After struggling as a Marlin all the way up to June 1st of this season, Brad Ziegler turned his season around and the Marlins were able to trade him along with the remaining $3 million he is owed. From June 1st to July 29th, Ziegler had a 0.93 ERA in 29 innings.
In return for him the Marlins receive an intriguing relief pitcher in Tommy Eveld from the Diamondbacks. A South Florida guy and former quarterback at USF, Eveld has enjoyed a very good age 24 season between High-A and Double-A ball. He has a 1.11 ERA in 40 2⁄3 innings to go along with 47 strikeouts. He throws a mid-90s fastball with a hard slider, a curveball and a changeup (h/t Baseball Census).
This trade is strikingly similar to the Kyle Barraclough for Steve Cishek deal prior to the 2015 deadline. Like Barraclough, they’re banking on Eveld blossoming into a significant major league contributor.
Cameron Maybin is the other player who found himself traded by the Marlins. He also struggled early into his one-year deal but from July 1st onward, slashed .309/.427/.456 with 3 home runs and 5 stolen bases. He was traded to the Mariners in exchange for $250,000 in International bonus pool money and a 2016 third-rounder and middle infielder, Bryson Brigman.
Brigman has had a very nice season in High-A, slashing .304/.373/.391 with 15 stolen bases. And he’s a winner, for what it’s worth. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the No. 28 prospect in the Marlins system (he was No. 19 in Seattle’s).
The slot money is probably the most important component in this Maybin deal as the Marlins are interested in signing Cuban prospect Víctor Víctor Mesa. The Marlins international bonus pool now sits at $4.35 million. While originally thought to be favorites, the Marlins are finding a serious contender for Mesa in the normally inactive Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles already had a larger international bonus pool than the Marlins, and have reportedly increased that total to $8.25 million thanks to their own deadline activity. This should place the Orioles as the clear favorites for Mesa.
This deadline should be considered a disappointment. The Marlins chose to “stand pat” and keep three controllable relievers who each had plenty of value in the current market. While it is admirable that the Marlins have decided to make trades they feel make them better, trading a controllable star player like Christian Yelich for the sake of minor league depth in the offseason and then refusing to trade three valuable relievers (the most volatile position in baseball) at the deadline screams of contradiction. It is definitely questionable that a team with no current postseason aspirations will be conservative about dealing their relief pitching.
It appears the Marlins will attempt to extend J.T. Realmuto in the winter. His agent said Realmuto wanted out this spring, but has kept quiet since then. There have been reports that the Marlins rejected a Víctor Robles/ J.T. Realmuto deal from the Nationals this deadline.
What they choose to do with the relievers is yet to be seen. Adam Conley has a good chance at being the top left-handed relief pitcher available in the 2019 trade deadline. Drew Steckenrider has had a nice a season and will not be a free agent until 2024. Kyle Barraclough enjoyed the most dominant stretch of his career from May 11th to June 30th. In that stretch, Barraclough gave up no runs, struck out 16 batters, just 2 hits, walked only 6 batters, in 20 2⁄3 innings. In 11 outings since, the regression monster has hit Barraclough and he has not been the same pitcher. He has a 8.38 ERA with 16 hits allowed, 7 walks, 3 home runs allowed, and 3 blown saves in 9 2⁄3 innings.
Which Barraclough the Marlins get between now and the end of the season will be very important this winter as they could look to trade him.
If the plan for the Marlins is to build around the bullpen and J.T. Realmuto, they will have to rely on near-perfect drafting and a big presence in the international free agent market. The old Marlins regime did not have much luck in either in recent years. The organization still doesn’t have enough legitimate pieces to complement the core of the Realmuto, Anderson, and the bullpen. While the farm system is enjoying the most depth it has had in years, it lacks a true difference-maker both in the pitching and the power departments.
Thank you for reading, until next time!