Miami Marlins: At some point pitchers must be traded

Because of sheer numbers and a lack of available spots on the pitching staff, the Miami Marlins will need to trade away young arms.

At some point soon, Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins will face a tough decision.

Which of the young arms on the pitching staff will be dealt for everyday players? Will it be an established starter or a rising arm who has no place to go because of the sheer numbers of prospects the front office has acquired over the past two years?

Any baseball organization that must deal with this “situation” must be doing something right, but since it’s Miami, it’s a great problem to have. There is no consensus about who may get dealt, possibly as early as this offseason. The Marlins don’t feel the need to unload more pitchers, but if an offer comes along, Jeter and the front office will listen.

Trade capital in baseball is a great thing.

The name mentioned by MLB.com is Caleb Smith, who is an established arm with plenty of upside. As far as speculation goes, he could bring the Marlins a power hitter with MLB experience in return.

By the way, Smith was part of one of those under-the-radar deals the front office made when Jeter took over as the team’s CEO that has paid off so far.

“Miami needs to make moves, and few could have expected pitching prospect Zac Gallen being sent to the D-backs in July after just seven big league starts” Joe Frisaro of MLB.com writes.

“I think the Marlins are pretty much open to whatever makes sense. Obviously, that doesn’t mean they will make a habit of trading prospects months after they reach the big leagues, but they likely will listen on anyone.”

Smith led the team with 10 wins last season but had his issues with surrendering the long ball. He is still a candidate to be the team’s Opening Day starter, but it’s more likely to be Sandy Alcantara who should be given that honor.

A Smith departure opens the door for Nick Neidert to grab a spot in the Marlins rotation out of camp. And there is still a possibility Sixto Sanchez, Miami’s top minor league prospect, could be in the rotation by midseason.

The rotation right now is a bit jumbled. And there is still a chance the front office adds a veteran arm for balance. Felix Hernandez, Jake Odorizzi, Rick Porcello, and Zack Wheeler are all possibilities.

There are a few reasons why Smith may not be the guy who gets traded at some point as Frisaro points out. He is not eligible for arbitration until 2021, so the Marlins control his contract for the next two seasons. He is a lefty, which makes him valuable to Miami’s starting five.

“I think Miami should keep its controllable starting pitchers, but Smith would have a market if the Marlins made him available,” Frisaro added.

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