If the Miami Marlins want to make trades to upgrade the team’s roster, pitching prospects may have to move in order to make that happen.
You probably guessed this already, but if the Miami Marlins are going to make moves this offseason that involve trades for hitters, it will involve prospects. That means the notion of keeping the organization’s top pitchers intact may be a fading thought.
The Marlins were 25th in the Majors last season with a .241 team batting average and hit just 146 home runs, which was last in the league. While the front office has vowed to find the right fit for the Major League roster, making sure the team does not lose part of its future in the process is something Derek Jeter and Michael Hill have talked about this offseason.
Miami will pursue free agents, as Jeter explained this week, with the hope of signing a few players to come down to South Florida and help build this team into a winner. The numbers have to be right, of course, where the budget the team sets forth continues to stay in place.
Many analysts and MLB writers, including myself, believe the front office will need to extend itself to make the right moves to get better offensively.
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According to Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, this might be the year the Marlins make some noise over the winter with deals that help both the short and long term of this organization.
"“The Marlins are the rare team with both a pitching surplus and an incentive to deal it, considering the unlikelihood they make the playoffs in 2020,” DiComo writes. “In particular, rival clubs covet Caleb Smith and Sandy Alcantara, both of whom could insert immediately into a contending big league rotation.”"
There is still help on the way for the Marlins, an organization that has the fourth-best feeder system in all of baseball. The young arms are developing throughout the minors and could be key pieces to trades the team makes this season and over the course of the next few years.
"“With Sixto Sanchez, Edward Cabrera, Braxton Garrett and others charging through the Minor League ranks, the Marlins can afford to deal away some of their rotation depth for long-term hitting help,” DiComo added."
Miami has also been linked to Nicholas Castellanos, Eric Thames, Yasiel Puig, and Marcell Ozuna. All four would be solid additions to the roster who comes at a steep price. The Marlins could also look to add veteran players who can provide help at multiple positions and help mentor young players developing on the roster.
"“Our pitching is very popular, as you would expect,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said at the GM Meetings earlier this month per DiComo’s story.“I think with a little bit of our history, teams know that we will make trades.”"
It’s a good bet the front office should be more active this offseason but won’t break their momentum of a strong minor league system. I believe a mid-range player will come along the team will sign. If they can persuade Castellanos to come back to South Florida, it’s a plus. The team must also add depth in the bullpen and potentially a veteran in the rotation.