Did the Marlins Miss a Great Opportunity?


The Marlins defeated the Phillies 4-3 in ten innings. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Early today, it was reported that the Chicago White Sox traded their highly touted closer Addison Reed to the Arizona Diamondbacks for prospect Matt Davidson. Davidson is a top third base prospect who was able to put together a pretty succesful triple A campaign last season.

Davidson is a right-handed power hitter, who clubbed 17 home runs in AAA last year and put together a slash line of .280/.350/.481 in 500 plate appearances. Oliver projects him to hit 20 home runs in 600 plate appearances next year. He is a very solid prospect with high upside. What makes Davidson intriguing to me, is the potential for a position switch at some point. Here is what Ken Rosenthal tweeted earlier about Davidson.

With Colin Moran waiting in the wings, the Marlins shouldn’t be desperate for a long-term option at third base, but Davidson projects as a first baseman with a right-handed power stroke. That to me is an ideal player for the Marlins to target. He would have been ready to take over third base for this year, and when Moran was ready, he could have made the transition to first base.

So the question would have been, what would it have taken to land Davidson? Since I didn’t hear the Marlins come up in any trade rumors, I can only guess that we either weren’t aware of the potential trade, or weren’t interested, but if the White Sox were able to land him in return for Addison Reed, we may have been able to trump that with our closer, Steve Cishek.

This makes sense for numerous reasons. The most obvious reason is we just traded for a potential replacement in Carter Capps. With Capps’ able to take the role of closer, Cishek becomes expendable. Michael Jong of Fish Stripes discussed what type of player Cishek could net in a trade.

"In this scenario, Cishek would be worth approximately $21 million in free agent value and be paid $12 million and change, yielding a trade value of $8.8 million. That would be good enough to earn at least a B- and C-ranked prospect. Add to that the value of the “proven closer” label and possible overpays for being traded at the deadline and Cishek could pull back even a bottom-end Top 100 prospect if the Marlins get lucky!"

Sickels had Davidson ranked #101, with both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus listing him in the 80’s. This indicates that Davidson might have been too good to get in return for Cishek, but not when comparing with Addison Reed.

Both Cishek and Reed have virtually the same amount of time accrued in the Major Leagues. Both are scheduled to become free agents in 2018. Cishek’s career k/9 number is 9.4, compared to Reed’s 9.3. Reed has 69 saves to Cishek’s 52. Cishek outshines Reed on ERA; 2.48 to 4.17, WHIP; 1.165 to 1.234 and HR/9; 0.3 to 0.9.

These number lead me to believe that the Marlins could have, and should have been in the conversation to land the Diamondbacks prospect. Arizona has made it clear that they want to win now with the Mark Trumbo trade. Cishek is a better pitcher than Reed and should have been offered in exchange for Davidson.

It looks to me like the Marlins just missed out on their potential first baseman of the future. That is disappointing