2014 Fish Stripes Marlins Offseason Plan: Roster stability report

How much longer will Giancarlo Stanton be slapping high-fives with Marlins teammates? - Brian Garfinkel

The Miami Marlins have various players on the roster who could be trade assets, but they also have a number of guys who are set up to be the future of the franchise. Where does everyone stand as of right now?

The Miami Marlins have a roster with interesting pieces for the 2014 season. On the one hand, there are a number of meaningless stopgap players, young and old, who have little choice but to plug away for Miami. There are a few stars-in-the-making who will be going nowhere for the next three or four seasons at least. Finally, there is one major name that is drawing all the trade season interest heading into next year.

But where do all these players stand in terms of their status as Marlins? The roster stability report ranks the likelihood of players being dealt away in tiers, starting with the players most likely to stay with Miami.

Untouchable Future Tier

Jose Fernandez, SP
Christian Yelich, OF

The Marlins will never trade either of these two players because of their potential as future Marlins building blocks. Fernandez is on his way to a potential Rookie of the Year season after the most dominant Marlins rookie year ever, and Yelich showed flashes of his excellent skill set in a brief two-month window in late 2013. These two players are the biggest future stars the franchise has, and they are cost-controlled at pre-arbitration prices through at least 2016, so the team has plenty of time to work with them.

Untouchably Terrible Tier

Greg Dobbs, 1B
Jeff Mathis, C
Ryan Webb, RP

This tier figures to grow once the Fish acquire any number of small veteran free agents to fill the team's holes, but for now it remains a group of three. Of the three, Webb figures to be the best player, but he is a pending free agent earning about what he would receive in the free agent market at most. The other two players are strictly bench options with negative trade value.

Too Young to Deal Tier

Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
Marcel Ozuna, OF
Jake Marisnick, OF
Henderson Alvarez, SP
Nathan Eovaldi, SP
Jacob Turner, SP

This group of Marlins is essentially exempt from all but the biggest of trade options. Unless a major deal for a long-term, cost-controlled talent came about, none of these Marlins expected to be dealt in 2014. The Fish are steeling themselves for a potential Giancarlo Stanton trade by keeping all of their outfield prospects in hand. Hechavarria is the least talented of these players, but he is also the only one who can even play shortstop. Alvarez, Eovaldi, and Turner have already been labeled as "untouchable," though the team should still consider them if a trade for a long-term catcher arises.

Take it or Leave it Tier

Rob Brantly, C
Donovan Solano, IF
Derek Dietrich, 2B
Chris Coghlan, IF/OF
Any cost-controlled reliever

The Marlins have no interest in trading these players, as they represent varying levels of future production for the franchise. Other teams have no interest in acquiring them for the most part. The only way why these players could be dealt is as throw-ins in a larger trade involving players more likely to be sent out. Essentially, these players are trade filler on the Major League roster.

Giancarlo Stanton Trade Rumor Tier

Giancarlo Stanton, RF

The Marlins have said that they plan on building around Giancarlo Stanton in 2014 in anticipation of making an extension offer at some point in the next year. But if Stanton declines an offer, the team will almost certainly begin shopping him more actively. If that rejection comes this year, there is at least a chance Stanton will not be a Marlin by the end of 2014. But for the time being, he remains a critical part of the roster and one whom the team wants to retain.

Expensive Reliever Tier

Steve Cishek, RP
Mike Dunn, RP

The Marlins do not like expensive relievers, but they also do not mind paying them arbitration prices for some reason. The Fish took three straight seasons of arbitration salaries for Juan Oviedo, which is ridiculous every time I think about it. Cishek is the most valuable trade piece here, but he is also the one the Marlins would like to keep the most. Dunn is in the middle ground and could be dealt, depending on his performance.

Questionable and Expensive Tier

Logan Morrison, 1B
Justin Ruggiano, OF

Both Morrison and Ruggiano are entering their first season of arbitration, and at this point they seem to be well-known commodities. Morrison is who he is, and Ruggiano's flaws are too apparent to be masked by his positives. The Marlins are not in the business of paying $3 million for a backup outfielder and an underperforming first baseman, so the team may look to get rid of those two players as early as this season. The downside is that the franchise has no first basemen to take over for Morrison, so expect Ruggiano to take the mantle as "most trade-able Marlin."

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