It was a busy day in Marlins world on Tuesday. The day started early as the Marlins made a trade that sent OF Corey Dickerson, RHP Adam Cimber and cash considerations to Toronto in exchange for INF Joe Panik and RHP Andrew McInvale.
Marlins General Manager Kim Ng spoke to the media Tuesday afternoon, discussing some other topics in addition to the four-player deal. With the trade deadline staring the Marlins in the face and a lot of important decisions to be made, there was plenty to discuss. Here are some of the main takeaways from Ng’s comments.
Ng said this trade has to be looked at as a move for now and the future. She mentioned OF Jesús Sánchez almost immediately when first asked about the deal.
“We need to look at him as being a piece of this as well,” Ng said.
Moving on from Corey Dickerson now clears the way for Sánchez to play everyday. Ng said that Sánchez was brought up earlier than they would have liked due to Dickerson’s injury, but the Marlins brass has been impressed with what they’ve seen.
“When we saw how he was handling [the major leagues], we felt more comfortable in trading Corey Dickerson,” Ng said.
Giving him everyday starts will allow him to continue to develop and let the Marlins evaluate what kind of player they have in Sánchez. Mattingly said it gives the Marlins the opportunity to prove if he’s “that guy.”
“It’s about the opportunity to make sure we find out,” Mattingly said. “He’s shown himself to the point where he deserves to play.”
As for the now, Ng believes that Joe Panik will be a “weapon” for Manager Don Mattingly off the bench. Ng believes they used the depth they have in the bullpen to add much needed depth to the infield. Panik can play multiple positions around the infield and Mattingly mentioned that his ability to play third base—his primary position while in Toronto—will be key for them.
The other thing it does is allow the Marlins to continue to develop some of their young infielders. Guys like Lewin Díaz and José Devers had been called up due to injuries, something the Marlins would have liked to avoid before the year. Having an extra infielder with major league experience in Panik allows those guys to stay in the minors and get the everyday at bats they need to continue their development.
“When we bring guys up we want it to be when they’re ready,” Ng said.
Ng also announced that McInvale will start his Marlins career in Double-A Pensacola.
Futures of Veterans
The trade deadline is constantly a hot topic surrounding the Marlins right now. With almost exactly a month until the deadline, a lot will be determined by what the Marlins do over the next month.
Two veteran names that have had a ton of trade noise around them are SS Miguel Rojas and CF Starling Marte, who is one of the hottest names on the market. Ng was asked about both and it may bring some calm to the Marlins fanbase.
When asked about Rojas, Ng did not make any guarantees but said the chances are very good that he will still be on the team following the July 30 trade deadline. Ng was not asked about his position with the team beyond that, but it is assumed both parties would be in favor of continuing together.
Rojas recently said he would be in support of the Marlins trading him if they felt it was the best thing for the club.
A lot of news was created a few weeks ago when Ng made public that the Marlins had not held any discussions with Starling Marte about a possible extension. Ng was asked about that again today and this time she had a different answer.
Ng said the Marlins have expressed interest to Marte that they would like to keep him around in the future. Ng would not go into how much progress has been made, but said the approach has been made and discussions are in the “initial” phases.
Marte has made it clear that he would be interested in finishing his career in Miami. The topic of Marte is one that will no doubt continue to be followed under a microscope right up until 4 PM on July 30.
Other News and Notes
—Ng said the Marlins have received offers about some of their top starting pitching prospects. Ng says the idea of moving on from one of them to help improve the offense has been discussed. Whether that is likely or not remains to be seen, it did not sound like a huge possibility from her comments.
—Ng and Mattingly both mentioned that the Blue Jays had been after Dickerson since at least last winter. Mattingly said he was not surprised to find out Dickerson had been traded to Toronto because of their extensive pursuit of him.
The Marlins shared some injury updates during the press conference with Ng as well:
—RHP Sixto Sánchez and LHP Daniel Castano are both throwing at 120 feet.
—RHP Elieser Hernandez is throwing at 105 feet.
—Brian Anderson is hitting soft toss and doing defensive work. Anderson is not eligible to come off the IL until after the All-Star Game.
—RHP Jorge Guzman and SS José Devers are both scheduled to begin rehab assignments with Triple-A Jacksonville this week.
The Marlins made a few roster moves prior to the series with the Phillies:
—RHP Cody Poteet was placed on the 10-Day IL
—RHP Jordan Holloway was recalled from Triple-A Jacksonville. He is likely to start in Poteet’s place against the Phillies on Wednesday.
—The Marlins selected the contract of LHP Steven Okert, he fills the final spot on both the 26-man and 40-man rosters.