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Trading with Arizona: Analysing the OFs

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There are many potential trade partners for the Marlins this offseason, and the Fish have precious cargo in Pablo López to get some problems solved on the other side of the ball. A couple of weeks ago, I made a post about what teams I think are the best suited for a trade with the Marlins: Cubs, Dodgers, Cardinals, Orioles and D'backs range from good to excellent business partners.

Today I'll check on the Arizona Diamondbacks. The snakes have a young, rising team with an excess of players capable to play OF, and particularly CF. Their weakness is the pitching corps, both starters and especially the bullpen. As of today--and it is very early in the offseason--their projected rotation for 2023 has Gallen, Kelly and Bumgarner after the team recently declined a mutual option for Zach Davies. Even though last season some youngsters made encouraging debuts, i.e., Jameson, Henry and Nelson, there is always some uncertainty among rookies.

Gallen is tagged as the ace of the rotation. Kelly had a fine season himself as a #2 and MadBum scuffled yet again. Here is where trading Pablo makes a lot of sense. The Dodgers will lose key players this offseason, SD has holes to fill in the rotation as well. SF has even more work to do. The Dbacks can get a cheap #3 quality starter and locate more resources in a blockbuster SS and/or the bullpen; suddenly become yet another force in the NL West. According to Spotrac, the snakes spent roughly $97 M this year, and after some players hit free agency, they have projected around $87-90 M for next year, means, they have some payroll flexibility. That said, Phoenix has a plethora of outfielders in the roster and can use trade ways to explore improvements in the pitching front: Daulton Varsho, Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, Jake McCarthy, Jordan Luplow, Cooper Hummel, Stone Garrett and Pavin Smith are all in the 40-man roster. In addition, Dominic Fletcher had 396 ABs in AAA this year and believe me, he doesn't have anything left to prove in Reno.

Now let's analyse trade tiers: The Marlins will not be interested in Smith, Garrett, Hummel nor Luplow as all of them profile as depth pieces or 4th OFs, which will not solve any of the Marlins' current problems. The opposite side is the Dbacks are not interested in dealing Varsho nor Carroll, as they (along with Gallen) represent building blocks for the team, just like Sandy, Jazz and Eury in Miami. That leaves us with three players in a common zone: Can be dealt by Arizona and also could help Miami's lineup straightaway, while playing CF (Baseball Savant links)

1. Jake McCarthy: He played mostly LF and RF but can handle CF just fine (Zero OAA). He is the more advanced of the three in terms of hitting and baserunning (23 SB). His spray chart is formidable, typical contact guy with average exit velocity and %K rate, below %BB and Exit Velo. His splits vs LHP and RHP are almost identical. Even though his overall profile looks a lot like a 4th OF, he's 25 and about to enter his prime. If the Fish wants to win as soon as possible, he is the one to pick.

2. Alek Thomas: Alek is an excellent defender at CF with great speed, arm and glove. He hits the ball hard and doesn't strike out often. The problem is that he doesn't make a lot of contact and has poor %BB rate. Alek had a not-so-nice debut this year, but he is just 22 and projects as a solid regular in 2 or 3 years. I see the Marlins interested in him because of his projection.

3. Dominic Fletcher: Dom is the younger brother of David. He was drafted in 2019 along with several names already mentioned here: Carroll, Jameson, Nelson, Henry and even though he is already 25, has yet to debut in the Major Leagues. When drafted, he projected as a fringy CF with fringy speed and arm, but has developed into a solid defender with average speed and good arm. As playing in AAA, there are not many statcast data to share, but he had 449 PA this year with a slashline .301/ .368/ .452/ .820 with 5 HRs, 29 doubles, 8 triples, 42 BB and 88 Ks. From the videos available, he has power to all fields. I am curious about his abilities, but Miami needs more than a very good AAA CF (hello, Brinson). Maybe he just needs a chance.

Despite this analysis, I still think the Marlins should pursue Mullins from Baltimore. Maybe a three-team deal where the Marlins get Mullins, the Dbacks get Pablo and the Orioles get one of the three players above plus pitching from both MIA and ARI. Simulating that scenario in Baseball Trade Values, would be something like:

Arizona gets Pablo López from MIA
Miami get Cedric Mullins from BAL
Baltimore gets Jake McCarthy, Ryne Nelson from ARI and a low-ranked prospect from MIA.