The Miami Marlins have been telling anybody who will listen: they want to add more bats. With the exception of Jean Segura, though, free agents have rebuffed their offers. Trade talks are ongoing, but nothing is imminent as of Friday morning. Perhaps an old-school sign would help convey their intentions to the baseball world:
Miami is hopeful that Segura can serve as the club’s primary third baseman and give the lineup a boost against left-handed pitching. Still, it’s apparent more must be done. Questions surround the durability of Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Garrett Cooper, while Avisaíl García’s first go-around with the Marlins was rougher than anybody could have feared. Would they really dare to navigate a second straight season without a traditional center fielder? Postseason contention isn’t within the realm of possibility until this position player core is further addressed.
On the bright side, Miami has an influx of young, high-upside starting pitching. As the old adage goes, “you can never have too much pitching,” but it may be time for the Marlins to deal from that strong group in an effort to increase the run support they receive.
Two names rumored to be floating around in trade talks are Pablo López and Trevor Rogers. Both were acquired by the Marlins before the beginning of Bruce Sherman’s ownership tenure, so the club’s decision-makers may not be as emotionally invested in their futures as they are in other rotation options. López is only two years away from free agency and unlikely to be extended, while Rogers’ effectiveness fell off dramatically in 2022.
But let’s consider how they are being viewed from the perspective of potential trade suitors. If you are a major league team with rotation needs, which of the two names here are you most enticed by?
With four years of club control remaining coupled with a high ceiling, the potential return on investment makes Rogers uber-attractive to the team who acquires him.
97 mph PAINT from Trevor Rogers to end the 1st.— Nick Pollack (@PitcherList) April 10, 2021
His fastball is *really* good. pic.twitter.com/tZiUeoPVuZ
Last season, López demonstrated that he could eat valuable innings, and the two-plane movement on his changeup flummoxes even the league’s top hitters.
A NEW MLB RECORD!— MLB (@MLB) July 11, 2021
Pablo López strikes out the first 9 batters to start the game! pic.twitter.com/sY6BZlMkIx
Since the start of the 2021 season, traditional metrics such as ERA illustrate López as the more valuable pitcher (3.50 to Rogers’ 3.90), as does its accompanying ERA+ (118 to 106). However, when looking beneath the surface at the peripherals, Rogers’ 3.35 FIP and 9.9 SO/9 indicate he has been unlucky, as opposed to López’s 3.56 FIP and slightly lower but still respectable 9.2 SO/9.
Rather than viewing Rogers as the amalgamation of his last two campaigns, other teams are salivating at the possibility of him recapturing his All-Star season form—2.64 ERA, 2.55 FIP, 1.15 WHIP in 133 IP over 25 GS—when he looked every bit like a 1B to Sandy Alcantara’s 1A. Rogers finished second to Cincinnati’s Jonathan India in the NL Rookie of the Year voting that year. Come 2022, however, the sophomore slump hit Rogers hard, as evidenced by a inflated 5.47 ERA and 6.3% drop in strikeout rate (28.5 SO% to 22.2 SO%).
Rogers’ four-seam fastball graded out as one of the 10 best in 2021, according to Baseball Savant’s run value, but got hit hard the following season. Among the 70 pitchers with at least 200 plate appearances ending on the pitch, his four-seamer placed 62nd (+11 RV).
Meanwhile, López is a consistently above-average arm with less variance. In 2022, he amassed a 3.75 ERA over a career-high 180 innings pitched. His right shoulder is a recurring concern, but when he’s on the rubber, he limits baserunners. Among pitchers with at least 300 innings pitched since 2020, the right-hander’s 1.156 WHIP ranks 27th.
Rogers and López could appeal to different organizations for entirely different reasons. For instance, the former probably better suits the Pittsburgh Pirates, a small-budget operation without much at stake in 2023, while the New York Yankees reportedly engaged in negotiations to acquire the latter at the previous trade deadline given their determination to win now and their ample resources to use on a market-value extension.
Keep in mind, the rationale for shopping these talented pitchers in the first place is to obtain hitters to build around for years to come. Which trade chip would fetch the strongest return right now?
Which Marlins pitcher has more value on the trade market?
This poll is closed