With the trade deadline fast approaching, the Miami Marlins have to ask themselves: “Who are we willing to part with?”
As the prospect of more prospects wears thin on some, others realize that the farm system is stronger than it has been in many years. From top to bottom, the Miami Marlins seven levels of minor leagues have quality pitching and solid hitting. From the rotation to the bullpen, from free agents to bonus babies, and from the Dominican Summer League up to the triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes, there are many waiting in the wings for their shot at major league glory.
New Orleans is eight games above .500, despite their position in third place of a tough PCL American South Division. After a tough first half, the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp are 14-11 in the second, and just a game behind the division leading Biloxi Shuckers.
The Clinton LumberKings are 17-7 in the second half, leading the Midwest League South, and the Batavia Muckdogs lead the NYPL Pinckney Division by 2.5 games. Even the Rookie Level clubs are looking good. The DSL Marlins are 21-18 and just a game back of the lead in the DSL Northwest, and the GCL Marlins sit at 11-9 ,1.5 games back in the GCL East. All that to say this: “Better days are surely ahead.”
In the end, this all begs the question, “Why trade for more depth?” The truth is, that as much as the Miami Marlins farm system has improved, there’s always room for additional growth. Who does the club have that a would-be contender would be interested in as the trade deadline continues to creep up on us? Who has the right combination of affordability and utility to whet the appetites of desperate major league General Managers looking for a late-season rental?