Set to begin the second half of the season six games under five hundred, the Miami Marlins' front office recently expressed the desire to acquire both a starting pitcher who would be under club control and a second baseman who can hit in the leadoff spot.
The club happens to be seeking the most coveted commodity in the game: controllable starting pitching. The team isn't leaning toward parting with prospects for an arm that may be with the club only through the end of the season.
Miami also is seeking a second baseman with speed.
Assuming that the Marlins are "buyers" come the July 31 trade deadline, they will have to include several prospective major league players in a deal. With top pitching prospect Andrew Heaney, Giancarlo Stanton, and Justin Nicolino almost certainly off limits, the Marlins could look include an outfielder in a deal because of their crowded outfield.
With Stanton and Christian Yelich not likely to be dealt, the Marlins may turn to one of Marcell Ozuna or Jake Marisnick, who both have major league experience.
Ozuna has started 92 games for the Marlins in 2014 and is batting .276/.323/.463 while posting a 2.2 WAR and driving in 53 runs.
Marisnick has spent most of the 2014 campaign with Triple-A New Orleans, where he has .275/.319/431 and driven in 37 runs in 77 games.
Is it worth it for the Marlins to deal either Ozuna or Marisnick?
The Case for a Trade
If the Marlins want to add a pair of major league ready players to the roster, they may have to part with a few.
General Manager Dan Jennings has consistently said Stanton is unavailable, making the Marlins' outfield increasingly crowded.
Marisnick has been trying to get his bat going in Triple-A, but has always been known as a plus center fielder first.
Ozuna had a solid first half, exactly doubling his preseason WAR prejection.
Including either Marisnick or Ozuna in a deal would free an outfield spot and likely allow Miami to acquire the impact-type players they are seeking.
An outfield of either Yelich/Ozuna/Stanton or Yelich/Marisnick/Stanton would both cover the gaps at Marlins Park well and provide consistent speed and offense.
Including Marisnick or Ozuna in a deal with a team like Seattle, who is looking for outfield help, may help the Marlins maximize the return.
The Case against a Trade
Stanton noted it was always a dream of his to play for the Dodgers, and the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson reported in April that Los Angeles was the favorite to land Stanton when he becomes a free agent moving forward.
For that reason, it would make sense for the Marlins to give Marisnick more time to develop his bat in New Orleans and allow Ozuna to man center field for the time being.
Should Stanton leave Miami, Ozuna is a natural right fielder and could slide over to right while allowing Marisnick to start in center.
Christian Yelich has also spent time on the disabled list in 2014, and keeping Marisnick and Ozuna within the organization gives the Marlins depth should he go down again.
Ozuna, because of his current numbers, may have greater value, but Marisnick, acquired from Toronto, was considered a top prospect as he progressed through the Marlins' minor league system.
What do you think? Should the Marlins hold on to Ozuna and Marisnick or deal one of the two? And if so, which one?