• Kris Cartelle

Marlins Sign Garcia, Draft Sharp & Leon in Very Active Last Day at Winter Meetings

The Marlins didn’t want to leave the Winter Meetings empty handed, and granted, they did not. Miami really has been trying to add one more impactful bat to boost up the lineup for 2020. They reached some road blocks which have delayed their pursuit. In an attempt to keep the ball rolling, the Marlins turned to fixing up their bullpen on the last day of the winter meetings.

Starting off with the bigger news, the Marlins have reportedly signed RHP Yimi Garcia to an MLB deal (details unknown). Garcia has been a reliever out of the Dodgers bullpen for the past few seasons. Garcia has a career 3.66 ERA in 160 innings pitched. The 29 year old from the Dominican Republic, was non-tendered by the Dodgers earlier this month. Garcia held opponents to a .178 batting average and had 66 strikeouts against 14 walks this past season. Garcia is a low-leverage “bridge” arm addition to the Marlins bullpen. An interesting note: Garcia pitched for Don Mattingly when he was the manager of the Dodgers from 2014-2015. To make room for him on the 40-man roster the Marlins must remove someone before making the signing official.

Before the Garcia signing, The Rule 5 Draft took place at noon time on Thursday which is always the way the winter meetings conclude. The Rule 5 Draft is a draft for teams looking to add current minor league players not on other teams’ 40-man rosters and add them to their MLB roster. “A team that selects a player in the draft pays $50,000 to the team from which he was selected. The receiving team must then keep the player on the Major League 26-man roster for the entirety of the next season. If the player does not remain on the Major League roster, he is offered back to the team from which he was selected for $25,000. If his original team declines, the receiving team may waive the player.”

The Marlins had the 3rd selection of the draft and since they only had 39 players on their 40-man roster they were eligible to participate in the draft. The Marlins selected RHP Sterling Sharp from the Washington Nationals. Sharp was immediately added to Miami’s 40-man roster.

Sharp, a 24-year old from Southfield, Michigan, was the Nationals #13 prospect according to MLB.com. Sharp was a 22-round pic by the Nationals that had surprised many in Washington’s front office. According to scouting reports, Sharp is extremely athletic which provides optimism of him being a dynamic arm from the mound. Sharp also played basketball which is evidence of the characteristics being reported about him. In 2019, Sharp played for 3 leagues combining for a 5-4 record and posting a 3.53 ERA. Sharp, who has been a starting pitcher through the minors, got an invitation to the Arizona fall league. Sharp started 6 games going 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA. The repertoire of the right handed features a sinker and stats show he threw it very well, only allowing 1 home run in all of last season. It is still unclear weather Sharp is an option for the rotation or to join the team in the pen. If all goes well in spring training, the Marlins should have Sharp on their Opening day roster.

In the AAA phase of the Rule 5 Draft, the Marlins selected catcher Julian Leon from the Los Angeles Angels. Leon is a 23-year old from Mexico. Although he has never been able to figure it out offensively, he has made just 43 errors in his minor league career and also has a career 29.8 caught stealing percentage. Leon will be sent to the Marlins new AAA affiliate the Wichita Wind Surge.

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