The Miami Marlins are beginning to see a return on their investment in the trade that sent Christian Yelich to the Milwaukee Brewers last season.
When news broke that the Miami Marlins traded centerfielder Christian Yelich to the Milwaukee Brewers in a four-for-one deal prior to Spring Training last season, it was the culmination to what was peceived as a dumpster fire by the team down in South Florida.
Looking at how the four players involved in the trade who now wear a Marlins jersey, it’s understandable we all may have gotten a bit ahead of ourselves on this one. Trades that involce stars are a reason for immediate reaction. Yelich won the 2018 National League MVP, but the Marlins got building blocks to work with as the organization slowly becomes relevant again.
My colleague Kevin Kraczkowski summed it up perfectly in his story yesterday on Marlin Maniac.
"“I’ve long held fast here at Marlin Maniac that we need to wait and see before we make any judgements on the Christian Yelich deal. When the trade was announced, and nearly every day since, someone on Twitter is mouthing off about how the Miami Marlins got fleeced in the deal,” he wrote.“But see, the thing is, you can’t really judge a trade where you send away an established major leaguer for prospects for at least three seasons. Sure, Yelich had a season for the ages, but those who witnessed the Miami Marlins loss to the New York Mets were treated to a glimpse of the future.”"
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Yelich’s immediate return for the Brewers helped them reach the playoffs. Lewis Brinson, the centerpiece of the trade, has shown more progress in his development from last season in the 10 days has been in Marlins camp. Two home runs in the loss to the New York Mets on Wednesday is a testiment to his potential as a power hitter. And that’s not all.
Monte Harrison, the team’s No. 3 prospect, could be the slugger this team has needed, although he still may be a year away from the Majors. Harrison will play at Triple-A New Orleans this season and could be a mid-season or Sept. 1 callup. He still must cut down on his strikeouts and find continued consistency at the plate.
Jordan Yamamoto will be a starter in this league. Where he fits with the Marlins is a question mark because of the team’s overabundance of starting pitching. I watched him pitch at Double-A Jacksonville last season. He could be a real help to the rotation if injuries affect the staff like it did last season.
The player the Marlins might be the most excited about from this deal is Isan Diaz, who has power and is a slick-fielding infielder. He will force the Marlins to trade veteran Starlin Castro this season by the MLB Trade Deadline.
"Just writing about the success of this foursome had Kraczkowskifired up. “For crying out loud, put away your tar and feathers and take a wait-and-see approach,” he added. I think we may all be pleasantly surprised in the end.”"
If the Marlins are to “turn a corner” in 2019 and head toward 2020 with aspirations of medocrity and beyond, this is the deal we all will look back on and say was the catalyst that got things rolling. Four players – nondescript at the time of the trade – seemed a bit of a gamble for Miami to make. But the Marlins are reaping benefits, not just in 2019 but beyond.
Kraczkowski and myself are on the same page here. Let’s not worry so much about the immediate results of these trades the Marlins made last offseason right this moment. Allow the players to develop and then assess what the team’s front office did. It’s the best way to determine which team really made out the best in a deal many of us questioned at the start of it.