Do the Marlins use the surplus of outfielders they have on their roster or do they look to add other puzzle pieces through trades prior to Opening Day?
Will the Marlins look to trade an outfielder or two before the start of the season now that there is a surplus of players and the team still could use depth at other positions?
It’s a question that was asked of MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro in his most recent “In Box” feature. The prospect of another trade or two is very real. I also don’t think it has to do with just the outfield and there are plenty of arms in the bullpen that may not fit what the front office and coaching staff are looking to do this season.
“Yes, it is possible,” Frisaro writes. “I’m not sure it is likely. The fact that both players still have at least one option gives the organization leverage in how it wants to manage its roster. Plus, the organization needs the depth”
The Marlins used several combinations in the outfield last season, as injuries and lack of performance forced Don Mattingly to make changes. Now, with depth added this offseason, the hard part of the decision making will be who remains on the 26-man roster and who will either be sent back to the minors or who might play baseball elsewhere in 2020.
“A year ago, 14 outfielders were used. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Ramirez is in the Opening Day lineup, as noted in the answer above,” Frisaro adds. “Cooper also provides depth at first base. Besides, I’m not sure what the trade value for either would be. Cooper has had a history of injuries, and Ramirez doesn’t have much experience.”
When Mattingly announced after the first of the year he did not believe Cooper was an everyday player because of his time on the Injured List with the team, it should have signaled a red flag. While there is still potential in his bat (15 home runs in a limited time at the plate), he should be doing more with the time he has had in the field.
Ramirez was a nice surprise last season after an early callup from Triple-A. The thing I do not like concerning him is where the Marlins play him in the field. Putting him in centerfield – where he still might play this season – isn’t his natural position.
Because of the moves the team has made this offseason, the addition of veteran players makes it hard to fit Ramirez’s bat in the lineup unless he is in center.