With many solid pitching prospects onboard and the team still reaping the benefits of their growing minor league system, do the Marlins make trades before the deadline?
The Miami Marlins are going to be a popular team once the All-Star break comes to completion and teams that are thick in the playoff hunt look to add interchangeable pieces for depth.
The front office has already stated it will listen to offers from other teams, which could mean the movement of controllable pitching talent that was brought in to help this franchise build a foundation. While I wrote that Caleb Smith would not be one of those players moved, it stands to reason if he comes back from his hip injury and returns to the dominating fashion of the first two months of the season, he will become a hot commodity.
"“Parting with some of their young starters won’t come without a hefty price,” Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote. “But the president of baseball operations Michael Hill said Tuesday that the team would listen if clubs call.”"
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The Marlins have a situation other MLB teams should be envious of. In two seasons, the management side of baseball has taken one of the worst minor league systems in the Majors and built it into one of the most improved. They have solid pitching prospects from top to bottom in their chain. There is depth with power potential up the middle of the diamond. Miami has at least two players at Triple-A New Orleans who are Major League-ready in Monte Harrison and Isan Diaz.
Then, the team followed up a good draft class from 2018 with power and depth in the selection of J.J. Bleday and other outfield prospects.
This plan of Derek Jeter’s, the one we all scratched our heads about a year ago, is starting to come together – maybe quicker than was anticipated.
It starts with pitching. It may end there as well, considering at some point, Hill and the front office will make decisions about which arms are dealt, possible for more power in the middle of the order.
"“We’re trying to build organizational talent and depth throughout, both positionally and pitching,” Hill said. “But when you are talking about how to manage your assets, you’re looking at ways to improve. If we feel there is an opportunity for us to strengthen another area, to put us in position to win a championship, we’re going to explore whatever that means.”"
The recent success of Jordan Yamamoto, Zac Gallen, and Elieser Hernandez also means Smith can be brought back from his injury slowly. There is no timetable yet for Pablo Lopez to return to the mound as well.
And if you haven’t heard, there are more arms waiting for their shot at showing they belong in The Show. The team would need an impactful player or two in return to make a deal happen come July and beyond.
"“I think you look at ways to get better,” Hill said. “I think you look at where we are organizationally, and we’ve said our pitching is a little bit ahead of our position players.”"