The start of the 2019 season has not been what the Marlins or starting pitcher Jose Urena expected. Will the team consider trading him before the MLB deadline in July?
This wasn’t how the season was supposed to start for Miami Marlins ace Jose Urena. His stat line leaves us wondering if the “ace” of the staff will ever get back on track. Three losses in three games with a 9.22 ERA. I know it’s early in the season and the Marlins can improve, but the first three weeks of the MLB season have not been encouraging.
In his most recent “Inbox” feature, the question was asked of Joe Frisaro if the Marlins would entertain trade offers for Urena, given the depth of starting pitchers in the team’s minor league system.
"“Urena is in his first year of arbitration, and he is making $3.2 million this season. The fact that he has two more years of arbitration before qualifying for free agency in 2022 eliminates any urgency the Marlins have to offer a contract extension,” Frisaro writes.More from Marlins NewsMiami Marlins are pursuing Michael ConfortoMiami Marlins need to spend to winMiami Marlins can’t afford to botch this tradeMiami Marlins news: the New York Mets are a risky threatMiami Marlins keep missing out on stars“Yes, the rotation is promising with Trevor Richards, Pablo Lopez, Sandy Alcantara, and [Caleb]Smith all a year removed from being rookies. And Nick Neidert, Zac Gallen, Jordan Yamamoto, Jorge Guzman and more are developing in the pipeline.”"
Just like Frisaro, I am of the belief the team makes a deal at the MLB Trade Deadline and moves forward with plans to use their young pitchers to build the future of this franchise. It’s a good problem to have with so many young arms in the minors. As I was told last week by my colleague here at Marlin Maniac, you can NEVER have too many young pitchers in your minor league system.
Urena’s stats don’t tell the entire story as he and the other starters in the rotation haven’t had the run support needed to make a dent in the win column. Still, this start is concerning on so many levels. Even with the arbitration situation with Urena in Miami’s control, the need to keep the rotation balanced will remain an issue all season.
"“Having rotation depth is important, but it doesn’t necessarily change the club’s thinking on whether to offer Urena an extension and buying out a year or more of his free-agent seasons,” Frisaro adds.“Typically, extension candidates are All-Star-caliber players. Urena has certainly been a workhorse for the Marlins — logging a team-high 174 innings in 2018. But he hasn’t shown to be or project to be at an All-Star level.”"
If the team moves on from Urena, it would mean the team feels comfortable with Alcantara or Richards assuming the role as the team’s top starter, for now.