By: Jeffery Romeu
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
A few weeks before the trade deadline, the Miami Marlins were seen as big-time seller as they have already been eliminated from playoff contention and most of their roster has been seen as expendable. However, just hours before the 4 PM deadline, the Marlins hadn’t officially made a single trade. Ultimately, the Marlins decided to trade reliever Brad Ziegler to the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cameron Maybin to the Seattle Mariners. Yet, various players mentioned in numerous trade rumors with extremely high return value like JT Realmuto, Kyle Barraclough, and Adam Conley were surprisingly not moved. Let’s take a look at why this trade deadline was quiet and where the organization stands now.
Brad Ziegler traded to the D-Backs
The Marlins have been talking about trading away Ziegler since the ending of the 2017 season. With the righty reliever on the last leg of his two-year contract, it is no surprise the Marlins traded him to a contender in hopes of gaining a quality prospect. After a disappointing start to the season as the closer for the Marlins blowing a number of saves, Ziegler has posted strong numbers after being demoted to the setup role which includes a 0.93 ERA in 29 innings.
In the trade the Marlins receive a young High-A relief pitcher Tommy Eveld who is a central Florida man who played both baseball and football at the University of South Florida. Eveld has posted great numbers this year with a 1.11 ERA in over 40 innings of work along with 47 strikeouts. His arsenal includes a mid 90s fastball, hard slider, and the occasional knuckleball. If all things continue the same, we should see Eveld in the orange jersey in about two years throwing for the Marlins.
Cameron Maybin traded to the Mariners
Since Maybin is currently on a single year deal and having a surprisingly productive year, it is no surprise the Marlins decided to trade him away to a contender. Maybin has posted decent numbers this year overall, but since July 1st, he has a .309/.427/.456 along with 3 homeruns and 5 stolen bases. Maybin has produced better numbers than expected which drew the attention of various teams and the Marlins received the Mariners 19th overall prospect Bryson Brigman and some international bonus pool money in the transaction.
Brigman is currently in High-A slashing .304/.373/.391 with 15 stolen bases and he is now ranked 28th in the Marlins farm system. While he wasn’t expected to be a strong player when he was drafted, he is continuing to improve and show impressive numbers that may propel him to the majors in a few years. Along with Brigman came $250,000 in international money in which the Marlins are hoping to gain some leverage to sign international free agent Victor Victor Mesa. This puts the Marlins international bank account at around $4.25 million, which is nowhere near the favorites what the Orioles have to land Mesa in $8.25 million. However, given that Miami is so close to the island of Cuba where Mesa is from, the culture and the overall environment may convince him to come to the Marlins. Once the MLB declares Mesa a free agent, the Marlins will be part of the discussion.
Reject Trade may show Marlins direction
The Marlins had an overall quiet trade deadline compared to the firesale many expected them to push once again. The Marlins decided to reject offers for Realmuto, Barraclough, Conely, Steckenrider, and Castro mostly because of their high asking price, but also because of the length of the control in which the Marlins have with these players going well into the 2020s. Maybe the front office notices a potential for a competitive team in the near future, as there are various rumors to suggest the Marlins will offer Realmuto a long-term deal. If this proves to be true this coming offseason, the Marlins may continue to add quality prospects or strong players that may compliment the young talented roster and boost the team’s competitiveness moving forward. This question will be answered during the offseason when the Marlins will show their vision for the future once again.
Isaac Galloway, Jarlin Garcia, and Tayron Guerrero called up
Isaac Galloway has been called up to the majors after over 10 years of playing in the minors. While the Marlins have a record of promoting players who spent various years in the minor like Ed Lucas in the late 2000s, it is quite inspirational to see Galloway finally achieve his dream of playing in the Majors. Personally, I hope Galloway proves to be a productive player and stays in the majors for a few years. In addition to Galloway, the Marlins called up lefty starter/reliever Garcia after being sent to the minors earlier this year due to poor performance. It is likely he will be placed in the bullpen and would like to improve from the disappointing start this year. The fire throwing Guerrero was also called up and simply put, we will see if he has more to offer the team than a 102 MPH fastball as he has a poor 4.28 ERA through 40 innings. With the MLB rosters expanding in September, there is likely to be a number of call ups in the future.
Frustrating/Promising Farm System
The Marlins continue to stack their minor league system with quality prospects like Brigman and Eveld, but still are having frustrating results with starting pitching. Their 2016 first round pick Braxton Garrett missing most of last season and this season due to Tommy John surgery, the Marlins are eager to see how he responds to this common procedure in the MLB. In addition to Garrett, Trevor Rogers, their 10th overall prospect, continues to struggle posting a 5.02 ERA in 13 games started in High-A. It is unknown if he will be called to the majors in 2021 as he is expected due to his poor numbers, but only time will tell. Yet, the Marlins do have some potential in the minors for pitching such as Zac Gallen (Probable September Call Up), Jordan Yamamoto (View Previous Article), and Nick Neidert who are all producing great numbers in the minors and are all starting pitchers.
Marlins Status: Clearly still rebuilding
Not surprisingly, the Marlins are still rebuilding with the possibility of being competitive in the next four to six years if everything works out as planned. As for the rest of the year, the Marlins will finish with one of the worst records in the MLB and gain a high draft pick in the 2019 Amateur Draft to continue their efforts for their rebuild.