What Could The Miami Marlins Do At The Trade Deadline?

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Jun 3, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins third baseman Martin Prado (14) connects for an RBI single during the sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Now for the rest of the selling options. The best name in this group is Martin Prado, but he isn’t as likely to be moved as Tom Koehler or Brad Hand. Another option could be Steve Cishek if the team markets him as a ROOGY (right-handed version of a LOOGY, of course). 

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Martin Prado is a league average player at third or second who can also play the outfield and will only be owed $8 million next season, since the Yankees are paying $3 million of his salary this year and next. In total, Prado probably has a surplus value of around $9.5 million. An acquiring team can expect around 2.5 wins over the next year and a half while paying him $12 million. The dollars per win on that come out to $4.8 million per win, much less than the current rate of $8 million. The market rate figures to jump up close to $9 million, so he’s a good bargain even if he isn’t going to have a huge impact.

What does that mean in terms of prospects? Prado has been swapped for some good talent, being the centerpiece in return for players like Justin Upton and Nathan Eovaldi. Prado was traded to the Yankees last season in exchange for Peter O’Brien, but that looks mostly like bad trading on the Diamondbacks’ part. So teams have definitely valued him in the past. Research shows that starting pitching prospects in the last half of the top 100 prospect list have a surplus value of about $9.5 million. It is more likely, however, that a team will give up a pitcher that ranks among its 5th-10th ranked prospects.

Since Prado is a free agent following next season, he can appeal to a greater number of teams. Underperforming teams like the A’s and Indians might have as much interest as teams like the Nationals and Mets. The team should expect to bring back arms that profile as back-end starters at best but also have high floors. Basically, Justin Nicolino and Jose Urena. Some names that might make sense are Justus Sheffield (CLE), Dillon Overton (OAK), Austin Voth (WAS), or Gabriel Ynoa (NYM). Not a lot of upside with these arms, but young arms are always worth taking a shot on.

Koehler, Hand, and Cishek don’t have a lot of value. At best they can bring in a fringe prospect but they’d mostly bring in organizational depth, which the team certainly needs. The team might also be able to attach Morse to a deal, but that would certainly drag down the value quite a bit. The team needs to acquire talent through trades so dumping his salary isn’t the way to go. If they turned around and used that money smartly, then throwing him in a trade would be fine.

A player that has produced at the level Morse had would likely sign a Minor League deal, so the Miami Marlins would have to eat his entire salary and still not get anything of value back. They basically have to just ride this one out through next year.

The team has a pretty good chance of giving the farm system a boost, but nothing that’s going to re-shape the team’s long term outlook right away. They can certainly add desperately needed talent while surrendering pieces they don’t really need. Tomorrow, I’ll look at the buy moves the team should make.

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