Mid-Season Re-Tooling

The Miami Marlins need to go back to the drawing board. 3 of their 4 big offseason lineup additions have been unmitigated disasters, while the 4th has been good, but hasn't been healthy.

One glance at Avisail Garcia's StatCast data shows clearly that he has not been "unlucky" but rather he's been a bad baseball player who chases bad pitches too frequently, doesn't walk, strikes out too much, and when he does make contact, he has a pitiful launch angle that doesn't lend itself to power or success.

Jacob Stallings was FanGraphs worst player by measure of WAR until his recent hot streak has vaulted him up to 1321 our of 1332 in the MLB in terms of WAR. Jorge Soler has been injured some and streaky when healthy, all in all, he's pretty much been this guy throughout his career. Joey Wendle has been really good when healthy.

These were the big additions to a bad lineup and obviously it hasn't worked out well. While this season is largely lost, the trade deadline represents an opportunity for the front office to evaluate some young players and acquire some potential solutions for next year. If I were in Kim Ng's shoes, here is a plan I would attempt to execute this week (Note: WAR numbers will be from FanGraphs and trade values will be from and will serve as a reference for trade valuation).

Trade 1- Marlins trade Garrett Cooper and Avisail Garcia to the Padres for Trent Grisham and Eric Hosmer. The Marlins would "lose" this trade -17.3 to -14, but I would gladly do this deal for 3 reasons. 1. It gets rid of Avisail Garcia, 2. It gives them Trent Grisham who is a legitimate CF and has had previous MLB success with the bat, 3. Eric Hosmer is a competent, but overpaid player, and a quality veteran leader. Hosmer has struggled recently, but has still been worth .5 WAR and has a 109 wRC+ and a 14.8% K rate. His contract matches Garcia's after this year but he comes with a higher luxury tax valuation than Garcia; which is why San Diego should be interested (and obviously the Marlins don't care about the luxury tax number). As the Padres pursue Juan Soto but try to limit their luxury tax bill, this trade affords them a quality hitter in All-Star Garrett Cooper and gets them further from the luxury tax at the expense of Grisham, who has disappointed to the tune of a 82 wRC+ and .7 WAR this year.

Trade 2- Marlins trade Pablo Lopez and Steven Okert to the Minnesota Twins for Royce Lewis, Spencer Steer, Austin Martin, Jordan Balazovic, and Chris Encarnacion-Strand. Again, the Marlins would "lose" this trade 50.1 to 48.8, but I'd love this package for both sides. The Mariners gave up a haul for Luis Castilo, who comes with one less year of control than Pablo. Twins get bullpen help and a controllable high end starter to pair with Sonny Grey and Joe Ryan. For the Marlins, Encarnacion-Strand and Steer have raked and offer potential quality bats in the infield while Martin and Balazovic are having rough years but are both formerly very high end prospects. The real key to the deal for me would be Lewis. He was great in his MLB debut this year, but tore his ACL making a great catch in CF. He should be back early next year and his bat is one I would love to add. The Twins get a chance to win now, while the Marlins take a chance on 6 years of a potential star CF, 2 high performing bats, and two former top 50 prospects. The only trade I want more than this one for Pablo, would be a Jays trade for Gabriel Moreno, but I'm not sure they would part with him.

Trade 3- Jesus Aguilar, Bryan De La Cruz, Victor Mesa Jr, and cash to the Houston Astros for Forrest Whitley. Another "loss" for the Marlins, but they'd be buying a former top 10 prospect who should, at a minimum, be fantastic as a bullpen piece. Yuli Gurriel has really struggled for the Astros and Aguilar gives them another option while Bryan De La Cruz can be added to their outfield mix. Marlins would have to cover the majority of Aguilar's contract, but that's the price of doing business.

Trade 4- Marlins trade Dylan Floro, Jacob Stallings, and cash to the St. Louis Cardinals for catcher Leonardo Bernal and RHP Ryan Loutos. Marlins dump Floro, who has solid overall numbers but less impressive advanced metrics and Stallings, who has been playing better but has been an overall negative. St Louis Catchers have been worth -.5 WAR thus far and Stallings gives them veteran insurance behind Yadier Molina. Marlins get 2 prospects towards the bottom of the Cardinals top 30 in what is essentially a salary dump.

Overall, the specific names are somewhat irrelevant that I chose, but the concept is the same. The Marlins should be selling at the deadline to open up playing time for young players and to acquire some bats who can potentially help them next year and down the line. If they can move any of Aguilar, Rojas, Anderson, Garcia, Floro, Soler, or Stallings, they absolutely should. Cooper, Pablo, and Okert should be moved if they can get controllable bats in return, but not just to say they made moves.

In my scenario, the Marlins lost: Coop, Avi, Pablo, Okert, Aguilar, De La Cruz, the younger Mesa, Floro, and Stallings...that's a lot of bodies. Coming to the Fish are: Grisham, Hosmer, Lewis, Steer, Martin, Balazovic, Whitley, Bernal, and Loutos. That's 9 in and 9 out.

The rest of the year, the team could look like:

C- Fortes and McIntosh

1B/DH- Diaz and Hosmer

2B- Wendle (Berti could play here when healthy and move Wendle to 3B)

3B- LeBlanc (Anderson when healthy)

SS- Rojas

LF/CF/RF- Encarnacion, Grisham, Bleday

Bench options/IR: Berti, Soler, Anderson, Devers, L. Williams, Sanchez, Henry, and Conine

SP options- Sandy, Garrett, Whitley, Luzardo, Cabrera, Castano, Rogers

RP options- Bass, Scott, Bleier, Pop, Brazoban, Brigham, Neidert, Elieser, Fishman, Poteet, Nance

Next year's team would welcome Lewis into the CF mix and you could see a great defensive outfield of Lewis, Grisham, and Bleday, with Jesus, Encarnacion, Soler, and Burdick all as options to supplement. The infield would have Wendle or Jazz at SS, with the team moving Rojas (it's time), with Lewin and Hosmer sharing 1B (mainly Lewin), with Steer, Martin, LeBlanc, and Berti fighting for playing time. This team would be insanely cheap and should have room for several free agent acquisitions. The aforementioned trades would essentially wipe the slate clean for Ng and bring in young talent for what honestly, should be a make or offseason and season for the front office and ownership group.

For 40 man spots for McIntosh or others they should add, Billy Hamilton and Nance should be among the first to go.