We are 8 days away from the beginning of September and the Miami Marlins are still very much alive in the hunt for October. With their extra innings loss to the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night, the Marlins remained 4 games behind the San Francisco Giants for the second wild card spot.
The Marlins still trail the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves for that elusive wild card spot as well, making their job more difficult to jump over three teams to claim the wild card spot. That’s why Fangraphs, as of this morning, has their playoff chances at a lowly 3.5%.
All season long, the Marlins have said the right things about wanting to contend and making necessary moves to add a player to the team. At the trade deadline last month, the Marlins tried to add players under team control for next season that could help them in their playoff run and next season as well.
The Marlins also did make an inquiry for a blockbuster deal, offering a package of prospects to the Boston Red Sox for the services of Jon Lester. Nothing came to fruition on that one, but the Marlins still have a chance to make a blockbuster move over the next seven days to help their team out.
Watching the game last night against the Rockies, it was painfully obvious that the Marlins need to add another hitter to the lineup. It seems like Chrisian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton have been pitched around a lot lately, with teams rather facing the hitter behind them than the two Marlins’ stars. The hitters behind these two have not done too well of late, either in those spots.
A candidate for the Marlins to trade for: Adrian Beltre, whose enjoying another fine season with the Rangers.
Beltre has already cleared waivers and is a can be dealt to any team in baseball at this point. With the Rangers season faltering badly, they have been open to trade talks on their slugging third baseman.
There is one caveat with Beltre, he is owed $34 million for the next two seasons.
The good news: The Marlins are seeking a controllable player that could help them this season and next. Beltre is still a star third baseman, having posted a 4 win season already this season and currently projected to eclipse 5. Even at the age of 35, Beltre has shown no signs of decline this season and continues to be one of the better players in the game.
The bad news: Beltre’s contract could still scare the Marlins off. Plus you add on that the Marlins would likely have to deal one of their top pitching prospects. There is also certainly reason to be scared about his age and future production. His power has slipped the past two seasons as well.
Despite all the risks associated with Beltre, I feel like the Marlins need to call-up the Rangers right now and try to work out a package for the third baseman.
While the move would unseat Casey McGehee from the third base position, it would be a major upgrade to the Marlins lineup. McGehee has slashed .231/.294/.315 since the All-Star Break. A major reason he has struggled is because his first half BABIP .369 has slipped all the way down to .267. His first half BABIP was extremely unsustainable in the first place.
McGehee has also had an interesting platoon split this season, killing right handers to a tune of a wRC+ of 116. His wRC+ has been just 69 against left handed pitchers though.
Beltre on the other hand has killed both righties and lefties respectively on the season and has played good defense at third. He would be a great addition to the Marlins lineup that has lacked a bat for the most of the season and would also improve the infield defense. He and Adeiny Hechavarria on the left side of the infield would be one of the better defensive infields in baseball.
With Beltre in the fold, the Marlins could use Casey as a bench player or even move him to first full-time. He’d take over for Garrett Jones, who has been consistently bad all season.
The Marlins are in contention and need to improve their lineup for any shot at making a playoff run. They have an option on the market that could help them both this season and the next two. While he is owed a large sum of money over that span, his production would be well worth it.
If I were the Marlins, I’d offer the Rangers a package built around left handed prospect Justin Nicolino. The Marlins have talked about trading their pitching prospects for a hitter, this is their chance.
Adrian Beltre batting behind Giancarlo Stanton needs to happen.