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What would an ideal return for Starling Marté look like?

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The Marlins have a few days left to trade their center fielder. Here are some ideas about the potential return.

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Starling Marté is going to be traded at some point between now and 4:00 pm ET on July 30. Knowing how the Marlins and their front office operates, they may wait until the deadline itself to pull the trigger on a deal. However, they have probably done their due diligence already, examining the potential packages that every interested team has to offer in order to get Marté.

After failing to reach an agreement with the pending free agent on a contract extension, they are reluctantly turning their attention to a much different type of transaction: sending the valuable center fielder to a contending team in exchange for good, more controllable players. So the Marlins, despite inevitably losing Marté, are not in a bad position.

Why? Well, Marté is looking like a star right now. Despite he’s missed some time to injuries this season, he finished Sunday hitting .303/.403/.452 after 62 games. And fortunately for the Fish, the 32-year-old is 16-for-34 in his last nine games, with four doubles, one home run, six runs batted in, seven runs scored, four steals, and only five strikeouts.

Now let’s customize an ideal return for Miami considering the organization’s needs. With a loaded-up pitching core for the future and pretty solid arms down on the farm, the Marlins can feel confident about their run prevention. On the other side, they clearly need more offense—more power, more quality hitting.

Now let’s take a look at some examples...

Houston Astros v Cleveland Indians Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

What the Astros lack in conventional high-end prospects, they make up for in MLB-ready talent. The 2017 World Series champs certainly have room to improve in center field with somebody who’s more productive than soft-hitting Myles Straw.

The Astros’ fourth outfielder could be someone interesting for the Marlins: Chas McCormick. In 24 games since June 12, McCormick has four doubles, five home runs, 16 ribbies, and a .296/.333/.563 slash line. He’s ready to be tested with everyday playing time and Houston can’t provide that right now.

Along with McCormick, another MLB player comes to mind: INF Abraham Toro. With Alex Bregman, Yuli Gurriel, and Aledmys Díaz around, Toro is pretty blocked in H-Town. He’s only 24 years old and, even though he owns a .190/.272/.328 slash line over 301 lifetime plate appearances, has been a star during his Minors career. To get them both, the Marlins can package a much-needed reliever to go to Houston along with Marté.

Baseball Trade Values

If you ask me, that would be my preferred deal as the Marlins want to compete in 2022. But they can also go with the Braves and try to get high-touted catching prospect Shea Langeliers or even William Contreras plus Double-A shortstop Braden Shewmake. The Marlins need a catcher and the Braves have some surplus there.

The Phillies also have some promising pieces such as catcher Rafael Marchán and shortstop Bryson Stott, whose ETA is 2022, while the Yankees have powerful backstop Austin Wells and also shortstops Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe.

If you’re a Marlins fan, you should be excited to see how all of this unfolds over the next few days. The number of teams who’ll be expressing interest in Marté and the variety of trade frameworks that could be considered will make it hard for the Fish to come away empty-handed.