Though the non-waiver trade deadline came and passed with Martin Prado remaining in a Marlins uniform, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tweets that the Miami front office is still “certainly open” to trading Prado. However, Miami’s price tag on the veteran appears to remain exorbitant, as Frisaro notes that interested teams would have to overpay in order to acquire him.
Miami clearly places a huge value on Prado’s leadership and clubhouse presence, as the common refrain for a long time leading up to the non-waiver deadline was that the Marlins weren’t interested in trading him at all. Shortly before the deadline, it was reported that the Fish would be open to dealing Prado for a “big return,” and that’s apparently still the case (despite his lackluster offense since that report).
While Prado is a solid player, to be sure, it’s ambitious to seek a significant return. At 31 years old (32 in October), he’s on the wrong side of his prime. He’s also not particularly cheap, nor has he been all that productive in 2015. Prado is earning $11MM this season and next, although the Yankees are paying $3MM of that sum each year as part of the offseason trade that sent Prado to Miami and Nathan Eovaldi to New York.
Prado is hitting .270/.315/.353 on the season, and while some of the poor power numbers can be attributed to his Yellowstone-esque home environment(only AT&T Park and Kauffman Stadium have suppressed right-handed home runs more than Marlins Park), his park-adjusted batting line is still about 15 percent below the league average, per metrics like OPS+ and wRC+. An elite shortstop with that bat might warrant a fairly sizable return, but third base and even second base typically contribute more offensive output than Prado has in 2015.
It’s unclear whether or not Prado has already been run through waivers, but if he’s claimed on waivers, that would seem to further reduce the chances of a team striking a deal for him, as the Marlins would lose the benefit of competition in their trade efforts. Frisaro speculatively lists the Yankees as a fit for Prado, and while the fit makes sense, Hal Steinbrenner said yesterday that he was against trading the organization’s top prospects, and that would seemingly be the price to acquire Prado.
There’s no doubt that Prado would improve a large number of contending teams; he has a history of solid, albeit unspectacular offense to go along with defensive versatility and an excellent reputation as a teammate. All of these components make him a desirable piece to other teams, but not necessarily one for which an opposing club will pay a premium in a trade. If the Marlins weren’t overwhelmed by an offer prior to July 31, it’s tough to envision that scenario playing out in August.