After a rough 2022 season, rumors have begun to swirl that Trevor Rogers may be on the move. He has been mentioned recently by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald “as a trade candidate for offensive help.” The Miami Marlins need to be aggressive in trading since attracting free agents will be difficult, so we decided to look at some nice fits for the young lefty and see what the returns would be.
The main tool I’m using for these hypothetical trades will be Baseball Trade Values. The site has Rogers at $36.5 million of surplus value based on his projected production and salaries in future years. It should be noted that these values are just estimates of what players are worth on the current market. It will be difficult, but let’s make a few fair trades involving Rogers that will be accepted by the simulator.
Trade Partner #1: Arizona Diamondbacks
The Marlins and the Arizona Diamondbacks have orchestrated some trades together in the past 3-4 seasons. Each time, the Marlins dealt away pitching, acquiring Jazz Chisholm Jr., Starling Marte, and Tommy Eveld in separate deals. Another trade of this type could benefit both sides.
Outfielder Jake McCarthy and first baseman Christian Walker should be the main targets for the Marlins.
In this trade, the Marlins will receive two players who will fill positions of need for them. McCarthy could be their center fielder of the future as he is under club control through at least the 2028 season. Walker just had a great season with 5.0 WAR along with a slash line of .242/.327/.477/.804, 36 HR and 94 RBI. The risk is that Walker regresses—he was a shaky contact hitter earlier in his career—but in 2022, his strikeout rate was only 19.6%.
Despite an injury-shortened season, Cody Morissette is still easily among the top 30 Marlins prospects, according to MLB Pipeline. As for Rogers, it would be a nice situation where he fits into Arizona’s season-opening rotation but doesn’t have the pressure of carrying the pitching staff with Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly and Madison Bumgarner already in place.
I can see the trade working out for both sides as long as the Diamondbacks have a plan for who’d replace Walker at first base in 2023.
Trade Partner #2: New York Yankees
The Yankees reportedly had interest in Pablo López during the 2022 trade deadline, but were unable to acquire him. Rogers was on the injured list at the time of those negotiations, so now that his health isn’t a concern, maybe their trade talks will shift to him instead.
The first Yankees players who the Marlins should inquire about are top prospects Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza. Ultimately, they might mean too much to New York’s future to be moved, leading them to compromise with guys further down the list.
Although Gleyber Torres is a solid major league player, the Yankees seem ready to part ways with him. Torres has split his career between second base and shortstop and he’s entering his age-26 season. A catcher with amazing career numbers in the minors (.270/.388/.493/.881/36 HR/141 RBI), Austin Wells could potentially be called up by the end of 2023.
The least likely piece of this proposal is Jasson Dominguez. This would be an unusual time for the Yankees to give up on him after an encouraging year that saw him reach Double-A and the Arizona Fall League.
Trade Partner #3: Pittsburgh Pirates
This final idea would be less about Trevor Rogers and more about the Marlins closing the deal for their dream acquisition, Bryan Reynolds. They have reportedly been after him since the 2021 trade deadline. Pittsburgh’s asking price for Reynolds continues to be sky high and Baseball Trade Values agrees that it should be. It would take a blockbuster involving not only Rogers but several other former first-round draft picks.
Acquiring both Reynolds and closer David Bednar instantly makes the Marlins a more complete baseball team. They are also big pieces of the future with three years and four years of club control, respectively.
When you look at this deal for the Pirates, they add a 2021 All-Star in Rogers with the potential to be the number one pitcher in their rotation and another probable rotation piece in Max Meyer once he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Jacob Berry would be a fast-moving bat for their farm system and Kahlil Watson is the big wild card—maybe a simple change of scenery will get Watson to consistently perform the way he’s capable of.
Other teams that make sense as landing spots for Rogers include the Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles, and the Seattle Mariners. Although there should be a big market for him, I see this as a sell-low type of situation—if Rogers breaks out in 2023, you may regret trading him. The Marlins seems to be trusting that their next wave of young starters led by Eury Pérez, Dax Fulton, and Jake Eder can put up similar or better numbers when they receive their MLB opportunities.