So who says no? The Miami Marlins badly need hitting and plan to trade pitching to get it. We already have some interesting trade options and are targeting help in CF specifically as well. With a starting pitching surplus, we can definitely trade Pablo López, but can we trade him to the Baltimore Orioles for their CF Cedric Mullins? If this trade was on the table, who says no? Is it a fair trade for both sides?
Can the Miami Marlins and Baltimore Orioles swap Pablo López and Cedric Mullins?
Pablo López is under control for two more seasons with rising arbitration salaries (starting next season). He has a career record of 28 wins and 31 losses with a 3.94 ERA/3.77 FIP, 8.6 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9. In 2021 he accumulated 2.8 WAR with a 5-5 W-L record and a 3.07 ERA/3.29 FIP in 20 games and 102.2 innings pitched. In 2022, he produced a 3.0 WAR with a 10-10 record and a 3.75 ERA/3.71 FIP in a career-high 32 games and 180 innings pitched.
Pablo López is a mid-rotation starter. He flashes top of the rotation stuff at times, but is yet to consistently pitch as a top of the rotation arm. In the second half of 2022, he had a 4.97 ERA/3.81 FIP. He’s also injury-prone and unreliable, with this season being the first time that he went over 111.1 innings pitched in a season. On the other hand, he was great in the first half of 2022, 2.86 ERA/3.64 FIP. Although the FIP implies that he still wasn’t an ace.
Cedric Mullins is also entering arbitration, but has an extra year of control over Pablo, hitting free agency after the 2025 season. Interestingly, he’s two years older than Pablo at 28. Mullins got to start for the first time in 2021, and rewarded Baltimore with a .291/.360/.518 batting line and 5.7 WAR. He was a legit stud. Mullins’s 0.4 dWAR and solid as well. In 2022, Mullins batted .258/.318/.403 with 3.8 WAR and 1.0 dWAR.
Cedric Mullins is an elite CF, at a time when it’s a position where it’s hard to find a good player. If Baltimore decides to actually trade their lead-off hitter, they can expect a high return. They certainly don’t have to sell low.
So who says no? Baltimore. Pretty easily in fact. Mullins has 9.5 WAR over the last two seasons, Pablo López has 5.8 WAR. Mullins has a better injury history and an extra test of control. Baltimore can find a mid-rotation starter for much less in free agency. If the Miami Marlins add significantly to Pablo, then it’s possible that we would get Baltimore’s attention.