It’s not a matter of if but when the Marlins will flip several of their productive veterans for promising prospects. Every Friday between now and the 2018 non-waiver trade deadline, Fish Stripes will share and analyze the most significant moves/rumors affecting their selling process.
Realmuto to Houston...this offseason?
No guarantees that J.T. Realmuto will be raising his newborn child in South Florida long term, but it’s looking increasingly likely that he and his family are staying through 2018.
“We are not shopping Realmuto,” president of baseball operations Michael Hill texted to Jon Heyman of Fancred. That’s consistent with his comments to Marlins reporters in recent days, and there haven’t been any leaks about ongoing negotiations. The first-time All-Star is batting .317/.368/.551 with 35 extra-base hits in 66 games.
Heyman lays out the case for why the Astros make sense: along with closer, the catcher position is among “their main areas of interest” moving forward; prospects Forrest Whitley and Yordan Alvarez have enough upside to be centerpieces of a Realmuto package; and there’s already been dialogue between the teams (although unconfirmed how recent that was).
In the meantime, Houston seems focused on rentals like Rays backstop Wilson Ramos, per MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi:
Sources: #Astros, #Rays have been in contact on a possible Wilson Ramos trade. @MLBNetwork @MLB— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 12, 2018
When you shop at Winn-Dixie instead of Publix https://t.co/Wn6AsnnC38— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) July 12, 2018
Starting pitching market
In a separate post, Jon Heyman has specified 29 names who have been “floating out there” as potential rotation reinforcements. He also ranked them in terms of current trade value.
Only one Marlin is included—Dan Straily at No. 20.
He’s pitched well at times, and even better, he makes nothing (by baseball standards). That could be a reason to keep him, however.
The veteran right-hander quietly discovered some consistency upon returning from his brief suspension last month. He has worked 25 1⁄3 innings over the past four outings with an opponents’ OPS of .565 (thanks to only two home runs allowed).
Heyman estimates that there’s a 33 percent chance of Straily changing teams prior to the deadline.
Would Marlins move popular veteran mentor?
Although Cameron Maybin has fallen short of expectations on the field (.232/.310/.305, 1 HR in 248 PA), Don Mattingly seems thrilled with his impact in the clubhouse. The 31-year-old’s leadership and enthusiasm bring intangible value to the rookie-laden roster, Mattingly tells Mike Persak of the Sun Sentinel.
Even if Maybin caught fire over the next couple weeks, the Fish should only expect to receive one raw “lottery ticket” prospect in return.
Would that even be worth it for them? Especially considering how Maybin is helping Brian Anderson and Lewis Brinson get acclimated to big league life?
Miscellaneous player updates
- Aside from Brad Ziegler and his expiring contract, Kyle Barraclough is the second-most obvious trade candidate in the bullpen. On Wednesday, I explained why the Fish and Red Sox should be equally motivated to get something done.
- Starlin Castro is in the midst of his hottest streak of 2018, bumping up his season stats to .296/.343/.417 through 408 plate appearances (fourth-most among MLB second basemen). Despite that, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald confirms to me that “there is no market” for his services at the moment. Castro’s contract is an obstacle, but more significantly, we’re looking at a surplus of available veteran infielders. Many of whom offer defensive versatility at a lower acquisition cost.
- Drew Steckenrider carried a scoreless streak all the way from May 22 to July 8 (19.2 IP). Since then, however, he has allowed runs in back-to-back games, both times blowing a lead (though Marlins came back to win). Even if other teams try to pry him from the Marlins, they have no urgency to trade the right-hander, who’s under control through 2023.