Our friends at Fansided's Cubbies Crib recently proposed a mock trade that would send Miami Marlins starter Jesus Luzardo to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Christopher Morel. The goal is to supplement Chicago's starting rotation, which is projected to lose former All-Star Marcus Stroman, while also addressing Miami's void at starting shortstop.
All cards on the table, I have personally advocated for Miami to aggressively avoid placing Luzardo on the trade block. However, the inclusion of a budding power hitter in Morel has piqued my interest.
Miami Marlins: Responding to a Jesus Luzardo-for-Christopher Morel Mock Trade
Does this deal make sense for the Marlins? Let's discuss the positives and negatives.
There are many things to like about Morel. The 24-year-old burst onto the scene in 2022, hitting .235 with 16 homers and 10 steals across 379 at-bats. He followed up this exciting rookie campaign with a much improved .247 BA and 26 homers in 2023. This included a thrilling stretch in which Morel set a new Cubs record by blasting nine home runs in the first 12 games of a season.
If combined with current Miami stars Jazz Chisholm, Luis Arraez, Josh Bell, and Jake Burger, Morel could help create a dangerous offensive unit in Loan Depot Park, particuarly in terms of their power output.
Morel has primarily been an outfielder in his young career, however, he does have 44 starts at 2B, 20 at 3B, and 11 at SS. He is a bit of a Swiss Army Knife. But he is a much-preferred option over any other current Miami Marlins' shortstop.
Additionally, the young Cub is Pre-Arbitration eligible in both 2024 and 2025, with his first year of arbitration coming in 2026, and his first free agency coming in 2029.
He is young. He is a potential power juggernaut. And he is under team control for the foreseeable future. At first glance, this is a super tempting trade offer. However, there are important underlying dynamics that must be considered. Such as...