Miami Marlins Trade Rumors: Martin Prado Not Available

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We are just 21 days away from the July 31st Major League Baseball trade deadline, which means trade rumors are expected to kick into full gear over the next couple of weeks.

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This morning we’ve already discussed potential trades of Michael Morse (to San Francisco?) and other Miami Marlins hitting the trade block, as the Marlins prepare to become sellers.

However, we can all but rule out the Marlins trading one player some people have speculated could be on the block.

Despite the Marlins being in the process of trying to add the guy (Casey McGehee) Martin Prado replaced as the Marlins everyday third baseman this past off-season, that does not mean that Prado could soon be on the move.

In fact, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the Marlins are not looking to move Prado, as the team sees him as a part of the core for next season.

"One notable player the Marlins intend to keep is injured infielder Martin Prado, though his name is frequently mentioned in trade banter. Prado is under contract through 2016, and the Marlins would prefer to hang on to him."

While the fact Prado is under contract next season could make him an even more valuable trade chip, the Miami Marlins don’t want to rid of Prado and look for another replacement third baseman. The free agent market for third baseman is barren for next off-season, and the trade market would be costly in terms of prospects.

In Martin Prado, the Miami Marlins have a steady defender and a guy that is well liked and respected in the clubhouse. While the latter is clearly not as important as the former, it’s something the Marlins do value highly.

Prado, who is currently on the DL with a shoulder injury, has not been quite the player the team expected at the plate. Prado owns a .272/.311/.370 slash line with a 89 wRC+. His offense, according to Fangraphs, has cost the Marlins 3 runs this season.

However, due to his defense and base running, Prado has still been good for a 1.1 fWAR in 271 plate appearances. Even with the time he’s missed, ZiPS projects him to finish the season as a better than league average player (2.0 fWAR).

With the Yankees paying $3 million of his $11 million due to Prado each this season and next, the Marlins have Prado on a nice value 2-year $16 million contract. For that reason, Prado looks like a strong trade target for teams that want to add talent that they can control beyond this season.

This is also why Prado remains valuable to the Miami Marlins and is unlikely to be moved before the July 31st trade deadline.

Follow Marlin Maniac on Twitter @MarlinManiac for all your Miami Marlins news, opinion and analysis!

Next: Marlins Preparing to Sell?

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