Miami Marlins: Responding to a Jesus Luzardo-for-Christopher Morel Mock Trade

Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers
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The Verdict

In many ways, this deal is similar to another Marlins' mock trade involving Gleyber Torres. At face value, it would be amazing to add a young, power-oriented, dynamic bat to the club. However, neither star slugger can be anything more than an emergency fill-in at shortstop. And the Marlins desperately need a major-league-caliber shortstop.

Luzardo's production must also be considered. Still just 26 years old, the former top prospect is poised to be a key part of Miami's rotation for years to come. The sudo-ace is also under team control until he hits free agency in 2027.

Additionally, Luzardo was rock-solid for the club in 2023. He pitched a career-high 178.2 innings, with 208 strikeouts, only 55 walks, a 3.58 ERA, and a 1.215 WHIP. In many ways, he provided the rotation anchoring production that the team expected from oft-injured ace Sandy Alcantara. Now, with Alcantara out for the 2024 season, Luzardo feels as important as ever.

This truly is a solid trade offer by Cubbies Crib. And, even considering the aforementioned concerns, it is super intruging. Morel's upside is too high to be taken lightly.

However, I hedge slightly toward respectfully declining this deal, primarily due to Morel's defensive concerns at shortstop. If he were a league-average (or close) defensive SS, I would honestly advocate for this deal. But, at the end of the day, ranking 438 out of 473 players is damning.

I will add one caveat to this analysis. IF Miami were to add a starting-caliber shortstop, either through free agency or trade (perhaps one of these options), AND another solid starter (perhaps one of these), it would be worth pulling the trigger on adding Morel as a DH and utility batter.

However, Unless the normally quiet Marlins quickly make several corresponding transactions, it would be best to retain Luzardo and seek to build their 2024 hopes around their starting pitching.

Next. 3 best options for the Miami Marlins at SS. 3 best options for the Miami Marlins at SS. dark