One of the biggest talking points of the Miami Marlins offseason so far came from a report on Monday night from MLB Network‘s Jon Morosi. In this report, Morosi stated that the Marlins could potentially be considering trading a veteran starter at some point in the offseason to open up a rotation spot for one of the club’s younger starters.
When looking at if this could possibly happen, the answer is yes. In fact, one could argue that a move like this is likely to happen at some point over the next couple of weeks.
However, if Miami opts-to trade one of the veteran starters this offseason, who will it be and what will be the possible return in a deal?
Will the Miami Marlins trade a veteran starter this offseason?
As mentioned previously, Morosi mentioned Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez, and Elieser Hernandez as possibilities that could be dealt. While there is always the possibility that none are traded, let’s look at the likelihood for each to be dealt this offseason, as well as what a potential return would look like.
Starting with Alcantara, the Marlins will likely not be trading the 26-year-old right-hander. Yes, a potential deal surrounding the Marlins ace would 100% land Miami the biggest return, but Alcantara is coming off a career-year in 2021, and will likely be with the Marlins long-term as extension talks between the two sides have been talked about recently.
While there is almost no-chance that the Marlins trade Alcantara, there is a small-chance that Lopez could be traded, but it is unlikely to happen. Also coming off a career-year this past season, the 25-year-old right-hander would certainly land Miami a notable return if traded as well, but Lopez will likely remain in the Marlins rotation as one of the best No. 3-5 starters in baseball.
With Alcantara and Lopez unlikely, you could certainly make an argument that Hernandez is the likeliest to be moved in the offseason, but would likely land the least-return of the three. The 26-year-old made a total of 11 starts during an injury-shortened 2021 season in which the right-hander posted a 4.18 ERA, and already entered the offseason with his potential role with the 2022 Marlins up in the air due to the depth of Miami’s big league rotation.
With the likely return of Sixto Sanchez to the rotation early next season, the Marlins will have a crowded, but talented, rotation in 2022. Names such as Alcantara, Rogers, and Lopez are likely set in the 2022 rotation, meaning that the group of Sanchez, Hernandez, Cabrera, Meyer, and others are likely competing for those two open rotation spots.
The Miami Marlins have some of the best young pitching depth in baseball, and because of the crowded rotation at the major league level, a trade seems likely in some form this offseason. As for whom that trade would include, don’t expect Alcantara, and possibly Lopez, to be available this offseason.