It is common knowledge that a weather forecaster is the only person who can be wrong 75 percent of the time and not get fired. With that in mind, this "forecast" on who the Marlins may decide to move before the trade deadline on July 31st is just speculation and may not come to fruition. However, do not expect the franchise to be quiet in the upcoming weeks as they are looking to retool before another attempt at making the post-season next year.
The Marlins traded prospects and organizational depth this past winter to contend this year. Miami has a lot of parts which they might not need moving forward. These parts could be traded to try and regain that depth which they lost via trades before the season started.
As ever, no one in a Marlins uniform likely won't be mentioned when the team is under-performing. In the interest of this article, though, only the most notable players will be discussed.
Safe: Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, Christian Yelich
Actually, three Marlins are safe. Stanton cannot be traded and Yelich just signed that seven-year extension during Spring Training. Even though Yelich has been on the DL already this season and his numbers are not what has become expected of him, he is currently the Marlins' hottest hitter, owning a .327 batting average over his last 30 games.
The Marlins are very interested in extending Jose Fernandez as well. He pitched a good game in his return from Tommy John surgery last week and could become one of the best pitchers in baseball again by the end of the season. He is a big part of this team moving forward and the Marlins are highly, highly unlikely to let him go.
Could be on the move, but that's okay: Mat Latos, Dan Haren, Martin Prado, Michael Morse, Steve Cishek, Brad Hand
Mat Latos has had an up and down year for the Marlins. He was notably inconsistent before going on the DL, but now he is back and delivering more consistent results having regained some velocity on his fastball. He is a free agent at the end of the year though, and after paying the big righty $10 million this year, the Fish probably won't want to fork up more cash given the uncertainty that Latos has shown this year. Rather than lose Latos to free agency, the Marlins will likely look for trades which can yield prospects in return.
Dan Haren has been the most dependable Marlins hurler this year, but like Latos, he is a free agent at the end of this season. Haren is already 34 and most likely will not return to Miami in 2016. He could better serve a team on a playoff run. That way, the Marlins wouldn't lose him for nothing in the off-season.
Martin Prado is a free agent after the 2016 season, and the slick-fielding, veteran third baseman will catch the attention of contending teams. Prado has had some success in Miami, but he isn't part of the long-term solution at the hot corner for the Marlins. Michael Morse is another possible veteran trade chip, but his struggles so far this year may make it hard to move the first baseman. With Justin Bour now manning first base on a regular basis, Morse has become expendable.
Although it is unfair to cast out a player after only half of a season of rough play, the once lights-out closer Steve Cishek is now out of his ninth inning role and still struggling. The emergence of A.J. Ramos as his more than capable replacement means that Cishek could be leaving Miami in the near future. Brad Hand has had limited success as a long reliever and starter this year, but he hasn't had regular work. This pitching surplus could be used to regain minor league depth.
Could be on the move, and that's not okay: Dee Gordon, Marcell Ozuna, A.J. Ramos, Tom Koehler
Dee Gordon has just been voted the starting second baseman for the National League in the All-Star game and he paces the majors in hits. He has been the second best player on this team after Giancarlo Stanton and he is under club control for the next few seasons. The Marlins could receive a good haul of prospects for Gordon, but why trade him?
Marcell Ozuna's situation is similar to Steve Cishek's. The only difference is that the Marlins don't have a true, long-term solution for Ozuna on the roster. This is why they need to keep to the young center fielder, even though they may struggle to work out a contract with Scott Boras. Again, the club could receive some talented young players in return for Ozuna, but they should resist the dangling carrot.
A.J. Ramos has had an All-Star caliber season, putting up outstanding numbers despite an inconsistent workload. A strong bullpen is a key to winning in the postseason, and Ramos does nothing but strengthen Miami's. Contending teams will want him, but the Marlins need him moving forward.
Tom Koehler hasn't always been fantastic on the mound, but he provides solid innings for the Fish and if Latos and Haren are dealt, the team will need some major league pitching depth. Thus, retaining Koehler is something the Marlins should strongly consider.
In any trade the Marlins make before the deadline, they will be looking for prospects in return. This may sound like an old record on repeat, but the Marlins need to replace the young talent they dealt away to try and contend this year. The Fish will then have to seriously pursue the top free agents if they truly have their sights set on a Wild Card berth or division title in 2016.