Miami Marlins: Top 5 Free Agent Targets For 2017
Free Agent Target # 5: Ian Desmond, Shortstop/Outfielder
Circumstance: Adeiny Hechavarria traded.
You can make an argument for Desmond being an option if Marcell Ozuna is the player traded away as well, but I think there are better options out there in terms of outfield talent.
Hechavarria might be the best defensive shortstop in the NL, but he regressed big time at the plate this past season. And while this front office and myself alike put a huge premium on defense being the priority from the shortstop position, there are likely better marriages of defensive and offensive balance out there.
No defensive slouch himself, he’d have the potential to have a transformative impact on the Marlins lineup, giving it five regulars with 20-plus HR ability. And it shouldn’t go unmentioned that the Marlins have an ace up their sleeve in infield coach Perry Hill- any infielder they add will see his defensive value improve under his watch.
This would depend on Hechavarria being the centerpiece of a package of players sent out for a promising arm, one either ready for the majors or that has been there already. While replacing him with Desmond would be a great move, it’s also one I view as the least likely. To me, Hechavarria is the most likely player to be dealt, but I have a sneaking suspicion Miguel Rojas might be your Opening Day shortstop. A power threat he is not, but with regular at bats, he just might represent a twenty point bump in average with only a moderate drop in defensive range.
Shifting Dee Gordon and starting Derek Dietrich at second could be in play as well.