Although the Miami Marlins are in playoff contention, they may still look to be an opportunistic seller at the deadline.
As the trade deadline approaches, the Miami Marlins find themselves in the unfamiliar place of being buyers. It has been nearly two decades since the Marlins were a playoff contender, and although they have lost four consecutive games to drop below .500, they are still in the postseason chase.
But those expectations that the Marlins will buy do not mean that they will not be opportunistic as well. To that end, they have reportedly been exploring the trade market for Caleb Smith, who is drawing trade interest.
Smith has not exactly had a chance to show what he can do this season. He allowed just one run on one hit and struck out three in his three innings of work, but also issued six walks. Smith was also one of the litany of Marlins placed on the COVID-19 list during Opening Weekend, as he has not pitched since that one outing.
However, Smith had been a reasonably solid pitcher in 2019, and was considered a potential breakout candidate this year. He has produced a 4.52 ERA and a 1.226 WHiP in his 153.1 innings, issuing 60 walks while striking out 168 batters. The biggest problem was his propensity towards the home run, as he allowed a National League worst 33 homers.
If healthy, he would seem to be a solid addition for a Marlins team looking to return to the postseason. The issue is that Miami seemingly does not have a spot for him in the rotation. Sixto Sanchez has been everything that the franchise could have hoped for, Elieser Hernandez and Pablo Lopez are having breakout seasons. And with the other starters returning, the Marlins have plenty of arms.
As counterintuitive as it may seem, trading Smith could further accelerate their timeline to contend. He still has four years of team control, so he could bring back that reliever the Marlins are coveting. In this case, it is possible for Miami to both buy and sell at the deadline.
The Miami Marlins are reportedly willing to deal Caleb Smith if the price is right. Even though they are in postseason contention, it is a move that makes a good deal of sense.