Which direction will the Miami Marlins travel when the MLB Trade Deadline approaches Aug. 31?
Four games, three wins, two weeks of craziness, and one more day of baseball for the Miami Marlins.
As the team from South Florida gets set to play tonight in Baltimore after they blanked the Orioles 4-0 in a masterful game by Pablo Lopez and the bullpen, what is next for Don Mattingly’s 3-1 team tonight.
A doubleheader on the road and a chance to further solidify this team as a contender after an ugly last week that has centered around COVID-19 protocol, the Marlins did what they needed to do – which was go out and play baseball without the resounding talk of what went wrong. Tuesday night, everything went right.
Now, as the team – which has been partially rebuilt in one week – is the subject of trade talks once again. This time Bleacher Report talks about one flaw from every team where there could be some movement at the MLB Trade Deadline on August 31.
"“With the expanded 16-team playoff format, this year could feature a lot of buyers and only a few genuine sellers,” Jacob Shafer writes. “Still, every contender has flaws to fix, and a summer swap is often the best and fastest way to fix them.”"
Does this mean even after four games and a lot of time away from the field the Miami Marlins considered a team to watch as an under-the-radar squad for September? Fans in Florida sure hope so.
A month ago, I wrote a story here on Marlin Maniac, “Miami Marlins: Buying at the MLB Trade Deadline” which examined the idea of Miami’s front office looking to add more players to the roster to make that playoff run. But if the team is still battling win percentages and trying to make up ground for lost baseball games, does it change the direction the team takes.
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To further that argument, does it mean players who were considered untouchable or nearly untouchable will be up for consideration? The pitching staff is immensely deep. The farm system is loaded with talent and players who comprise the 60-man player pool could force Derek Jeter or Michael Hill to listen to an over-the-top offer for an arm or bat to push another team toward the World Series.
If there was ever a time to be Marlin or part of the organization, it’s now because youth and growth are two things veteran teams want to keep their future stability.
As Shafer points out, Jonathan Villar is the team’s biggest trade chip. The multi-talented player with power and speed can play four positions and should now command major attention at second base or designated hitter. He signed a one-year deal, but I first thought he would remain in Miami past 2020.
Now, he might be the rent-a-player some have come to believe he is.
The Marlins are still working out their rotation with Sandy Alcantara, Caleb Smith, and Jose Urena all on the I.L. That means Lopez, Jordan Yamamoto, Robert Dugger, and Elieser Hernandez are the first four on the mound. Do any of them – besides Lopez stand out enough to warrant a trade offer? And what can the front office do if offered a solid deal for a big bat in the lineup?
Shafer makes the point that the Marlins should continue to add prospects to the roster while trading players. He, in no way, identifies the fact this is a team on the rise and doesn’t talk about how the 60-game season could be the best thing to happen to the franchise. Maybe it’s an oversight.
When the rumors start again about making moves in Miami, will this team buy or sell? It could be a matter of both – which should help the organization in the long run.