Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria made it clear that coming off of a 62-100 performance, the squad has to upgrade their offense, specifically at the third base and catcher positions. However, several Marlins officials have made it clear that they do not just want temporary solutions.
If the Marlins are going to make a trade or two to acquire offense this offseason, the organization will be targeting players who, at the very least, will not be eligible for free agency several seasons after being acquired..
In a pair of instances, several MLB officials have discussed the possibility of the Marlins trading for Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters or Cardinals third baseman David Freese. Both players are reportedly on the market and, for the right price, would be traded.
However, both Freese and Wieters are eligible for free agency after the 2016 season. President of baseball operations Mike Hill doesn't see the point of parting with young pitchers who are under team control in exchange for a temporary offensive solution.
"It has to be something that's not a short-term fix," Hill said in an interview with the Sun-Sentinel. "We want talent, but we've done our prospect deal. We're trying to get better and acquire players that help us now and in the future.
After acquiring catcher Rob Brantly from Detroit and pitchers Nathan Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez, and Jacob Turner, the Marlins feel they have the flexibility to trade away a pitcher or two if it meant improving the offense. Because of the nature of this free agent class, teams may have higher asking prices for offensive weapons.
"That's the only scenario that makes sense in our situation, to get something comparable back," Hill said. "Our close-to-major-league-ready starting pitching, our young starting pitching is attractive. There's been interest in that for good reason. It's the toughest commodity to acquire."
Trumbo will not be eligible for free agency until 2017, and Middlebrooks has several more years under team control and wouldn't be eligible until 2019.
Hill said with Miami's depth in the rotation at the major and minor league levels, completing a deal shouldn't be an issue if it one that works for both sides.
"When you have starting pitching that you're willing to part with you should be able to make some deals," Hill said. "I don't think we've focused specifically, but there are some situations you feel encouraged by and you think there's something to be done. Now, as we've done with previous meetings, you download all that information and prioritize, and zero in more on what you want to do."