The Miami Marlins announced on Sunday that president of baseball operations Michael Hill would not return in 2021 after the sides failed to reach an agreement on a new contract. In another piece of news, team CEO Derek Jeter suggested the club intends to exercise the option it holds on outfielder Starling Marte, who they acquired as part of a four-player trade at the deadline with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
Marte, 32 as of October 9, appeared in a majors-best 61 games this season. In those contests, he hit .281/.340/.430 (107 OPS+) with six home runs and 10 stolen bases on 12 tries. Marte, a two-time Gold Glove winner, also graded as an above-average defender, per the ball-tracking data provided by Statcast. His center-field defense was estimated to be worth three runs.
Marte's contract included a $12.5 million option for next season, along with a $1 million buyout. The Marlins, then, intend to pay the additional $11.5 million to secure his services.
Presuming the Marlins' intent is to keep Marte and content again in 2021, he'll slot in as the club's highest paid player. Corey Dickerson, another outfielder, is under contract for $9 million. Otherwise, the Marlins have just one player (Miguel Rojas) projected to make more than $5 million. That should enable them to add to their roster this winter, in what's likely to be a marketplace flooded by non-tenders.
The Marlins acquired Marte on August 31 in exchange for three pitchers: big-league lefty Caleb Smith and prospects Humberto Mejia and Julio Frias. It was the second time in a year that Marte had been traded. Previously, the Pittsburgh Pirates had sent him to Arizona in exchange for pitcher Brennan Malone and shortstop Liover Peguero.