So, with the 2016 first half in the books, the Marlins find themselves in an interesting situation. This is clearly the best team the Fish have fielded since 2009. But their cupboard has perhaps never been more bare prospect wise. We all know and lament that the front office went all in on the 2015 club, a hand that wasn’t nearly as good as the one the Marlins hold presently.
There are some decent pieces though, and enough of the game’s talking heads have mentioned the possibility of the Marlins eating short-term salary to facilitate a deal to lend some credulity to the notion. That’s the biggest chip they have honestly. There is no Mike Stanton, not in terms of that level of potential.
But there is almost certainly some player that has been deemed untouchable thus far, that a team that depends on controllable, cheap talent projects to do big things in 2018 or 2019 when Jose Fernandez is likely gone and Stanton’s salary skyrockets.
There’s blood in the water in the race for favored franchise in South Florida, with the Heat never having been as close to being pulled into the muck of mediocrity and fan apathy as they are now since Pat Riley arrived in Miami. There’s an All-Star Game being played at Marlins Park next year, and in case the giant yellow sign serving as a backstop hasn’t clued you in, they kind of want to promote it. Believe that Jeffrey Loria wants that buzz to be as positive as possible.
There are plenty of reasons not do anything rash, but just as many to do so as well. And the Fernando Rodney deal should lend credence to what is at least the desire to go for broke here.
So if the right offer hits the table, if the Marlins can reel in a starting pitcher that would immediately become one of the top two options after Fernandez in the rotation, they’re going to have a serious decision to make. Yes, Mike Stanton did become Giancarlo. But Justin Nicolino became the guy you designate to give Tomas Tellis some playing time. And much like 2008, there’s a young core already in place.
This time around, if the opportunity exists to make a big splash, my money is on Loria taking the plunge. If the team continues playing well, it should be an interesting race to the Deadline.