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NL East Notes: Miami Marlins Have More to Prove in Second Half of Season

The Miami Marlins have fought through suspensions, injuries, and a sub par season from Giancarlo Stanton, however, they are currently tied for the second wild card spot with the New York Mets.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Marlins have fought through suspensions, injuries, and a sub par season from Giancarlo Stanton, however, they are currently tied for the second wild card spot with the New York Mets. The Marlins have been a surprise to the fans and the media but their manager, Don Mattingly, thinks they can do much better.

Mattingly said,"We're not talking wild card, we're trying to win this division. That's our goal, and the wild card isn't something you even want to talk about."

However, the Marlins have never won a division title in their 23 seasons, the two years they won the World Series, 1997 and 2003, they got in as a wild card. Even though Mattingly wants to talk division title but the Marlins have to step it up just for a wild card spot.

Stanton has swung the bat much better in July hitting .317 with 5 home runs and the Marlins are first in team batting average. However, they are 11th in runs scored and have four question marks in the starting rotation behind Jose Fernandez. The rotation needs to be upgraded and with options such as Jarred Cosart, Jeremy Guthrie, Justin Nicolino and Jose Urena it seems necessary to look at the trade market.

After trading pitching prospect Chris Paddack for reliever Fernando Rodney the Marlins farm system is very thin and odds are they don't have enough prospects to add pitchers like Jake Odorizzi, Julio Teheran and Sonny Gray. However, they could be players for arms like Rich Hill, Jeremy Hellickson and Andrew Cashner.

Regardless of which tier of pitcher the Marlins go after it may require moving current major league players such as Adeiny Hechavarria as examined by Scott Gelman here. Another thing the Marlins may have to consider is moving Derek Dietrich who is having his best season. Dee Gordon is returning and since they locked him up Dietrich is blocked at second base. Of course the Marlins can play Dietrich at third, first, or left field but unless he is playing everyday it may be more worth it to trade him. Dietrich could move to third and would be cheaper and younger than Prado but with Prado hitting .322 this year that may not be the best option.

Adding a starting pitcher is necessary and it will most likely require using Hechavarria or Dietrich but with the offense in good shape the Marlins will be better off.

News from around the NL East

John Stolnis of The Good Phight examines Phillies' players value on the trade market

Nationals' Stephen Strasburg improves to 13-0

Braves' closer and trade chip Arodys Vizcaino heads to DL

Mets' debating reunion with Jon Niese