MLB Trade Deadline: Which Miami Marlins Are Untouchable?

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Marlins can definitely get him, you just wouldn't want them to. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Marlins can definitely get him, you just wouldn't want them to. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Marlins can definitely get him, you just wouldn't want them to. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Marlins can definitely get him, you just wouldn’t want them to. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Last weekend, we released an article on the site suggesting that the Miami Marlins should be calling up the Chicago White Sox to talk trade.  The focus of this was about James Shields, a move I still heartily endorse.  But in the process of making that point, we jokingly teased that a Chris Sale trade could be considered, although the odds would be long on it considering the goal is to compete for the playoffs in 2016.

Later that day, news broke that the Marlins had actually spoken to the White Sox…about Sale.  

This was of immense amusement to me as even the suggestion the Fish could put together a compelling offer for the White Sox ace took some ribbing on social media, and all subsequent reporting on it or any other Marlins rumor has been qualified with comments on the poor state of the team’s farm system.  For some type of conversation obviously took place, and further, it would seem obvious that the conversation centered on an approach Miami’s front office has previously said they weren’t considering: dealing away from the MLB roster.

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Let’s be perfectly clear about this- the Marlins can trade for anyone they want to.

They just have to be willing to part with Jose Fernandez to do it.

Clearly, that’s not a move designed to help the 2016 club do much.  But it did get me to thinking.  Just who is truly untouchable in this organization?  This is the most talented Marlins team in years, one good enough to not only have one of the two NL Wild Card slots in their possession, but also to lead the entire Senior Circuit in hits and batting average.  Yet runs remain extremely hard to come by, there’s some depth in the infield, and the need for another quality starting pitcher has been well documented.  That need has been somewhat addressed with the Andrew Cashner trade, but will return at the end of the season.  In short, there’s plenty of good pieces on display at Marlins Park, but the jury is still out on whether they fit together well enough to challenge the best teams in the bigs.

This is a team with a two-year window to make a serious challenge for a title.  After next season, Giancarlo Stanton‘s salary escalates significantly and Fernandez will be a year from free-agency.  That’s the make or break or point.  Throw in the fact that the NL East should be much more competitive by then, and 2018 onwards sees a difficult road that will almost certainly include some rebuilding.

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So, in light of that view, what follows is a rundown of the players deemed most essential to getting the Marlins that third playoff trip, if not a third title.  Marcell Ozuna is great, but would you move him if it meant Zach Wheeler joined the team this winter?  J.T. Realmuto and Christian Yelich are having breakout seasons and could be fixtures, but do you think the team would have been better off if they made that trade with Tampa for Jake Odorizzi or Matt Moore?

A couple notes before we start. Firstly, the first draft of this was prepped prior to the Friday morning trade with San Diego.  I made no changes to the list.  Secondly, I’m not counting players who either aren’t eligible to be traded right now, or are free agents at season’s end.  So no Braxton Garrett, and no Martin Prado.  Otherwise, they’d be the first two names you’d see.  Hope you enjoy.

Next: Untouchable # 5

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