One or the other: Miami Marlins outfield should remain mostly intact

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Marcell Ozuna
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Marcell Ozuna /

The Miami Marlins continue to be at the center of the hot stove offseason. With a number of big names on the market, the team won’t be unrecognizable.

Immediately following the breakup of the Big Three era of the Miami Heat, fans were forced to do a lot of googling. “Who are these guys?” Up and down the roster, there were few familiar faces as the Miami Heat began their rebuilding process. The Miami Marlins don’t face the same fate.

For the most part, they’ll be mostly the same team. That’s both good and bad. In 2017, they finished below the even mark and didn’t sniff the playoffs during the final month of the season. But that was mostly due to their pitching.

The Miami Marlins are closer than people think, and for that reason, their star-studded outfield should remain mostly intact.

Either Giancarlo Stanton, or Marcell Ozuna should go. Not both. (Not either, if Derek Jeter and Co. are so inclined, but that appears increasingly unlikely.) There have been rumors that the Marlins are willing to trade both players if the right deal comes up.

Rumors swirling around Giancarlo Stanton have dominated the headlines, and there is no reason to get into the innumerable list of teams vying for his services. But it’s a delicate balance, and the Miami Marlins are trying to give up the most salary, and bring back as much as they can.

They want minor league ballplayers that will be ready to pay in 2018, and be stars within a couple of seasons. Anything less won’t be good enough.

By either keeping Marcell Ozuna or Giancarlo Stanton, getting back projectable, controllable quality pitching for 2018, the Miami Marlins should be could be only a season or two away from the playoffs. Possibly as early as 2018. Trading both cuts the team off at the knees.

Same story for a year now

It’s starting pitching. The bullpen is perhaps the most underrated in baseball. Miami boasts a stable of young arms ready to put three digits on the radar gun. Their offense is potent and nationally recognized. But that their starting pitching is a major weakness is no insider secret.

The need to trade either Marcell Ozuna or Giancarlo Stanton should be born out of a desire to bring back starting pitching, not salary relief. Understandably, it’s both. But the rest of the team built to win now. Dumping salary and making shrewd decision with an eye towards winning are not mutually exclusive.