The Miami Marlins could've had a middle of the order bat

The Fish passed on a trade that could've solved some of the team's issues.

Austin Riley
Austin Riley / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

A few years ago the Miami Marlins made a trade that still resonates with us today. The Miami Marlins passed on trading with the Atlanta Braves to make one with the Philadelphia Phillies instead. Neither team is on our list of winners this off-season, but you can argue that both of them won that off-season. Philly by getting J.T. Realmuto and Atlanta by not trading Austin Riley. What could have been though?

The Miami Marlins could've traded with Atlanta and heavily improved the lineup.

This is the trade that got away. The Miami Marlins acquired SP Sixto Sanchez and C Jorge Alfaro for C J.T. Realmuto. Sixto is turning into a good reliever, bit Alfaro didn't really work out, producing a 0.2 WAR over the three years on the team (2019-2021). Sixto missed multiple years to injury, though as I mentioned earlier might be a lockdown reliever going forward.

Atlanta was willing to trade Austin Riley to The Fish. Riley was worth 6.3 WAR in both 2021 and 2022, and 5.9 last season. He's been better than Realmuto all on his own. I can't get over the possibility of Riley batting in the middle of the Marlins batting order, batting .281/.345/.516, like he did in 2023 with Atlanta, hitting 37 home runs and driving in 97 RBI.

If the Miami Marlins chose Atlanta's offer, there would be no Jean Segura signing. Of course, there would also be no Jake Burger trade either. I'm very high on Jake so I would not have taken that trade back. Perhaps that trade could've been done anyway, with Burger occupying the DH spot. It's definitely a shame to think what could've been though.

Atlanta would've still won the division all of these years, but the team would certainly be worth without Riley. They also wouldn't have done the Sean Murphy trade. They wouldn't have been affected by the trade as much The Fish, still fielding competitive teams and almost certainly still winning the 2021 World Series. That said, they obviously would rather have kept Austin Riley, then traded for J.T. Realmuto. I wish it was possible to redo the decision on that trade for the Miami Marlins.

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