Miami Marlins: Kyle Barraclough could bring back quality prospects

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 18: Kyle Barraclough
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 18: Kyle Barraclough /

The Miami Marlins have already traded their four biggest stars this offseason. Catcher J.T. Realmuto, who was once seen as apart of the rebuild, has voiced his displeasure with the franchise.  As the Marlins continue a disappointing season, trading away assets may be their best option. One underrated trade candidate is Kyle Barraclough.

The Miami Marlins new ownership group are keen on cutting costs. This included the trade of slugger Giancarlo Stanton, as well as stars Dee Gordon, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna this offseason Young catcher J.T. Realmuto also wants out in order to go to a competitive team.

Despite the plethora of prospects received in their trades, Miami’s farm system is not considered to be among the league’s best. Unless nearly every prospect pans out, Miami will need more help to become competitive down the road. This brings a dilemma. Miami could keep its controllable players to help the rebuild or put their faith in their farm system. If they decide to follow the latter route, Kyle Barraclough may be next in line to be shipped away.

An Underrated Setup Man

Most people outside of Miami don’t realize the talent in the arm of Kyle Barraclough. As the Marlins setup man in 2017, he recorded a 6-2 record with a 3.00 ERA. His 2017 stats were his career high for ERA, showing just how dominant Barraclough can be, even in a “down” year.  His 10.4 K/9 last season is further proof that Barraclough can be an effective setup man in the majors.

More from Call to the Pen

Recently, Barraclough has replaced Brad Ziegler as the closer for the Marlins, and rightfully so. Barraclough’s ERA (1.32) is over five points lower than Ziegler’s (6.83) in 2018. Barraclough’s Whip is sub-0.9, making his promotion to the closer role justified further.

Competitive teams, such as the Red Sox and Yankees, already have their closer for the season, so Barraclough would provide depth at the back end of the bullpen. For teams like the Astros, Barraclough can prove to be a cheaper alternative to Kelvin Herrera.

Barraclough has enough stuff to manage the setup role of any team. However, the Marlins have little use for him. There will be very few opportunities for saves- and therefore holds- for the Marlins’ bullpen.

Barraclough has the opportunity to build his statline, however, with only his win-loss percentage faltering. Miami wants to seep Barraclough as a part of the rebuild, since he doesn’t reach free agency until 2022.

Trade Opportunities

Similarly to a JT Realmuto trade, Barraclough’s main appealing feature is his team control. With no arbitration until 2019, Barraclough can help a contending team for years to come. There are a plethora of rosters in which he fits, but two stand out: the Indians and the Dodgers.

The 2016 AL Champions could use a boost in order to secure their spot on top of the AL Central division. The Indians have a star at shortstop and a loaded rotation. However, free agency has depleted their bullpen. Boone Logan, Bryan Shaw, and Joe Smith have taken their talents out of Cleveland. With Andrew Miller injured, Barraclough could fill into the 8th inning role Miller occupied. If not, Barraclough could create a 7-8-9 powerhouse pen like Miller had in the Bronx.

The 2017 NL Champion Dodgers have also lost a significant part of their bullpen. Surprise setup man Brandon Morrow has left to sign with the Chicago Cubs. His departure leaves a significant hole for someone to pitch before All-Star closer Kenley Jansen.  Barraclough could fill the vacancy left by Morrow and provide a solid 8-9 punch for the Dodgers.

Next: Marlins Mount Rushmore

The Miami Marlins have nearly no chance of making the playoffs in 2018. By trading Barraclough, they would be solidifying their farm system for a future championship team. For the team that acquires him, Barraclough my be just what is needed to raise a championship banner this October.