Marlins would have to part with their second round pick as compensation.

By rule, teams picking in the top 10 of the 2016 MLB Draft don’t lose their first-round pick when signing players extended qualifying offers. Miami has the seventh overall selection.

The Marlins may be more willing to lose their second-round pick for a position player (power bat) granted a qualifying offer than a pitcher.

Joe Frisaro

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