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Which Marlins player has the highest trade value?

The Marlins do not have any true “untouchables” in the organization right now. Even their top young players could potentially be moved if the perfect trade opportunity presents itself.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

During the two-plus months since the MLB regular season ended, the Marlins have been involved in zero trades. Booooooring! By the same point on the 2018 calendar, they had frantically made a trio of deals to rack up international bonus pool funds for the Mesa brothers, and plucked little-known minor league relievers Nick Anderson and Tyler Stevens from the Twins and Angels, respectively. That was preferable to this ongoing stagnation.

Eventually, the trade freeze must thaw. The Marlins recognize the urgency to improve their major league product to attract more ticket buyers and television viewers. But early indications are that quality free agents are getting well-compensated this winter, disadvantaging low-revenue teams; some of those players may have crossed off Miami as a potential destination anyway given the slim odds of contending in 2020.

So the Fish will be browsing other rosters for contributors as part of their holiday shopping process. Given all the talented, controllable players they already possess and their wide variety of skill sets, the possibilities are endless.

Nobody in the organization is untouchable in negotiations, but which of the existing Marlins would be most valuable on the trade market?

The majority of Fish Stripes Twitter followers cherish RHP Sixto Sánchez above everybody else.
Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The clear top three candidates, in my opinion:

  • 3B/RF Brian Anderson—.261/.342/.468, 114 wRC+, 3.1 fWAR in his age-26 season; one season away from arbitration eligibility, four seasons away from free agent eligibility
  • OF JJ Bleday—.257/.311/.379, 107 wRC+ in his age-21 season with High-A Jupiter; first-round pick (No. 4 overall) in the 2019 MLB Draft; early 2021 ETA in the majors
  • RHP Sixto Sánchez—2.53 ERA, 2.69 FIP, 103.0 IP in his age-20 season with Double-A Jacksonville; acquired from Phillies in J.T. Realmuto trade; early 2020 ETA in the majors

When asked to select the most valuable among them, Marlins fans on Twitter sided with the potential ace.

But were those voters actually taking every variable into consideration?

Baseball Trade Values attempts to do precisely that. This relatively new resource factors in performance, age, salary, position, injury risk and roster flexibility to approximate each player’s surplus value. BTV spits out high, low and median estimates for every notable Marlin (40-man roster, MLB Pipeline Top 30 prospects and more).

However, even after all that effort, crowning Miami’s top trade chip is splitting hairs.

Brian Anderson leads the organization with a 50.9 median trade value. Sixto Sánchez is at 50.2 with JJ Bleday currently placing third at 34.3. The wide variance between Sánchez’s high (60.2) and low (40.2) estimates is attributed to being an undersized starting pitcher—the likelihood of serious injury is elevated for players with that profile.

Marlins Players with Highest Trade Value (as of Nov. 30, 2019)

Name Position Median Value High Value Low Value
Name Position Median Value High Value Low Value
Brian Anderson 3B/RF 50.9 58.9 43.0
Sixto Sánchez RHP 50.2 60.2 40.2
JJ Bleday OF 34.3 41.2 27.4
Pablo López RHP 33.4 39.2 27.6
Jesús Sánchez OF 30.8 37.0 24.6
Baseball Trade Values

Other MLB players with comparable median value to Anderson/Sánchez include electrifying yet pricy superstars Nolan Arenado (52.8) and Mookie Betts (50.0) and young Braves slugger Austin Riley (48.5). Baseball Trade Values is saying that, hypothetically, a 1-for-1 blockbuster involving these players should be considered fair for both sides.

Fish Stripes’ own Dan Smith wrote on Friday about the importance of the Marlins keeping their organizational depth intact.

Realistically expect to see some prospects dealt for established veterans, but hopefully, the front office recognizes that these fans yearn for continuity. Identify the individuals capable of steering the new core to on-field excellence and cherish them as faces of the franchise, not assets.