The Marlins need to trade Jose Urena before Spring Training

With the team’s 40-man roster full and two players added in free agency, when will the Miami Marlins look to deal pitcher Jose Urena?

What will be the next move on the chessboard for the Miami Marlins? Will the team finally move on from Jose Urena, looking to send him to a team in need of a back-end starter in return for yet another minor league prospect who helps this team in the future?

And if this deal would happen – to any team looking to add pitching depth – would it come in the variety of a mid-level prospect, or would it be a deal similar to the one the Marlins pulled off on Monday, sending Kyle Keller to the Angels for minor league catcher Jose Estrada?

The Urena situation is one that I thought would have already been resolved. The righty is no longer a candidate for the rotation and the experiment to use him in a closer’s role failed. In his defense, Urena, who was the Marlins Opening Day starter for the second year in a row, did deal with a herniated disc in his back that forced him to miss the majority of the season.

When Urena came back in September, the move to the bullpen was already determined. Adding him as the closer was thought to be the right call given the Marlins had traded Sergio Romo to Minnesota and his aggressive nature on the mound would be ideal for Don Mattingly’s squad. It also would have given the coaching staff and front office a chance to potentially see the future.

It has been seen and the reviews were not that favorable.

So where would Urena go?

The Yankees are still in need of bullpen depth. The Marlins connection with Derek Jeter’s team is still strong and last month, I talked about a deal that would send Urena to New York as part of a deal for Clint Frazier. A lot has changed since then with Miami adding Corey Dickerson to the mix, but a deal could still be struck.

As our friends at Fish Stripes wrote, the Angels could once again be the team that plays matchmaker with Miami. If the deal for Estrada came easy, maybe the two front offices could work on another deal.

“You’ve seen by now that the Marlins reached agreements to sign outfielder Corey Dickerson and catcher Francisco Cervelli in late December. In addressing these areas of weakness, they have moved incrementally closer to competing at the major league level,” Ely Sussman writes.

“However, neither signing is official yet—the Marlins have a full 40-man roster and must make room for them. It’s a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. Ideally, they’d like to bring Dickerson and Cervelli into the fold without sacrificing any players who have realistic chances of contributing for them long term.”

That’s also why I think not only Urena, but Adam Conley draws interest from teams looking for bullpen depth.

The point is any team needing pitching help and needs a veteran who can eat innings in the rotation or in long relief should give Jeter or president of baseball operations Michael Hill a call. The Red Sox may also want to test the phone lines and see what kind of “Monte Hall” deal can be worked out.

If Urena is on the team’s 40-man roster once the team arrives for Spring Training in Jupiter, I would be shocked. The question isn’t about if this will happen, rather when it will take place and what kind of prospect(s) will the Marlins receiver in return for their veteran.

Next: Marlins reliever Adam Conley has a lot to prove this year