Over the past week, we’ve watched as the Marlins have traded major-league caliber relievers for low-level minor-league prospects.
First, Kyle Keller went to the Los Angeles Angels for Jose Estrada, then Austin Brice went to the Boston Red Sox for Angeudis Santos. Finally, today the Marlins sent Austin Dean to the St. Louis Cardinals for Diowill Burgos.
None of these three trades, by themselves, would elicit much in the way of conspiracy theories. Two of these would be a coincidence, and in the words of the immortal Arlo Guthrie, three makes a movement. Don’t click the link unless you have 19 minutes to kill.
Firstly, the series of trades seem to indicate that the Marlins feel their existing bullpen options are solid enough to build around, at least for the time being. Even with the exits of these three, the 40-man roster still has Jeff Brigham, Adam Conley, Jarlin Garcia, Yimi Garcia, Jorge Guzman, Brian Moran, Jose Quijada, Sterling Sharp, Ryne Stanek, Drew Steckenrider, and Jose Urena. Surely, from amongst those 11, at least eight can hold down a spot on the 26-man roster through the 2020 campaign.
Secondly, the acquisition of prospects who are all three-or-more years off from challenging for a major league roster spot indicates the Marlins are employing the long-game when it comes to competing for the postseason.
Not only is the top level of minor league prospects ready to bust down the door and make their presence felt, but there’s also a second and even third wave of prospects to keep the forward momentum going. These three, especially Burgos, are part of the third wave.
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20-year-old left fielder Jose Estrada hit .247 in 43 games for the DSL Angels last season, with a .335 OBP. Shortstop Angeudis Santos hit just .184 with the DSL Red Sox2, but he also led the entire minor league complex by walking at a 23.6 percent clip, with 55 bases on balls over 233 plate appearances. He stole 15 bases in 19 attempts.
Diowill Burgos will make his debut on the Marlins prospect list at number 19, according to Fangraphs. The six-foot-one, 190 lb. outfielder bats left and throws right, and hit 11 home runs in 58 games between two rookie-level teams this season for the Cardinals.
The Miami Marlins will take the field for their first Spring Training game on February 22nd, in five-plus weeks. Until then, we can only use our best guesses to predict the future. In the meantime, keep checking here for all the latest Marlins news.