Why the Miami Marlins need to trade for their big bat

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 24: Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates after hitting a two run home run in the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game at PNC Park on August 24, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 24: Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates after hitting a two run home run in the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game at PNC Park on August 24, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 29: Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks bats against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the third inning at Oracle Park on September 29, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 29: Ketel Marte #4 of the Arizona Diamondbacks bats against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the third inning at Oracle Park on September 29, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Because the Miami Marlins need a long-term answer on offense

The Miami Marlins have nailed the pitching part of their rebuild. But is there a hitter in this lineup you trust to really matter offensively?

Even the Jazz Chisholm truthers amongst us know the answer to this question is a resounding no.

Outside of an earth-shaking signing of Carlos Correa, the only way the Marlins are acquiring someone who has that transformational, face of the franchise caliber upside is the trade market. Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber would be huge upgrades for the Marlins relative to the current roster, but for how long? Both are very sound, far sounder than Jazz, but lack that sizzle component. Both also might have just produced their best seasons. And while that might be a touch unfair to say of them, it’s a very real concern for Kris Bryant or Michael Conforto.

But nearly everyone that has been rumored to be heading Miami’s way on the trade front has that blue chip upside. More importantly, unlike any of Miami’s outfield prospects down on the farm, they have enjoyed big league success. Most importantly of all, nearly all of these trade targets are cheap. With years remaining until free agency, they afford Miami the opportunity to try them out before committing to offering one of the biggest contracts in franchise history.

If Cedric Mullins really is what he did in 2021, or if Ketel Marte really is what his underlying numbers suggest, then both are worth much more than Castellanos or Schwarber will require upfront this spring. Trading for someone on the upswing, and two to three years from free agency, also gives Miami the chance to more easily add more talent in 2023 or 2024.

Bottom-line, most of the remaining free agents are floor plays. The trade market options are ceiling ones. Which brings us to the bets reason to trade for that last big bat…