The Miami Marlins and Kansas City Royals almost pulled off a blockbuster!

The Miami Marlins wanted to trade starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo for a new bat.
Jesus Luzardo
Jesus Luzardo / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Miami Marlins just barely have enough starting pitching, which is why recent reports have been very confusing for me to read. It does appear that The Fish are looking for a big bat to replace Jorge Soler, and a big trade was seriously considered during the Winter Meetings....

The Miami Marlins were talking about a major trade with the Kansas City Royals during the Winter Meetings.

I don't understand why the Miami Marlins would even consider trading starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo. Luzardo had a 3.58 ERA/3.55 FIP, with 10.5 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 32 games and 178.2 innings pitched. Over the last two seasons, he has a 3.52 ERA/3.40 FIP, with 10.6 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 50 games and 279.0 innings pitched. He may not be a truly elite arm, but he's certainly capable of top of the rotation production.

It's hard to see what The Fish would do without Luzardo, Max Meyer can't be expected to pitch many innings. A.J. Puk probably shouldn't even be stretched out to start, and I'm not going to bother going through all the other options. Everyone else is just a depth option. I don't see The Fish signing Yoshinobu Yamamoto or Jordan Montgomery, or any other top starting pitcher. Trading for a top of the rotation starting pitcher is tricky too. Is Dylan Cease even an ace anymore on top of the excessive price tag?

It just doesn't make any sense for the Miami Marlins to trade Jesus Luzardo. That said, the potential return was pretty intriguing... The Fish were going to trade him to the Kansas City Royals. Who would be coming back in return? First baseman Vinnie Pasquantino. Vinnie batted .295/.383/.450, with 10 home runs and 26 RBI in 72 games and 258 AB. He followed that up with a .247/.324/.437 batting line, with 9 home runs and 26 RBI, in 61 games and 231 AB.

Vinnie wasn't impressive in 2023 and did miss most of the season due to injury, but the power is there. He was also a top prospect for a reason, batting .277/.371/.561 in his final AAA season in 2022. If the trade would've went through, Josh Bell would've been moved to DH, directly replacing Jorge Soler at the position. We don't exactly know what stopped the trade conversation, or which team even suggested it. It appears as if this trade won't be talked about again during this off-season.