Active Marlins could remain busy at Winter Meetings

Active Marlins could remain busy at Winter Meetings

SAN DIEGO -- Let the shopping begin. The Winter Meetings are launching on Monday morning in San Diego, and Marlins executives are ready to search for deals.

Since the General Manager's Meetings in mid-November, the Marlins have been working the phones, discussing possible trade and free-agent scenarios. They will have four days to meet face-to-face with other clubs and agents in San Diego to see if they can find a power bat and a starting pitcher.

The Winter Meetings are the league's biggest offseason showcase, and Marlins.com is on hand to cover every angle from breaking news to Miami manager Mike Redmond's meeting with the media.

Entering his third season directing the club, Redmond is scheduled to talk to the media at 5:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The Winter Meetings will wrap up with the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday morning.

The Marlins promise to be active. But they also plan on being selective. The team is looking not just for talent, but for parts that fit into the overall makeup of the club.

"I think the biggest thing for us is we've worked so hard to build the right culture and add the right players to our clubhouse," president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "We're very mindful of that as we look at free agents and as we look at players to acquire via trades."

The Marlins are dealing with a modest payroll of $65 million, and they are in the market for players who buy into the direction the team is headed. They don't want players who may have their own agendas or could become distractions.

The team already made its biggest splash this offseason, signing Giancarlo Stanton to a 13-year, $325 million deal -- the richest contract ever in North American sports.

The club hopes to lure a power bat to help protect Stanton in the heart of the order.

Rotation help also is coveted. A veteran like free agent James Shields would be an ideal fit, but the right-hander may not be affordable.

Miami is open to trading prospects to fill a need. But there are challenges in finding matches, because some of the candidates who can offer immediate help may be free agents in a year or two. The front office is weighing if it is worth parting with a prospect with six years of club control for a veteran who may only be around for one year.

Even before traveling to San Diego, it's been a productive offseason for Miami. The Stanton signing, of course, was the headline move. But the day after Thanksgiving, the club made a low-key, but solid trade. Right-hander Aaron Crow was acquired from the Royals for pitching prospects Brian Flynn and Reid Redman.

Still, there is unfinished business -- and the team is braced to shop cautiously.

"We want to make sure that [any new players] fit with what we're trying to do -- in that they buy into the team concept that we are building," Hill said. "... It's not a process that we take lightly. We're not going to do something just to do it. We want to make sure that it is the right thing for us."

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