Is a trade involving starting pitcher Jose Ureña still an option for the Miami Marlins in 2020?
The idea of a shortened season due to the pandemic associated with the Coronavirus may play well into the Miami Marlins hands. If the team indeed becomes a contender this season, then the depth of the pitching staff may become the reason these Marlins have a chance to reach the postseasons in 2020.
Wouldn’t that be something?
Joe Frisaro approached the topic in his most recent “Inbox” segment on MLB.com. When asked if the team will likely trade Jose Urena before the beginning of the season or at some time during the year, the writer addresses the issue with a simple explanation.
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The Marlins are going to need good starting pitching if they are going to contend.
"“… I think Ureña was making the case to be the Opening Day starter. Whether he gets the nod over Sandy Alcantara or not is the club’s call,” he wrote. But Ureña was impressing at the time Spring Training was cancelled. The Marlins need the rotation depth, and perhaps at some point they might consider trading someone. But trading controllable starting pitching is risky.”"
The Marlins have prided themselves on developing a young and growing pitching staff that is deep on all levels of the organization and may be ready to take that big step forward this coming season. Having few games to contend and the need for a veteran to help lead the way may prove to be good for both Ureña and the Marlins coaching staff.
The Marlins tried to experiment with him in the bullpen last season when he returned from the I.L. in September. A herniated disc all but wiped out his 2019 campaign. When he joined the team, he was offered a chance to earn the team’s closer’s role which was open because the team traded Sergio Romo to Minnesota. The audition fizzled.
If he does not make the rotation, then he could become the team’s long reliever out of the bullpen. But having Ureña in the rotation may prove to be better given the other four who make up the starting rotation will still be fairly you and need more experience under their belts.
"“The Marlins are going to need all their starters. And if this is a shortened season, game-wise, then I expect the Marlins to try to compete for the postseason,” Frisaro wrote. “Perhaps in the offseason, they might consider trading Ureña, who would be a year closer to free agency.”"
Urena won a permanent spot with the Miami Marlins in 2017 when he made the roster as a reliever but was moved to the rotation because of injuries and remained there to lead the team with 14 victories. He was the Opening Day starter in both 2018 and 2019.