Heading into the All-Star break, the Miami Marlins were convinced they would be "buyers" before the trade deadline. But after heading into Tuesday night's series opener in Atlanta seven games under five hundred, they may be internally reconsidering.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported on Tuesday afternoon that Steve Cishek's name is coming up frequently in trade talks, indicating the Marlins may be prepared to sell.
The Marlins have been hoping to be buyers, but at 45-52 and 8 1/2 games back -- thanks to a six-game losing streak that ended with a 3-2 win at San Francisco on Sunday -- it appears pretty unrealistic they could sneak into the playoffs. Manager Mike Redmond and his young team have done a nice job treading water after the loss of superstar starter Jose Fernandezto Tommy John surgery, but reality seems to be setting in.
Cishek has been solid when given a lead, pitching to a 4-5 record and a 3.57 ERA and 2.17 FIP in 40 and a third innings pitched. He has blown just four saves (21/25), and is one of the league's more inexpensive closers.
With Houston Street being sent to Los Angeles and most closers, such as Jonathan Papelbon, having extreme contracts, Cishek is a quality option.
Before the break, the Marlins made it known that they would like to add a starting pitcher and second baseman, and while it has not been made public, the front office's mindset may have changed. Miami likely wouldn't use Cishek as a trade piece if they were looking to add, though he may yield a prospect or two in a selling-type situation.
Miami trading Cishek would also be questionable because of the lack of bullpen depth within the organization. A.J. Ramos has had command trouble at times, and Arquimedes Caminero has minor league closing experience but has not pitched effectively at the major league level.
In addition to Cishek, Heyman noted Mike Dunn could be of interest to teams looking to make a playoff run. Dunn is 7-5 with a 3.44 ERA and 3.58 FIP in 36 and two third innings, and has been the primary lefty out of the Marlins' bullpen.
Losing Dunn would make Dan Jennings the sole lefty in the Marlins bullpen, which has been inconsistent at times. Dunn could be traded for an average prospect or two, depending on bullpen needs.
Miami may not be in sell mode yet, and while Giancarlo Stanton and other core players may not be dealt, the Marlins could be in a different position come the end of July.