Martin Prado has seemingly made an impact in the eyes of the Miami Marlins. He has been listed all trade deadline season long as a potential trade candidate for the selling Fish, as he is under contract for just one more season and appears to be an expendable piece on a team that may be on another rebuilding bent in the coming year. However, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are unwilling to part with Prado for just anything. Instead, they are looking for a "big" return for the veteran third baseman.
However, earlier today, Joel Sherman of the New York Post said that the Marlins are still "open" to trading Prado, seemingly more so than they were yesterday.
Word is #Marlins have gone from Prado not available to "now open to at least contemplate" moving him, according to AL exec— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 28, 2015
The Marlins would probably still like to keep Prado, but his availability has seemingly increased. Again, the club's reasoning is understandable, as Prado's final year left is worth $11 million ($8 million if you count the money the Yankees sent to Miami for his salary). The Fish could easily get a B-ranked prospect or even low top-100's guy for league-average production at second or third base. Teams looking for help in either position have an extra year of team control to try and find an eventual Prado replacement.
What teams are interested? Sherman mentions the two New York teams as additional players for Prado.
The expectation is that, once the dust settles on the Ben Zobrist trade to the Kansas City Royals, the two other left-out New York clubs should increase in interest.
How interested should they be? Each team has a hole in one of those two positions. The Mets have concerns about what is happening with David Wright's ongoing injury concerns and whether he will return shortly, though he is slated to start baseball activities today. They could use some help with Daniel Murphy struggling at second right now as well, even if Wright returns to full health. Prado can also help out in the corner outfield, though he is of less value there, and the Mets could use that with Michael Cuddyer's injury.
The Yankees would be a funny move, given that they just traded Prado away. Miami could send some of the money the Yankees agreed to send back to the original team to pay back the salary relief for next season. Stephen Drew has been hapless at second base, having belted 13 home runs but hit below the below the Mendoza Line and put up a .188/.263/.380 (.284 wOBA) line. The Yankees could send back a pitcher like Ian Clarkin or Domingo German as part of the deal to re-acquire the infielder.
The Fish would probably have to send the $3 million the Yankees paid them for next year in order to get back that kind of return, however, and as it has been pointed out before, the Marlins are always hesitant to pay money in deals, even if it is not their money. This came up in a potential offer for Dan Haren that the Marlins rebuffed. Without the extra money, Prado would be paid about $16 million in the next year and change and will be worth around $21 million total, making his trade value about $5 million. This is roughly what the Marlins have in terms of value for guys like Mat Latos and a free Haren, which means they would not get as much. Add the money and that could bump up to as much as $8.5 million in value.
The Fish have option on whether they want to move on from Prado. The market over the next two days should clear up. The question is whether the team has a direction for next season and whether it chooses the right move based on that direction.