Last week, we learned that the Miami Marlins and Texas Rangers were in trade talks about a potential trade to send left hander Brad Hand to Texas. With a surplus of pitching and some difficult roster moves looming, it seemed like Hand would be traded out of Miami, if not to Texas, to any other starting pitching hungry franchise.
However, this does not seem to be the case anymore. According to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, the Marlins are now leaning towards keeping Brad Hand, and keeping their surplus of starting pitching in tact.
"The Marlins are leaning towards retaining Hand, largely because of his upside (he’s 25) and the fact they may indeed need the depth, either in the rotation or bullpen.Hand is in the mix for the fifth starter spot, which appears to be going to Tom Koehler. The Marlins are listening to potential offers for Hand, who is out of options. But they are not eager to trade off any of their surplus pitching, at least not at this point.We saw why this week.On Thursday, Miami announced Hand would start at the Astros on Friday at Kissimmee, Fla., in place of Jarred Cosart, who is dealing with a blister to his right middle finger."
As Frisaro notes in his blog (ironic?) the Marlins went through a franchise record 13 starters last season. That coupled with Jose Fernandez not returning until sometime in June or July, the Marlins are reluctant to move Hand, or any of their other starters.
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On surface, this does make sense. With the rotation of Henderson Alvarez, Mat Latos, Jarred Cosart, Dan Haren, and Tom Koehler seemingly set, the Marlins have David Phelps and Brad Hand likely in the bullpen, filling the long-relief role as well as the spot starter role. The team also has prospects Justin Nicolino, Jose Urena, and Adam Conley pitching in Triple-A, knocking on the major league door.
This leaves the team 9 or 10 deep in starters, and potentially 10 deep when Jose Fernandez does return.
However, this could handicap the teams interest in keeping an interesting left-handed bullpen option, Andrew McKirahan. McKirahan, who the Marlins drafted from the Cubs organization as a Rule 5 pick, has to either stay on the Marlins 25-man roster all season or be returned to the Cubs.
The move could also force the Marlins into a situation of entering the season with a short bench. An 8-man bullpen has been discussed by the team this spring, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the team enters the season with just 4 men on their bench.
Yes, having Brad Hand and building depth could be a great idea for the Marlins in case they suffer the injury depletion they did last season. That, however, is unlikely to happen again. The Marlins were extremely unfortunate last year and would have to hit a double whammy to get the same luck this season.
Hand is likely the 7th best option for the Marlins in their rotation, so trading him while he has some value in the spring should be a good idea, in my opinion.
A fun trade idea for the Marlins could involve the Dodgers. A Brad Hand-for-Alexander Guerrero swap, with the Dodgers eating some of Guerrero’s salary could be a benefit to both sides. The team had interest in Hector Olivera earlier this off-season, before he signed with the Dodgers. While Guerrero is not as talented as Olivera, he could be an upgrade over Don Kelly or Donovan Solano as a bench option. The team would also have years of team control on Guerrero.
What do you guys think about the trade idea? Leave your thoughts in the comments.