It could be another year or two before some of the Marlins’ top minor-league prospects are wearing “Caliente Red” and “Miami Blue,” part of the team’s new color scheme.
But seven of them moved one step closer Tuesday when the Marlins added them to their 40-man roster.
And one long-time Marlin — Derek Dietrich — was let go.
Dietrich, who was the longest-tenured Marlin, was designated for assignment late Tuesday after a flurry of roster moves. Dietrich stood to receive a salary increase through arbitration that the Marlins were clearly unwilling to pay.
Dietrich played multiple positions in his six seasons with the Marlins, hitting .254 with 60 home runs during that time. He is the Marlins’ all-time franchise leader in being hit by pitches with 93.
The decision to designate Dietrich came after the Marlins swapped minor-leaguers with the Twins, acquiring right-handed pitcher Nick Anderson for infielder Brian Schales. Anderson joined seven other players added to the Marlins’ 40-man roster on Tuesday.
The Marlins selected the contracts of infielder Isan Diaz, outfielder Monte Harrison and pitchers Jordan Yamamoto, Jorge Guzman, Jordan Holloway, Kyle Keller and Jose Quijada.
The moves were designed to shield those players in next month’s Rule 5 Draft at baseball’s Winter Meetings in Las Vegas.
To make room for the additions, the Marlins removed three players from the 40-man by designating them for assignment. They were outfielder Braxton Lee and pitchers Dillon Peters and Ben Meyer. The roster is now maxed out at 40 players.
The Marlins acquired Diaz, Harrison and Yamamoto — along with Lewis Brinson — in the Christian Yelich trade with Milwaukee. Guzman was acquired in the Giancarlo Stanton trade with the Yankees.
The Marlins on Tuesday also claimed right-handed pitcher Julian Fernandez off waivers from the San Francisco Giants and placed him on the 40-man roster.
Fernandez, 22, has never pitched above Single A and missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Because he was selected by the Giants with the second overall pick in last year’s Rule 5 Draft, he must remain on the Marlins’ 25-man roster this season or be returned to his original club, the Colorado Rockies.