Now that pitchers and catcher report to the Marlins Spring Training complex in Jupiter, Florida, will the organization look to trade more veteran players?
In the aftermath of the trade that sent catcher J.T. Realmuto to Philadelphia late last week, the Miami Marlins finally have closure in a process the organization waited until the last possible moment to make a deal.
As the front office exhales and pauses for a moment – as pitchers and catchers descend on Jupiter, Florida for Spring Training starting Tuesday, is this team done making deals for the moment. Do other names pop up as possible moving chess pieces? When does Michael Hill, the president of baseball operations for the franchise say enough is enough?
To steal a catch phrase from former professional wrestling superstar Bill Goldberg, “Who’s Next?”
It could all start with pitching as teams lined up last season to inquire about starter Dan Straily, who although injured, was sought after by many MLB teams.
More from Marlins News
- Miami Marlins news: Another target gone
- Why didn’t the Miami Marlins sign JDM?
- Miami Marlins rejected Boston‘s trade offer
- Miami Marlins are pursuing Michael Conforto
- Miami Marlins need to spend to win
"“No one tracks these kinds of things, but Dan Straily might’ve been mentioned in more trade rumors than any Marlin other than Realmuto the past two seasons. If so, that honor has more to do with the Marlins’ place on the win curve rather than his value,” writes R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports."
For now, Straily will walk into camp as the team’s No. 2 starter and provide a veteran balance between the growth of Jose Urena and young arms fighting for two spots in the rotation. It’s a good problem to have as the Marlins have worked the past year to acquire as much pitching talent as possible, while trading away almost all of its power resources.
Straily could be a player the Marlins look to deal, helping a contender make the playoffs and the potentially the World Series. For all of you old enough to remember, that’s how the Atlanta Braves acquired John Smoltz from Detroit for Doyle Alexander.
Urena may also be the subject of trade talks, having become the team’s ace and logging over 500 innings in the Majors. He is under contractual control by the organization for two more seasons.
The Marlins may look to unload veteran lefty Wei-Yin Chen, but his contract is prohibitive. His injury history is a scare for most teams and his inconsistency on the road is troublesome.
"“Wei-Yin Chen threw the most innings of his Marlins career last season, with 133,” adds Anderson. “That’s not what the Fish had in mind when they signed him to a five-year deal worth $80 million prior to the 2016 season. The backloaded nature of the deal means Chen will bank some $42 million over the next two seasons, with an innings-based conditional player option for 2021.”"
I doubt the Marlins can afford to dump all three of their veterans in the rotation given the instability of their young arms who were battered with injuries as well during the 2018 season.
It may make sense to go another route, should the team look to make trade deadline deals in July.
The name most logical in terms of trade value may be second baseman Starlin Castro. A hefty contract is something the Marlins may not want to deal with after this season. He makes $11 million this season and is set to make $16 million in 2020 before hitting free agency. Castro is almost a sure bet to be moved either by the trade deadline or in the offseason.
If Martin Prado is healthy and can hit coming off the bench, contenders will want a veteran bat and solid clubhouse guy to join their team. Prado’s injury list is long the past two years and now has lost his starting role at third base to rising star Brian Anderson.
Prado is a guy you want to see in a Marlins uniform for life, but it may not make sense to keep him, given he will make $15 million this season and could be gone in free agency in 2020. Miami would be best served to try to get something in return for his services.