Now that the All-Star Game is in the rearview mirror and the second half of the MLB season begins on Friday, the Miami Marlins have an opportunity to do something special over the next 64 games. While the playoffs are out of the question (not mathematically), this is a franchise that can prove it is one to watch in 2019.
The Miami Marlins should view the next two months as a preview of things to come, not things that have already happened. A 41-57 season isn’t great, but the Marlins currently sit in fourth place in the National League East, percentage points ahead of the New York Mets. There is ground to gain and two series against Tampa Bay and Atlanta could make a statement pertaining to what lies ahead.
While there are still two days until games resume, Marlins management is fielding trade offers and discussing what moves will be made in bringing up minor league talent.
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"Per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, “Moving forward, the organization will continue to assess which players match what they are building, and which are more likely trade targets.”"
You can be sure teams are making calls to the team, seeing if relievers Kyle Barraclough, Drew Steckenrider and Brad Ziegler are available. There are a few other players who may be on the radar of playoff contenders, with catcher J.T. Realmuto the big fish in the small pond of Marlins Park.
It isn’t a case of whether the Marlins will be part of the feeding frenzy as the trade deadline approaches, but which players move and how soon will it happens. After watching Realmuto in Washington on Tuesday night, it’s a sure bet the heavy hitters in both leagues will make serious offers, hoping Derek Jeter and the Marlins will bite.
There is talk Derek Dietrich or Starlin Castro can be had for the right price. Castro wanted out prior to the beginning of training camp. Dietrich has been a nice surprise this season, with clutching hitting and his ability to play in both the infield and outfield.
As Frisaro wrote, Miami is definitely sellers this season, hoping for the right offer and hoping to collect more chess pieces for the future. There is even talk the New York Yankees may make an offer for Dietrich, raising eyebrows once again about Jeter and his former team playing together on the playground.
"“If the 2018 MLB Draft and the early stages of the international free agent signing period are indicators, the Marlins are seeking athletic players who play in the middle of the field,” Frisaro added. “As for pitchers, they’re eyeing those with clean deliveries and have a track record of throwing strikes.”"
Jeter’s first draft class was full of youth and promise. Much like the minor league system, there is room for growth. When the future Hall of Famer took over the franchise, the farm system was bleak. Now, it’s one of the more established in the league. Young arms, speed on every level and developing defensive specialists, this will be a team on the rise in the next couple of years.