Prior to the trade deadline, the Marlins were looking for outfield help, and explored what would have been a pair of major deals. Barry Jackson and Craig Mish of The Miami Herald report that the Marlins checked in with the Pirates about All-Star center fielder Bryan Reynolds, and also discussed a fascinating deal with the Angels that would have seen Miami acquire outfielder Brandon Marsh in exchange for Max Meyer, the third overall pick of the 2020 draft.
It’s probably safe to assume that almost every team in baseball at least asked the Pirates about Reynolds, who has delivered great results in two of his three MLB seasons. Reynolds has rebounded from a sophomore slump to hit .309/.388/.525 with 18 homers over 425 plate appearances this season, with an .385 xwOBA that ranks among the league’s best.
Reynolds turns 27 in January and is controlled through the 2025 season, making him one of the few assets that the rebuilding Pirates weren’t looking to move in general, and certainly not for anything short of a huge return. “Pittsburgh wanted more than the Marlins were willing to consider,” Jackson/Mish write, so talks ultimately didn’t pan out.
As for the negotiations with the Angels, other players may have been involved in the proposed deal, so it wouldn’t have been only a straight Marsh-for-Meyer swap. Such major trades of top prospects are rare, though this particular move would have addressed needs for both clubs. It isn’t any secret that the Angels are looking to add young arms, as evidenced by their two deadline day trades that netted five minor league pitchers, or their 20-player draft class consisting of nothing but hurlers.
Meyer might already be pretty close to the majors, after throwing three years of college ball and making his pro debut this year at Double-A. The right-hander has a 1.93 ERA over 70 innings for Double-A Pensacola and ranks 38th on Baseball America’s midseason top 100 prospects list.
As impressive as Meyer has been, he is only one of several impressive pitchers at both the MLB and minor league levels of Miami’s organization. With this surplus in mind, Jackson/Mish write that the Marlins are looking to deal a pitcher for “a front-line offensive prospect” like Marsh, who made his Major League debut earlier this month.
Marsh had an even higher placement on BA’s midseason list, ranking as the 26th-best prospect in all of baseball. His first taste of Triple-A ball was limited to 24 games due to shoulder inflammation, but he hit well over that limited playing time and earned his first look at the MLB level. Seen as a center fielder of the future, Marsh would be a natural replacement for Starling Marte up the middle in Miami, and the Angels might be willing to move such a player for premium pitching talent since L.A. has another big outfield prospect in Jo Adell.
Between Marte, Adam Duvall, and Corey Dickerson, the Marlins have traded three veteran outfielders in a little over a month’s time, making the position a target area for the offseason. Jesus Sanchez and the newly-acquired Bryan De La Cruz will be in the mix as potential starters, though Jackson/Mish write that Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison aren’t seen as long-term options. For Harrison, “his future with the organization is uncertain” after an internal matter that reportedly involved Harrison having to be restrained after an argument with Marte.