With Jon Lester on the move to Oakland, David Price is now the only ace on the market. Price also happens to be under team control through 2015. The Marlins have made it clear they want a controllable starting pitcher, a veteran who could help them this season and the next. The Rays have made it clear that they will only deal Price for a package that they absolutely love, and the Marlins are capable of putting something together.
If I’m Mike Hill, Andrew Heaney , Jake Marisnick, Justin Nicolino, Colin Moran and Tyler Kolek are going to Tampa. Yes, those are all the Marlins’ best prospects. Yes, they just spent the second overall pick on Tyler Kolek, and yes, extending Price is unlikely. The problem is, Kolek wont be in the big leagues until at least 2017. Colin Moran is a contact hitting 3rd baseman who can’t play defense or hit for power. Not to say any of these prospects are “bad”, but Price and Zobrist would more than make up for their loss.
Yes, I am suggesting that the Marlins mortgage their future to win now and next season. The reason behind that? Giancarlo Stanton, of course. If the Marlins made this deal, it puts them in a position where they could make the playoffs now. Making the playoffs, and showing a desire to win games makes contract negotiations with Giancarlo a lot easier. Stanton would sign a deal with a team that featured a rotation like this:
Jose is still a question mark at this point, but he should return around mid season next year. They would still have a solid core of young guys to keep them rolling past 2015.
Most people would argue that trading nearly every valuable prospect in the farm system is a bad idea. Especially for a team that normally relies on an influx of young guys to keep the team above water every year. The thing is, none of those prospects have shown that they are big league ready. And by the time that they are, Giancarlo Stanton could be playing elsewhere. Without Stanton, this team’s window of contention probably goes from 2015 to 2018. For a club that hasn’t sniffed the post season since 2003, that’s an awfully long time.
We haven’t even gotten to Ben Zobrist yet! Second base has been a revolving door all season for the Marlins, and Zobrist could certainly plug that hole. Jordany Valdespin has played will since getting called up, but he can play anywhere, and so can Zobrist.
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Zobrist is clearly a huge upgrade over what the Marlins have been fielding at the position, and could be a huge factor in propelling them into the playoffs, as well as injury insurance due to his versatility. With a team option for 2015, he’s not a rental either.
Miami, you need to put all the chips on the table, this deal helps to keep Giancarlo from leaving, avoiding another Miggy situation. It helps the team’s image, and makes them a legitimate playoff contender. No brainer? I think yes.