“I believe Miami is really active and trying to get better for 2022,” Craig Mish reported Friday on a new episode of Swings and Mishes. With Starling Marte all but certain to be traded, the Marlins could be in conversations to acquire a younger center fielder with more long-term control as his successor, a top catching prospect or both, per Mish.
Entering the day at 41-56 with injuries to numerous key players, the Marlins no longer have any delusions about returning to the postseason. However, filling some holes prior to next week’s deadline and using August and September to evaluate them within their own organization would give them a jumpstart on building a complete team to take the field next year.
The 32-year-old Marte owns a .288/.387/.443 slash line and a 132 wRC+ which matches his career high. In just 60 games, he has contributed 2.9 Wins Above Replacement, according to FanGraphs, thanks to his great center field defense and aggressive, efficient baserunning. His potential to perform at a similar level over the next 60 games naturally makes him a popular target among contending teams.
The final extension offer that the Marlins submitted to Marte over the All-Star break was in the range of three years, $37-38 million, Mish heard. That is a far cry from what he could make on the open market this winter and was understandably rejected.
Expect several Marlins relievers to also be on the move between now and July 30, but Mish is “confident” that Miguel Rojas and Jesús Aguilar will both finish out the summer in Miami. The front office would need to be “extremely overwhelmed” to flip them. Rojas’ contract includes a $5.5 million club/vesting option for 2022 while Aguilar has one more year of arbitration eligibility. There is less urgency to exchange them for prospects right now, though their market value is unlikely to get any higher than it currently is.
The Marlins were quick to deal one of their 2020 MLB Draft picks, fifth-rounder Kyle Hurt, to the Dodgers in the Dylan Floro trade before seeing him in any professional games. Mish believes at least one of the others from that class—fellow pitchers Max Meyer, Dax Fulton, Kyle Nicolas, Zach McCambley and Jake Eder—could be key pieces used to acquire hitters of some kind.
Meyer, Nicolas, McCambley and Eder have each progressed to Double-A Pensacola while Fulton is among the youngest pitchers at the Low-A level.