The Marlins did great to salvage something from Starling Marte’s pending free agency—that doesn’t mean Wednesday’s trade merits a celebration. Ely Sussman explains how the center fielder compares to some of the greatest short-term Marlins ever (3:45) and weighs in on Miami’s first base/DH logjam of Jesús Aguilar, Lewin Díaz and Garrett Cooper (18:00).
Enjoy Episode 126!
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Marte amassed 3.4 Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement during his 91 regular season games in Miami. With the possible exceptions of Pudge Rodríguez and Moises Alou, no other position player has ever condensed more impact into a one-year-or-less Marlins tenure (Marte spent only 11 months with the organization).
Once Marte made up his mind to test free agency, the Marlins maximized their trade return by snagging Jesús Luzardo from the Oakland A’s. The 23-year-old lefty has All-Star upside, a fairly strong chance of sticking in the majors as a starter and the floor of great reliever. Most importantly, he’s still five-plus years away from free agency (eligible after the 2026 season).
Kim Ng announced on Wednesday that Cooper suffered a small tear to his left UCL (on this play) and elected to undergo season-ending surgery to repair it. He’ll need approximately five months to recover.
The Marlins still retain control over Cooper via arbitration. Barring any complications with his rehab, it’ll be an easy decision to tender him a contract for 2022. However, building a roster around the trio of Cooper, Aguilar and Díaz wouldn’t be the appropriate approach despite their hitting potential.
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