As part of their organizational makeover, the Marlins are placing a greater emphasis and more resources into signing international players. One of their early targets is Cuban-born outfielder Julio Pablo Martinez.
According to a source, MLB.com has confirmed Miami's interest in the 21-year-old left-handed power hitter, who held a private workout for the team on Thursday at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla. Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill was in attendance at the workout, though the club has not commented on it.
According to Baseball America, the Marlins, Yankees and Rangers are considered the three favorites for Martinez, who is also expected to have a private workout with the Yankees at their complex in Tampa, Fla.
The Marlins are going through a transitional phase on their international side. In recent months, Fernando Seguignol was named director of international operations, replacing Albert Gonzalez, who has joined the Royals after spending 12 years with Miami.
The Marlins would be looking to sign Martinez as part of the 2018-19 international signing period, which starts on July 2. That's when they get their new international pool figure.
Due to a couple of offseason trades, the Marlins are more limited in what they can currently spend on the international market, as they've already traded away $1.25 million in pool money.
In November, Miami dealt right-hander Michael King and $250,000 of pool money to the Yankees for left-hander Caleb Smith and first baseman/outfielder Garrett Cooper. A more hefty exchange came in December. The Marlins sent Dee Gordon and $1 million of international pool money to the Mariners for three prospects -- Nick Neidert, Chris Torres and Robert Dugger.
At the time, the Yankees and Mariners were making strong pushes for Shohei Ohtani, who eventually signed with the Angels.
Of the three favorites, the Rangers are better positioned -- pool wise -- to sign Martinez during the current international signing period, which runs through June 15.
Martinez defected from Cuba in November before establishing residency in Haiti. He's already petitioned MLB to become a free agent, and that formality is expected to happen before the current signing period ends.
Martinez is regarded as a first-round caliber talent who batted .333 with six home runs and 24 stolen bases in his final season playing in Cuba.