Long-term first base option for the Miami Marlins

Bobby Dalbec
Bobby Dalbec / Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

The Miami Marlins may have an interesting long-term first base candidate available by trade. The Fish already have a long-term trade candidate for catcher, that also should be relatively cheap to acquire. More urgently, the team does have a need for starting pitching depth. Getting back to the first base situation, it's always useful to look ahead, and the current platoon of Yuli Gurriel and Garrett Cooper doesn't have much time left. Let's look into the situation...

The Miami Marlins have a need for a long-term first baseman.

Yuli Gurriel is currently batting .266/.323/.396, with 3 home runs and 14 RBI in 46 games and 169 AB. It's a decent batting line and he's worth 0.0 WAR, but he's also nothing really special either. At 39 (yes 39) and being a free agent at the end of the season, it's unlikely that Yuli will be back next season. The other first base option is of course Garrett Cooper. Cooper has been notoriously injury-prone throughout his career and is hitting free agency after the season.

Garrett Cooper is currently batting .231/.267/.395, with 8 home runs and 28 RBI in 52 games and 195 AB. He's unfortunately been worth a disappointing -0.2 WAR. I would be extremely surprised if Cooper is brought back after the season due to his injury history. I also don't see how the Miami Marlins can have a 40 year old at first base next season, so Yuli Gurriel is unlikely to be back either.

The solution could be available on the trade market...Boston Red Sox Minor League first baseman Bobby Dalbec. Dalbec is a former top prospect who fell out of favor in Boston. Looking at his stats you might think that it's crazy to even want him. He's a career .232/.299/.452 bat in the Major Leagues. Dalbec's best season was all the way back in 2021, when he batted .240/.298/.494 with 25 home runs and 78 RBI in 133 games and 417 AB.

What intrigues me about Bobby Dalbec, is that he has a career 91.4 EV. He had a 92.4 one in 2021 and has a 95.0 one this season. He has power and that's undeniable. The key is cutting down his career 35.1 K% down to at least league average levels. If he can be had for a very little return, why not take a flyer? The Miami Marlins should of course sign a veteran first baseman as well, since Dalbec is more of a reclamation project than a sure thing.

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