Trades may be most practical path for Marlins
By Joe Frisaro @ManOn2nd
JUPITER — The Marlins spent four years building up their farm system.
Now, with an expectation to compete in a loaded N.L. East, the Marlins find themselves exploring numerous trade possibilities to address center field.
General manager Kim Ng said ideally the club would like a regular center fielder. There aren’t many free agents that fit the profile, although there also is a desire to add a power hitting outfielder.
With Nick Castellanos agreeing to a five-year, $100 million with the Phillies, another major impact hitter is off the board.
Yes, to Marlins’ fans, missing out on a South Florida-native like Castellanos hurts, especially with him going to a division rival.
Michael Conforto, a left-handed hitter, would be a terrific option, if they can acquire him. Jorge Soler, more of a corner outfielder, is another possibility as a right-handed option.
Going the free agent route would allow the organization to retain its deep stable of prospects. But it may not be the most practical.
The farm system is a strength, and there are numerous trade possibilities.
“A lot of great work had been done throughout the organization before I got here,” Ng said. “They clearly had a vision and plan, in terms of developing the farm system, to see that now bubble up in these upper levels, it’s amazing.”
The Marlins have strong pitching prospects, like Edward Cabrera, Max Meyer, and Eury Perez.
Moving Perez is unlikely. And there are position players like JJ Bleday who are coveted.
“To see the farm system year after year, consistently ranked in the upper echelon is just a tribute to the good work that’s been done here,”
The Marlins have been in trade talks with the Pirates for Bryan Reynolds. But there are others who fit the center field profile, and wouldn’t be as costly putting together a package of, say, Meyer, Cabrera and Bleday, for one player.
Could the Marlins move a big league starter, like Pablo Lopez, that’s certainly possible.
From what we’re hearing at ManOn2nd is the Marlins are considering several other center fielders with big league experience and at least two years of club control remaining.
“I think, to have the arsenal that we have, is just an asset for the organization,” Ng said.
The Marlins have already used prospects to acquire catcher Jacob Stallings and infielder Joey Wendle.
“Those are really significant adds. To be able to have that arsenal of prospects is just huge for the organization,” Ng said. “It’s hard to acquire talent on the free agent market at times. So, trades are obviously another way to do it. We’ve got young players that other organizations are always looking to acquire.”
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