While the Miami Marlins are notoriously known for fire sale trades, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports recently expressed his belief that should the Marlins continue to contend without Jose Fernandez, they will be buyers come the July trade deadline.
Miami made their first trade of the 2014 season on Sunday by sending a draft pick to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for reliever Bryan Morris. Morris went 4-0 with a 3.80 ERA and a 5.86 FIP in 23 and two third innings pitched for Pittsburgh.
In years past, as was the case when Matt Dominguez was shipped to Houston in exchange for first baseman Carlos Lee, the Marlins have been in search of offensive help as the trading deadline grew closer. But with the way Giancarlo Stanton and Casey McGehee have produced in the middle of the order and the contributions of Christian Yelich, Derek Dietrich, and Marcell Ozuna, Miami may not be seeking offensive upgrades come July.
If the Marlins feel the need to address offensive holes, shortstop should be considered. Adeiny Hechavarria, who was thought to be a top of the lineup star player when he was acquired, has posted a .268/.302/.338 slash line thus far in 2014 and has hit in the eight spot for much of the season.
After designating Greg Dobbs for assignment, the Marlins also lack a left-handed bat off the bench, which is essential for any team pushing for a playoff spot. Jeff Baker, Ed Lucas, and Donovan Solano have all been sufficient coming off of Miami's bench, but adding bench depth is key.
Starting pitching was considered a strength heading into the season, and despite losng Jose Fernandez, Miami's rotation still has potential but lacks consistency. Andrew Heaney is looming, and while Rosenthal notes that the Marlins have been linked to names such as Jeff Samardzija, adding a starter should not be a priority.
Steve Cishek, despite a rough outing against the Braves on Sunday afternoon, has been solid, but Miami's bullpen has otherwise been inconsistent. The team is confident the addition of Morris will prove to beneficial, but the Marlins will likely look to add a veteran reliever in the coming weeks.
A.J. Ramos and Mike Dunn have had their share of struggles, and bridging the gap to Cishek has proven to be a costly problem. A lefty specialist may be a valuable addition, considering the way lefties have hurt both Dunn and Dan Jennings in the past.
Jon Heyman of CBS agrees with Rosenthal, and notes that the Marlins will be competitive to try and add an arm or two.
if #marlins do some buying in july it will likely be to beef up back end of pen.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) May 31, 2014
Miami, after being swept by the Braves over the weekend, sits three games behind Atlanta in the National League East. If they remain competitive, several transactions may be imminent.