2) Mitch Keller, PIT
2023 felt like a tale of two seasons for Mitch Keller. During the first half of the year, the Pirates ace pitched incredibly well, giving positive attention from across baseball and earning his first All-Star honors.
While Keller unfortunately sputtered more over the season half, he finished the campaign with a 4.21 ERA, a career-high 210 strikeouts, and a very impressive 13-9 record on an underwhelming Pirates team.
The Pirates ace has already been a part of recent trade talks. And, thankfully for the Marlins, his $2.5 million 2024 salary and his two remaining years of arbitration would fit right within their budget.
If he is indeed available, Keller would be a phenomenal fit in South Florida. He is young (27 years old). He is on a very team-friendly contract. He has been extremely solid and consistent over the past two seasons. And he has an All-Star upside.
Keller would immediately give the starting rotation the stability it lost when the news of Sandy's UCL injury broke. While the club would still be wise to pursue a second, lower-level starter this offseason, Keller is the closest thing to a quick and comprehensive fix that the Marlins could hope for.
On talent alone, he is the clear #1 trade target. However, his high price tag opens the door for...