The Miami Marlins may get a few phone calls before the MLB Trade Deadline to see if they are willing to part with a few pieces of their puzzle.
I know nobody wants to talk about this, but the MLB Trade Deadline is around the corner and the Miami Marlins are now 6-1 this season and riding some of the best momentum the organization has had in years.
Everything is clicking properly. Breaking up the team’s rhythm may do more harm than good. The players who are now on the I.L.will come back to the main roster at some point, creating a logjam of decisions for Derek Jeter, Mike Hill, and Don Mattingly.
Trust me when I say it is a problem they are ready to deal with.
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The Miami Marlins can be buyers, sellers, or decide to stay put and ride the emotion of this abbreviated season. If this team is still playing solid baseball after next week, consider them a real threat to make the playoffs.
And then, as we always say, anything can happen. The front office will have some tough decisions to make and players who may have been the subject of trade rumors long before the season started may once again see their names in stories regarding potential movement.
Here are five names of Miami Marlins whose names could become trade chips in the coming weeks.
Right now, Caleb Smith is on the I.L. His debut wasn’t the strongest before he was removed from the Miami Marlins roster. Smith has been the subject of trade talks since the end of last season. There were plenty of teams that inquired about his services beginning at the Baseball Winter Meetings.
The additions to the rotation and the depth of the minor league system make him a hot commodity and expendable. If Pablo Lopez continues to develop, that helps Smith’s trade value. The Marlins would love to have a dominant strikeout pitcher as their second or third option in the rotation. Smith fits that role.
A contender could offer more bullpen depth or another big bat in return for the pitcher’s services.
The Marlins acquired Jesus Sanchez at the trade deadline last season from Tampa Bay. While he is a top 5 prospect, he is also at a position where the Marlins have plenty of talent and crowded outfield to choose from.
The flipside to this is the team gets an offer for someone like Monte Harrison, but I cannot see the front office letting him go. JJ Bleday and Kam Misner are waiting in the wings to make their MLB debuts in a year or two. There is veteran depth with Corey Dickerson. This might bring the biggest ransom if a trade could be made to a contender.
If the Marlins remain a hot team with playoff aspirations, then Jonathan Villar may come off this list. If the team falls off the reservation, then it is a good bet the team’s most versatile player is dealt to a playoff contender.
When the Marlins made the move to bring Villar over from Baltimore, there were plenty of stories about him being a “rent-a-player” because of his salary. But the more I look at how he fits the team’s needs as an infielder or designated hitter, the idea of him sticking around continues to grow on me.
The Marlins need his athleticism and his bat. His speed helps at the top of the order. His place in the organization really depends on the Marlins’ progress at the deadline.
Mattingly has praised Jesus Aguilar for his work this season, even before the start of 2020. He is a power hitter who can clear the bases with one swing.
He fits the profile of what this team is trying to accomplish. And he can fill in at both first base and designated hitter. There is one caveat to his continued play in Miami. Garrett Cooper can play first base and Lewin Diaz is the team’s first baseman of the future.
Even if he remains in Miami through the season, how much time does he have left with the Marlins because of the two other players breathing down his neck in 2021?
By rights, Jose Urena should have already been traded three times by the Miami Marlins front office. He continues to prove he can be effective and now, even with him being on the I.L. he will be counted on to bring the heat when he returns to the mound.
Urena did everything that was asked of him in camp and provides balance on a young a developing pitching staff. The problem he will face upon his return is that the Marlins now have plenty of arms to replace him.
Realistically, he could be the first player who is dealt before the deadline. And if he is on the roster when the team goes to training camp next year, his name will be the subject of trade talks in the spring.