It was a quiet winter meetings for Miami Marlins. Where things stand for the team

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Like most teams around the league, it was a quiet winter meetings for the Miami Marlins, who leave the four-day session in Nashville with the same roster that they had when they arrived.

Outside of the blockbuster trade to send Juan Soto and Trent Grisham from the San Diego Padres to the New York Yankees that became formal late Wednesday night, there was minimal movement at the meetings as teams across the league wait for the top free agents in two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani and international pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto to make their decisions to pave the way for the rest of the market.

While the Marlins aren’t remotely near involved in either of those stars, it does have them in a holding pattern when it comes to some of their decisions, which could be impacted by teams still in play for either of the two.

Here’s a look at where things stand for the Marlins and first-year president of baseball operations Peter Bendix, with a little more than two months until pitchers and catchers report for spring training.

Biggest needs remain the same

The Marlins’ two biggest needs are still figuring out their answers at shortstop and catcher.

The Marlins’ internal options at shortstop include three utility players (Jon Berti, Vidal Brujan and Xavier Edwards) as well as minor-leaguer Jacob Amaya, who briefly made his MLB debut last season. Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said Jazz Chisholm Jr. will remain in center field and for the time being will not be an option at shortstop.

Miami only has one catcher on its 40-man roster in Nick Fortes. Bendix has said the Marlins will pursue all avenues — trade, free agency and internal options — to upgrade at the position.

Beyond the roster, the Marlins still have a pair of front office spots to fill as they need to replace their top decision makers in amateur scouting (DJ Svihlik) and international operations (Adrian Lorenzo).

It is also still to be seen if Bendix is going to hire or promote from within a general manager. The Marlins have four assistant general managers right now in Brian Chattin, Dan Greenlee, Oz Ocampo and the recently hired Gabe Kapler.

A.J. Puk changing roles?

The Marlins are planning to experiment with left-handed pitcher A.J. Puk as starting pitcher in spring training, a source confirmed to the Miami Herald.

It’s an interesting development. Puk was a starter in college at the University of Florida and started half of his games in the minor leagues.

However, he has exclusively been a reliever since making his MLB debut, pitching to a 3.72 ERA over 142 appearances out of the bullpen. He also has not pitched more than 66 1/3 innings in a season since making his MLB debut.

The Marlins will be without ace Sandy Alcantara for the 2024 season after he underwent Tommy John surgery in October.

But even without Alcantara, the Marlins had at least seven options for their starting rotation before considering Puk: Left-handed pitchers Jesus Luzardo, Braxton Garrett, Trevor Rogers and Ryan Weathers, along with righties Eury Perez, Edward Cabrera and Max Meyer.

Luzardo and Garrett are coming off career years. Perez impressed during his rookie season. Cabrera has flashed potential but has been inconsistent and is out of minor-league options. Meyer sat out all of the 2023 season following Tommy John surgery. Rogers missed almost all of the season as well due to injury. And Weathers, acquired at the trade deadline, has potential but is still a work in progress.

Should the team move forward with Puk in the rotation, even as a stopgap, it opens up the possibility to trade one of their other young, controllable starting pitchers — a commodity always in high demand — to help solve improve the offense.