Pablo López’s trade value
By Neil Raymond
The Miami Marlins are looking for hitters in exchange for starting pitchers. It makes sense for us to move on from Pablo López specifically, as he’s the worst of our starting pitching options long-term. Before you argue that I will explain why. I also want to look at Pablo’s trade value so we can be realistic with our expectations on what we can get in return for him. There was a specific trade idea floating around, that while great for us, seemed not so great for Baltimore (Pablo for Cedric Mullins). Let’s look at Pablo’s trade value…
How much value does Pablo López actually have?
Pablo López is a free agent in two years, who has a career 3.94 ERA/3.77 FIP. He also has durability concerns, with 180.0 innings this season being a career high, with 111.1 innings in 2019 being his previous career high. Pablo’s career strikeout rate is 8.6 (8.7 in 2022) and walk rate is 2.5 (2.7 in 2022). The 26 year old will also receive a salary bump due to arbitration for next season.
Imagine that Pablo López plays for another team, would you want him? You’re basically getting a mid-rotation starter with injury concerns and two years of control. I suspect that he might need team options in the deal to guard against injury.
How much value does Pablo have for us? Sandy Alcantara is better, Trevor Rogers was significantly better last season and in the second half of 2022, and has 4 years of control compared to Pablo’s 2. Edward Cabrera is better too (3.01 ERA in 14 starts with 9.4 K/9 in 2022). He has more upside and 5 years of control. Jesús Luzardo is better too, with his 3.32 ERA/3.12 FIP and 10.8 K/9 in 18 starts in 2022. He has 4 years of control left. We also have top prospect Eury Pérez on the way.
We are fine without Pablo López and fans shouldn’t be concerned with trading him. We have 5 better starting pitchers with more upside. We also shouldn’t expect too much in return for him. I think that we can still get a good hitter for him, but it’s important not to go overboard with expectations relative to his value. He’s not that valuable.