Miami Marlins: 4 Options to fill Center Field Long-Term

Matt Melton
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 21: Byron Buxton #25 of the Minnesota Twins runs against the Cincinnati Reds on June 21, 2021 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 21: Byron Buxton #25 of the Minnesota Twins runs against the Cincinnati Reds on June 21, 2021 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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After contract extension talks reportedly ended between the Miami Marlins and center fielder Starling Marte, it seems certain that the veteran outfielder will be traded sometime during the week.

However, with reports of Miami also looking for a long-term option in center field at the trade deadline, there are a few notable different options that stick out most.

Now obviously the Marlins could always end up re-signing Marte at seasons end as a free agent, but that seems to be unlikely to happen at the moment. While Miami also has internal options to fill the position including Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison, it appears trading for a center fielder may be the most-likely option.

Will the Miami Marlins trade for a center fielder at the 2021 MLB Trade Deadline?

Obviously Miami will want a long-term option in center field that is already under team control, as well as a player they feel confident that they will be able to re-sign. When looking at potential options that will be available via trade over the next week, the biggest name is current Twins center fielder Byron Buxton.

Currently on the 10-day IL, Buxton was having a phenomenal 2021 season before injury slashing .369/.409/.767 with 10 HR’s in 27 games. Under team control for another season, the 27-year old former first round pick would instantly provide elite defense and speed with improving power to Miami’s lineup, even despite the injury concerns.

Obviously Miami’s focus once potentially acquiring the star outfielder would immediately go to re-signing Buxton as he is a free agent in 2023. With recent reports that Buxton and the Twins were unable to reach a deal on a potential extension, the area for the amount the Marlins would have to go is clear.

A few other options that could possible be in-play are Royals OF/2B Whit Merrifield, as well as Diamondbacks center fielder Ketel Marte. Merrifield appears to be already gaining traction on the trade market, while it’s unknown if Arizona would even part-ways with Marte who holds team-options for the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

While it’s also unknown if other intriguing options such as 2021 All-Stars in Orioles OF Cedric Mullins and Pirates OF Bryan Reynolds will be available, it’s clear that Miami has options should they choose to make a big splash for a center fielder, as well as the prospect capital to make it happen.

It makes sense for the Marlins to try to secure the center field position long-term over the last two months of the 2021 MLB season going into 2022. At first glance, it certainly appears that the Miami Marlins have four clear options to fill the position going forward:

  • Internal (Brinson, Harrison, etc.)
  • Trade for Star (Buxton, Merrifield, Marte, Mullins, Reynolds, etc.)
  • Acquire a Major League ready prospect in Marte deal (Heliot Ramos, Estevan Florial, etc.)
  • Re-sign Marte as a free agent in the offseason

Next. 5 Prospects to Target in a Starling Marte Trade. dark

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