Around the Horn: Catcher

Marlins to rely on Realmuto's breakout speed, power in 2016

Around the Horn: Catcher

Pitchers and catchers open Spring Training for the Marlins on Feb. 19 at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla. Full-squad workouts get underway on Feb. 23. As the workout dates approach, MLB.com takes a position-by-position look at the 2016 Marlins. The latest installment: Catchers.

MIAMI -- Opportunity knocked ahead of schedule for J.T. Realmuto last April, and the Oklahoma native made the most of it. By necessity, the 24-year-old was promoted from Triple-A New Orleans to the big leagues, and a few weeks later, he became the Marlins' everyday catcher.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wilson on Bonds, Black History Month

Wilson on Bonds, Black History Month

Preston Wilson, who played 10 seasons in the big leagues, was a Marlins outfielder from 1998-2002. The 41-year-old is now a Marlins analyst for FOX Sports Florida.

I'm glad Black History Month exists so the accomplishments of African-Americans in all walks of life can be acknowledged. But to me, it's a shame that many of these achievements are not just part of history.

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MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Hughes looks back at signing DeShields, Elway in Q&A

Veteran baseball executive renowned for signing multi-sport athletes

Hughes looks back at signing DeShields, Elway in Q&A

Gary Hughes was the left fielder on a Serra (Calif.) High School team in the late 1950s that featured future All-Star shortstop Jim Fregosi. In addition to being a star shortstop, Fregosi was the star quarterback on Serra's football team, as well as a standout in basketball who also set the California high school record in the triple jump.

Hughes never forgot. As one of the higher-profile scouts in baseball, Hughes always had Fregosi in his mind when he evaluated players, and has become known over the years for his willingness to take a chance on multi-sport stars.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Bullpen

Ramos, Capps to compete for closer role in high-ceiling relief corps

Around the Horn: Bullpen

Pitchers and catchers open Spring Training for the Marlins on Feb. 19 at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla. As the first workout date approaches, MLB.com takes a position-by-position look at the 2016 Marlins. The second installment is the bullpen.

MIAMI -- All the makings are there for the Marlins to have a top-notch bullpen, which is the reason the club didn't make any significant offseason reliever additions.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Rotation

Marlins' staff success will hinge largely on ace Fernandez

Around the Horn: Rotation

Pitchers and catchers open Spring Training for the Marlins on Feb. 19 at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla. As the first workout date approaches, MLB.com takes a position-by-position look at the 2016 Marlins. The first installment is the rotation.

MIAMI -- Restructuring the rotation has been the Marlins' top offseason priority, and the club took major steps in doing so last month with the free-agent signings of Wei-Yin Chen and Edwin Jackson. But how successful the starting five may ultimately perform largely depends on what the team gets from its ace, Jose Fernandez, who is fully healthy but also will be on an innings limit.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins contingent in Japan on 'goodwill' visit

Marlins contingent in Japan on 'goodwill' visit

MIAMI -- A contingent of Marlins executives has traveled to Japan this week on what the club has termed a "goodwill" visit. The trip is expected to conclude later this week.

Representing the Marlins are team president David Samson, president of baseball operations Michael Hill, special assistant to the president Jeff Conine, senior vice president of communications and broadcasting P.J. Loyello and senior vice president of corporate partnerships Brendan Cunningham.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins sign veteran Kelly to Minors deal

Utility man will attend Major League Spring Training

Marlins sign veteran Kelly to Minors deal

MIAMI -- Don Kelly is getting a second chance with the Marlins. The veteran utility player, who played in just two games for Miami last year, has signed a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

In 2015, Kelly made the Marlins as a non-roster invitee, but he fractured his right ring finger in April and eventually underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in July. The Marlins now have 63 players set to report to Spring Training.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins prospect Haynal to appear in Classic qualifier

24-year-old catcher set to play for Philippines in Sydney

Marlins prospect Haynal to appear in Classic qualifier

MIAMI -- A Marlins catching prospect will be gaining some international experience next week in a World Baseball Classic qualifying event. Brad Haynal will play for the Philippines, which will be led by Tim Hulett, manager of the Rangers' Class A Northeast League affiliate in Spokane, Wash.

Haynal, 24, is one of two players in a big league farm system on the Philippines' roster for the World Baseball Classic qualifying round, set for Feb. 11-14 at Blacktown International Sportspark in Sydney, Australia. The other is Angelo Songco, a first baseman in the Dodgers' organization.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pare hired to oversee Marlins' analytics department

MIAMI -- Check another item off the Marlins' offseason "to do" list. The organization has hired Jason Pare, formerly with the Blue Jays, to oversee its analytics department.

With advanced data becoming more prominent in the sport, team officials said at the end of the 2015 season that they were looking to build an analytics department. Bringing in Pare is the first step.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gordon trade a do-over -- and for good reason

Deal for Gold Glover reinforces Marlins' mantra: Give to receive

Gordon trade a do-over -- and for good reason

MIAMI -- It's that day of the year again when we are reminded that history sometimes agonizingly repeats itself. For an MLB general manager, Groundhog Day can be synonymous of the internal tussles a front office goes through when making major trades.

Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill is well-versed in being part of big deals, and all the pros and cons involved in swapping impact players. The lesson he learned is you have to give to receive.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins to get closer look at Garcia at camp

Left-handed pitching prospect could see big league action in 2016

Marlins to get closer look at Garcia at camp

MIAMI -- One of the quieter offseason moves for the Marlins came on Nov. 20, when Jarlin Garcia was added to the 40-man roster after having his contract selected from Double-A Jacksonville.

In the short term, the under-the-radar transaction won't likely impact the big league roster. But down the road there is significance, because it means the organization's top left-handed pitching prospect is getting closer to being MLB ready.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

View from 3,000 feat: Countdown for Ichiro

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View from 3,000 feat: Countdown for Ichiro

Entering his 16th season at age 42, Ichiro Suzuki is 65 MLB hits away from 3,000. When the Marlins announced he was coming back to Miami on Oct. 6, it seemingly became a matter of when, not if, one of MLB's most exciting, interesting and entertaining players would become the 30th member of the exclusive club.

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Marlins prospect Kolek working on offspeed stuff

Young righty hopes to complement his heater with improved secondary pitches

Marlins prospect Kolek working on offspeed stuff

MIAMI -- All the attributes that went into the Marlins selecting Tyler Kolek with the second overall pick in the 2014 Draft are still in place. The 20-year-old is an imposing figure on the mound at 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, and he's armed with a 100-mph fastball.

But as so many power pitchers have learned, overpowering stuff alone doesn't guarantee success in the pros. Sometimes there are growing pains, and for Kolek, he's still refining his mechanics and developing his secondary pitches.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

First-round pick Naylor not just a slugger

No. 12 overall selection in 2015 Draft considered pure hitter

First-round pick Naylor not just a slugger

MIAMI -- As advertised, Josh Naylor, the 12th overall pick in the 2015 Draft, has already displayed plenty of raw power. That was evident shortly after he signed with the Marlins last summer and took batting practice with the big league club at Marlins Park.

The 18-year-old left-handed-hitting first baseman routinely launched drives to all fields, a number of them clearing the outfield wall. Everyone took notice. But in Minor League games, the organization was equally impressed with Naylor's overall approach to hitting.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins shift 1st full-squad workout back 1 day

Marlins shift 1st full-squad workout back 1 day

MIAMI -- There's been a slight change in plans in the Marlins' Spring Training schedule.

The club announced Thursday that the first full-squad workouts at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla., will be on Feb. 23, a day later than originally scheduled. Pitchers and catchers, however, will take the field for the first time as initially planned, on Feb. 19.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins looking to add rotation depth

Veteran starters Lee, Lincecum could interest Miami if healthy

Marlins looking to add rotation depth

MIAMI -- A potential pitching target of the Marlins came off the board on Tuesday when Bronson Arroyo agreed to an incentive-filled Minor League deal with the Nationals. Miami had been among the clubs interested in the veteran right-hander.

With the pitching market thinning out, the Marlins remain open to adding another starter or perhaps a reliever, but the club is leaning toward signing candidates who would accept a Minor League deal with a Spring Training invitation. Miami hasn't closed the door on signing a pitcher to a guaranteed big league contract, but in order to do so, the team wants to be absolutely certain the player is healthy.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Club's big offensive move involves fences

Club hopes renovation at Marlins Park will benefit lineup

Club's big offensive move involves fences

MIAMI -- With all their core position players in place, the Marlins spent a bulk of the offseason targeting pitching. They ended up filling their most pressing need, a top-of-the-rotation starter, by signing free-agent left-hander Wei-Yin Chen earlier this month.

As for making an attention-grabbing roster move to boost an offense that ranked second to last in the National League in runs scored (613) and home runs (120) during the 2015 season, the club has remained relatively quiet. Still, an executive decision promises to increase productivity for Miami this season: Moving in and lowering the fences at Marlins Park should benefit the lineup.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins Park fence renovation underway

Finished product set to debut on April 1 in exhibition vs. Yankees

Marlins Park fence renovation underway

MIAMI -- The nearly 75-foot-tall colorful home run sculpture at Marlins Park promises to be more active in 2016.

Construction is underway to move in and lower the fences in Miami, and the organization is hopeful that will translate into more home runs and overall run production for a team that has struggled in the power department the past few years.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Naylor cracks MLB Pipeline's Top 10 1B Prospects list

Astros' Reed sits atop list, followed by Bucs' Bell, Mets' Smith

Naylor cracks MLB Pipeline's Top 10 1B Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2016 Top 100 Prospects list on Friday, Jan. 29, on MLB.com. The Top 50 will be revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

First and foremost, teams want power from their first basemen, and the players on MLBPipeline's Top 10 first-base prospects list deliver. Five of them have plus pop, led by A.J. Reed's 65 grade on the 20-80 scouting scale, and the other four all have average or better power. Four of the five best first basemen held the same status a year ago, with Bobby Bradley (Indians) the only newcomer on the upper half of the list.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Marlins' fate tied to health of Stanton, Fernandez

Marlins' fate tied to health of Stanton, Fernandez

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Since pitcher Jose Fernandez made his Major League debut three years ago, the Miami Marlins have dreamed of greatness. Not just his individual greatness, although there was plenty of that.

At the time of Fernandez's arrival in 2013, another Marlin, Giancarlo Stanton, had already established himself as one of baseball's best players. Like Fernandez, Stanton had magical skills. Like Fernandez, he had a long list of intangibles.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins introduce left-hander Chen

Miami makes 5-year deal with former Baltimore starter official

Marlins introduce left-hander Chen

When Wei-Yin Chen arrived at Marlins Park on Tuesday afternoon to sign the richest contract the Marlins have ever given to a pitcher, he saw construction workers making the outfield walls at the cavernous ballpark a little less pitcher-friendly. But this simply led the jovial pitcher to wonder how this might benefit him when he begins to work with Miami's new hitting coach, Barry Bonds.

"We have a very good hitting coach in Barry Bonds," Chen said through a translator. "So with the fences moving in, hopefully he will help me to get some home runs."

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

For this year only, Trade Deadline to be Aug. 1

Adjustment made because July 31 falls on a Sunday

For this year only, Trade Deadline to be Aug. 1

This is a leap year, and for Major League Baseball, it will mean a one-day leap in the annual non-waiver Trade Deadline.

The non-waiver Trade Deadline this season will be moved to Aug. 1 from the traditional July 31 -- which in 2016 falls on a Sunday. The deadline is 4 p.m. ET, and on July 31, there are seven games scheduled to begin between 1-1:30, five between 2-3:30 and three at 4. There are only eight games on Aug. 1, all of which are night games.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stanton, Gordon give Marlins rare combo

Stanton, Gordon give Marlins rare combo

Last offseason, the Marlins locked up one of the game's top power threats in Giancarlo Stanton with a mammoth 13-year, $325 million deal. This offseason, they focused on another aspect of their offense, securing speedster Dee Gordon's services for at least another five years.

In doing so, the Marlins not only solidified arguably the game's best power-speed combo for the next half-decade, but they also put themselves in position to do something that hasn't been done by any team yet this century -- lay claim to both the stolen-base and the homer champion in the same year. The last team to boast the league leaders in both categories was the 1999 Mariners, with Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. leading the American League in home runs (48) and Brian Hunter pacing the AL in steals (44).

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Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins make 5-year deal with Dee official

Marlins make 5-year deal with Dee official

Energized by a change of scenery that reintroduced him to his home state of Florida, Dee Gordon spent this past season proving why the Marlins believe he has the capability to serve as a difference-making speed element within their lineup for many years to come.

Gordon certainly did not attempt to hide his happiness when he returned to Marlins Park on Monday afternoon for the official announcement of his five-year, $50 million deal with the Marlins, which includes a vesting option for 2021. The fleet-footed second baseman seemed genuinely appreciative of the chance to share this moment with the family members who had enriched his life dating back to his childhood days in Orlando.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins mourn loss of reporter Rodriguez

Longtime journalist dies at 42 after battle with brain cancer

Marlins mourn loss of reporter Rodriguez

Juan C. Rodriguez, a longtime Marlins reporter for the Sun Sentinel, died on Monday of brain cancer. He was 42.

Rodriguez, who joined the Sun Sentinel in 2002, received his diagnosis in December 2012 and was given eight months to live, according to the newspaper. Still, he continued to cover the Marlins even as he underwent treatment.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins avoid arbitration with Fernandez

Club reaches agreement with all six eligible players

Marlins avoid arbitration with Fernandez

MIAMI -- Jose Fernandez is locked in as the Marlins' ace for 2016, and he is getting a nice raise. The right-hander avoided arbitration with the club on Friday by agreeing to a base salary of $2.8 million, according to a source.

First-year arbitration-eligible, Fernandez made $651,000 in 2015. The 2013 National League Rookie of the Year Award winner had been the subject of trade speculation for much of the offseason. That notion is now gone, and the 23-year-old is expected to be at the top of Miami's rotation.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Narveson among Marlins' NRIs to spring camp

Narveson among Marlins' NRIs to spring camp

MIAMI -- In a week in which the Marlins have made some major moves, like coming to terms with free-agent lefty Wei-Yin Chen and signing Dee Gordon to a five-year contract, the organization on Thursday announced a number of Minor League deals.

Miami now has 20 non-roster invitees to Spring Training, including lefty Chris Narveson, who will be with the organization when pitchers and catchers workouts get underway on Feb. 19 at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins avoid arbitration with reliever Morris

Sides come to terms on 1-year deal worth $1.35 million, source says

Marlins avoid arbitration with reliever Morris

MIAMI -- Marlins reliever Bryan Morris, who was third on the team in appearances last season, avoided arbitration on Thursday night by coming to terms on a one-year deal worth $1.35 million, according to a source.

The 28-year-old right-hander, in arbitration for the first time, was used primarily in late-inning setup situations. He projects as a seventh-inning option this year.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.