If the Miami Marlins are going to make a leap in the NL standings, they may want to think about these trade options.
There is going to come a time when the decisions the Miami Marlins have made will finally pay off. It could happen as early as this offseason.
With the abundance of pitching prospects and the added talent of hitters the team has acquired in the past eight months, there could be some interesting offers made from teams looking to cash in on Derek Jeter’s blueprint.
And if the occasion arises that the Marlins can move a player or two for a power hitter or more prospects, don’t think for a second the front office won’t at least listen to the offer.
The Marlins 26-man roster will look different and could be better than last season. It should be better, no doubt. But which players should be offered in trade discussion this winter? Here is a look at three Major Leaguers who could move teams from South Florida.
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Lewis Brinson – The sand in the baseball hourglass is running out for Lewis Brinson as a member of the Marlins organization. There is no doubt Brinson should be the team’s leadoff hitter and potential threat on the base pads. But after two seasons in Miami, there must come a time where a decision is made about his future.
A player the Marlins sought in the deal that sent Christian Yelich to Milwaukee, Brinson was thought to be a face-of-the-franchise type of player. A Ft. Lauderdale native who was more than excited to come home to play pro baseball. The results of that move, however, have been less than stellar.
If Brinson played all of his baseball at the Triple-A level, there is no doubt he would be an All-Star candidate. Miami needs him to either learn to hit Major League pitching or they must decide to find a trade partner for him and recoup a prospect or two in the process. The Marlins could also package him with other players as a deal for a power-hitting outfielder or first baseman.
Wei-Yin Chen – It might be the hardest thing for the Marlins to do this offseason. Not because they don’t want to part with Wei-Yin Chen from the bullpen, but because his contract is an albatross that handcuffs Miami’s ability to spend money elsewhere.
As Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote, the front office knows it cannot move forward from Chen unless another team decides to pick up a major portion of his remaining salary.
"“The 34-year-old’s salary for 2020 is $22 million, after he made $20 million in ’19. There is a conditional $16 million option for ’21, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, if he pitches 180 innings… Chen threw 68 1/3 innings in ’19, so he won’t come close. So, the $22 million for ’20 is the remainder of the five-year, $80 million contract the left-hander signed in ’16,” he explains."
The Marlins may decide to part ways with him by releasing him this offseason, but failing to receive compensation only proves how bad a move it was to sign him in free agency in 2016 to begin with.
Caleb Smith – Before everyone throws me off a cliff, here me out on this one. The Marlins are full of pitching depth at all levels of their minor league system. It’s a known fact there isn’t enough space for everyone to make the 26-man roster in the next few seasons.
So what does Miami do?
Caleb Smith is a flame-thrower as evident of his 168 strikeouts in 153.1 innings pitched. Teams have already buzzed the Marlins front office, seeing if a deal could be done this offseason. For now, it appears the team is standing still before a potential move is made.
If another team puts together a trade package, which includes a slugger and prospect, will it be enough to make a move and open a spot in the team’s rotation? Nick Neidert is there waiting for the call and expects to be a consideration in Spring Training.
Neidert is part of the second tier of players who are waiting for their chance to take the mound in Miami. Smith’s trade value is fairly high right now, even with a 10-11 record this season.