The Miami Marlins currently sit at 31-38, 11 games out of the division lead and 13 games out of the Wild Card. All signs are pointing to the club selling at the trade deadline, but they’re making that decision rather difficult for themselves by actually winning.
They only have one player on the top 100 prospect in the MLB list and thats last years first round pick Braxton Garrett. Other than Garrett, the Marlins are short on elite prospects. Luckily for the Marlins, if they do decide to sell they have three assets they could try and trade.
Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton, and Marcell Ozuna are the most likely candidates to be traded. The only issue with trading them is that Yelich is under contract until 2022 and Stanton is signed until 2028. Where does that leave Marcell Ozuna? Fortunately for any team that wants to trade for him, he’s a free agent after this season and is only making 3.5 million.
So far Ozuna is having the best season of his career. He’s hitting .327 with 18 home runs and 50 RBI’s. What will make teams even happier is that he’s cut down on his strikeouts, and is taking even more walks, creating an on-base percentage nearly 75 points higher than his career high.
One team that keeps popping up in trade rumors for Ozuna is the St. Louis Cardinals who desperately need help in the middle of the order. The great thing about Ozuna is that he can play all three outfield spots, which should intrigue the Cardinals. They currently have Dexter Fowler manning center field, but the inconsistencies of Stephen Piscotty and Tommy Pham at the other outfield spots puts St. Louis in a tight spot.
The only problem with this potential deal is the fact that the Cardinals haven’t been playing all that well. They’ve lost five of their last seven games, and have fallen to five games back of the division-leading Brewers. If they continue to struggle by the time the deadline comes around they won’t have a need for a rental like Ozuna.
As for Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton, their situation is very different. Yelich is owed over 58 million dollars throughout the remaining five years of his contract, plus the 3.5 million he’s owed this year. Stanton, on the other hand, is owed over 300 million for the remaining 11 years of his contract, but he can opt out after 2020.
It would be extremely difficult for the Marlins to trade Stanton and his insane contract. There are very few teams that can take on that kind of contract. The one team that keeps popping up as a trade partner for Stanton is the Philadelphia Phillies.
It’s hard to see the Phillies even trying to pursue Stanton seeing as they’re not in contention, and they’d have to give up a ton of assets to get him. A team that is one piece away from being in contention that could afford Stanton would be the Arizona Diamondbacks. They’d most likely have to be willing to part ways with a current outfielder like Yasmany Tomas or David Peralta.
Yelich, who is having a down year only hitting .276, and is recording the lowest on-base percentage of his career is a wild card trade prospect. He could easily get dealt, seeing as his contract isn’t as massive as Stanton’s, but his value might be hurt due to the struggles he’s had this season. We know what he’s capable of which he showcased last year when he hit .298 with 21 home runs and 98 RBI’s.
The Marlins could wind up trading all three of their outfielders, and start from scratch. Or the fact they’ve won four of their last seven games might make them hold onto their core. Looks like this won’t be determined until the deadline actually gets here.