The Marlins have been perhaps the most oft-discussed teams in baseball with MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline just three weeks away, but president of baseball operations Michael Hill threw some cold water on rumors surrounding some of the team’s most appealing assets. Speaking to FanRag’s Jon Heyman, Hill stated that the Marlins “aren’t talking about” controllable stars Christian Yelich, J.T. Realmuto and Marcell Ozuna in trade discussions.
Asked specifically about first baseman Justin Bour and right-hander Dan Straily, Hill offered similar sentiments, stating that Bour “goes into the same basket” and that Straily’s status as a successful, pre-arbitration pitcher lands him in that same category. The recently extended Miami president stopped short of suggesting that Giancarlo Stanton was off limits, though Hill does say that the Marlins haven’t put his name out to other teams. And, of course, Stanton has a full no-trade clause and an enormous sum remaining on his 13-year contract, making it tough for another team to take on his contract anyway.
Hill’s comments mesh with yesterday’s report from the New York Post’s Joel Sherman suggesting that Miami’s primary focus is on dealing away its more expensive relievers (e.g. Brad Ziegler, AJ Ramos, David Phelps) and other veterans on the roster, with names like Martin Prado and Edinson Volquez both popping up as of late. Of course, any developments in the apparently ceaseless negotiations of a sale of the Marlins could impact deadline maneuverings. (Heyman has a separate update on the latest developments on that front.) But, it’s nonetheless notable to see Miami’s head of baseball ops firmly suggest that the team’s most appealing assets are likely to remain in house, as things stand.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale recently reported that the Fish have had talks with three clubs about second baseman Dee Gordon as well, and a Marlins source confirmed to Heyman that his name has at least been mentioned in talks, though there’s nothing in either report to indicate that talks are serious. (I’ll note that I respectfully disagree with Heyman when it comes to Gordon’s contract being a “vast overpay”; the 29-year-old remains a quality defender and one of MLB’s top baserunners in addition to a solid .295/.342/.358 batting line, helping to mask his lack of pop.) Heyman adds that it’s a similar story with Prado, who has been connected to both the Yankees and Red Sox but isn’t high on either club’s list.
Even with the team’s top names unlikely to be marketed, Miami could still fetch varying levels of interest in Ramos, Phelps, Kyle Barraclough, Dustin McGowan, Volquez, Derek Dietrich and Tom Koehler, so there could still be plenty of action for the Marlins on the trade market.
Furthermore, it stands to reason that the Marlins will be more open to parting with larger names once this week’s All-Star festivities have passed. In addition to the fact that the league generally frowns on trades during this time, urging teams not to take focus off the Midsummer Classic and its surrounding festivities, Miami is hosting this year’s event. Embarking on a significant fire sale before the All-Star Game rolls through town isn’t a good look for any franchise’s fans.