Trade Deadline Primer: Miami Marlins

Miami Marlins’ new President of Baseball Operations Peter Bendix didn’t take long to shake things up in his first year at the helm of his new club. In May, Bendix struck a deal with AJ Preller and the Padres, sending Luis Arraez to San Diego for a four-prospect package. 

It wasn’t entirely clear at the time of his hiring what direction Bendix would take the team in his new position, but it sure is now. The Marlins were a surprise playoff team last year under former President Kim Ng, but a slew of early pitching injuries and the departure of OF/DH Jorge Soler have left them on the outside looking in this season. They currently sit in the bottom position in the National League East with no hope of climbing their way out. 

The Arraez trade was a clear indication that Miami is in full rebuilding mode. They still, however, have several attractive players they can use to jumpstart the rebuild. Here’s a list of a few of them and some players the BTV Value Matcher tool suggests they could potentially acquire in return. 

Note: All value numbers are in $Ms.


High-Value Pieces:


Jazz Chisholm Jr.

Surplus Value: $45.2


There is perhaps no player the Marlins could trade that would signal a more complete teardown than current face-of-the-franchise Chisholm. That doesn’t mean the Marlins wouldn’t consider it. Chisholm is in his first year of arbitration this season, meaning he is under control through 2026. He performed admirably in his transition to center field last year, and although his defensive results haven’t been quite as good this year, his offensive results look more reminiscent of his 2022 breakout. 

The Orioles have been rumored to be in the market for a center fielder due to the struggles of Cedric Mullins. Could Chisholm’s extra years of team control convince them to part with Samuel Basallo or Coby Mayo? If not, a package headlined by Heston Kjerstad could potentially move the needle for Miami. There could also be teams out there who value Chisholm’s ability to play both infield and outfield. The Giants are one team that comes to mind in this vein and could offer packages headlined by Bryce Eldridge, Luis Matos, or Marco Luciano.


Braxton Garrett

Surplus Value: $31.0


Garrett shares many of the same qualities as Luzardo. He’s 26, left-handed, has team control after this season, is currently on the injured list, and wasn’t having his best season when healthy. Though he is only on the 15-day IL at the present moment, his diagnosis of a left forearm flexor strain is a concerning one. It’s the same diagnosis Sandy Alcantara had before he was tabbed for Tommy John surgery. As such, teams may be deterred from making competitive offers for Garrett. He’s under team control through 2028, however, so perhaps a team on the outside looking in could make an offer. If the Rays, who love controllable starting pitching, made a player like Xavier Isaac available the Marlins would certainly have to listen.


Ryan Weathers

Surplus Value: $18.2


Left-hander Weathers has been among the biggest surprise contributors in baseball this season. He was acquired at last season’s deadline from the Padres in exchange for first baseman Garrett Cooper, and is enjoying easily his best big-league season to date with a 3.55 ERA and strong peripherals. Like his two counterparts above, he is currently on the injured list, but his index finger strain is much less concerning. He’s under team control until 2028, and isn’t even arbitration eligible until 2026, so the Marlins are sure to get more than they gave up for him if they decide to flip him at the deadline. The Guardians, Mets, and Cardinals are all great fits, with prospects like Genao, Drew Gilbert, and Chase Davis all coming in at similar surplus values. 


Jesus Luzardo

Surplus Value: $16.3


Luzardo had been the hottest name on the Marlins’ trade rumor until recently, when he was placed on the 60-day IL with a serious lower-back injury, which tanked his previously high value. With that, it’s likely he’ll likely stay put in Miami until at least the offseason. The lefty struggled to a 5.00 ERA this season when he was able to pitch, and though his FIP and expected stats were a bit better, he gave up more homers and struck out fewer batters than he was previously accustomed to. 

Even before the injury, performance was likely to scare off sure-fire contenders like the Guardians and Yankees, who could offer attractive prospects like Angel Genao or Roderick Arias. He still has two years of team control remaining after this one, however, so maybe a team on the outside would roll the dice on an August return. Teams like the Twins and Cubs could fit this bill and offer prospects like Luke Keaschall or Kevin Alcantara. If offers like that don’t materialize thanks to the injury, however, the Marlins would be smart to stand pat until Luzardo is back to full strength.


Andrew Nardi

Surplus Value: $15.3


Of all the Marlins relievers that will appear on this list, Nardi is the one that could fetch the greatest return. Nardi’s 4.85 ERA may have you questioning that statement, but with a 2.76 xERA, 2.42 FIP, 28.3% strikeout rate, and pre-arbitration price tag, the 25-year-old lefty should have plenty of suitors. Contending teams like the Phillies, Dodgers, and Mariners have prospects like Justin Crawford, Joendry Vargas, and Lazaro Montes who all offer similar surplus value on the Value Matcher.


Lower-Value Players Who Could Fill Needs


Jesus Sanchez

Surplus Value: $13.3


Sanchez is a 26-year-old right fielder under team control through 2027. He isn’t having his best season at the plate, but he put up a 109 wRC+ last year and his expected stats suggest he’s been unlucky so far in this campaign. As a Super-2 player, he has four years of arbitration eligibility, of which this is the first. With arbitration raises expected over the next few years, the Marlins could look to deal him to save money. 

The Phillies and Braves are two contenders with particular needs in the outfield. I can’t see the Phillies offering starting pitcher Mick Abel for Sanchez as the Value Matcher suggests they could, but a package headlined by shortstop prospect Bryan Rincon could get a deal done. Similarly, the Braves are more likely to offer a package deal, where headliners could include starting pitchers JR Ritchie or Owen Murphy, or shortstop Jose Perdomo.


Trevor Rogers

Surplus Value: $10.9


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Marlins have a controllable lefty starter that could be available at the deadline. Rogers is among the least desirable of the bunch, but he does hold the distinction of being the starter who isn’t currently holding a spot on the injured list. He hasn’t been the same guy since his second-place finish in the National League Rookie of the Year race in 2021, but he could still provide starting pitching depth to a team like the Astros or Diamondbacks, who have experienced injuries in their rotation. The Value Matcher suggests that Astros prospect Brice Matthews, or Diamondbacks prospects Jansel Luis or Gino Groover could be enough to seal a deal.


Bryan De La Cruz

Surplus Value: $7.3


De La Cruz is a 27-year-old right-handed hitting outfielder under team control until 2027, and is currently leading the Marlins in home runs. The term “outfielder” may be generous, however, given that he’s played most of his games at DH this year and was 6th percentile in the league in Outs Above Average last season. He’s due to enter arbitration next season, and, like his counterpart Jesus Sanchez, the Marlins could choose to move on from him before he becomes more expensive. 

He could be a nice option for the Rangers or the Royals, who have each received bottom-10 production from their DH spots this season, at a modest price. The Rangers have a few different options in De La Cruz’s value range, including minor leaguers Dustin Harris, Aaron Zavala, Anthony Gutierrez, and Paulino Santana. The Royals may be reluctant to part with their #2 prospect Cayden Wallace, but could offer young shortstop Yandel Ricardo instead.


A.J. Puk

Surplus Value: $4.6


Puk is yet another left-handed reliever that could be headed out of Miami this deadline. His 5.50 overall ERA this season leaves much to be desired, but it should be noted that most of the damage was done early in the season, when the Marlins briefly experimented with him as a starter. He has a 3.20 ERA in 19.2 innings pitched as a reliever this season and is under team control through 2026.

His extensive injury history will undoubtedly drive his value downward, but he should still have plenty of suitors. All of the teams mentioned above for Scott could be in play, as well as the Cubs, Diamondbacks, and Giants. Names floated by those teams could include James Triantos (Cubs), Wilderd Patino (Diamondbacks), and Grant McCray (Giants).


Tanner Scott

Surplus Value: $4.1


Left-handed reliever Scott has been lights-out over the past two seasons, following up his 2.31 ERA campaign last year with a 1.50 ERA showing in his 34 appearances so far this season. Unlike his counterparts Andrew Nardi and A.J. Puk, however, he’ll become a free agent after this season. 

He’s reportedly received interest from a number of contenders already, including the Yankees, Dodgers, Phillies, and Orioles. Prospects like Brock Selvidge (Yankees), Justin Wrobleski (Dodgers), William Bergolla (Phillies), and Frederick Bencosme (Orioles) could be some names in play in potential deals with those teams.


We’ll Pay You


Josh Bell

Surplus Value: -$5.5


Bell has had a disappointing season for the Marlins, just a year after posting a 119 wRC+ for the team in their post-deadline push to the playoffs. His wRC+ has been stuck in the low-90’s this season, and his $16.5 million salary works to further depress his value. Still, there are two teams in particular, the Yankees and Astros, with playoff aspirations and acute needs at first base. 

For a deal to get done, the Marlins will either need to pay off the rest of his salary or include additional positive value on their side of the deal. This makes it difficult to speculate on any names that could swap sides in the deal, but expect talks to occur around Bell with the Marlins either looking for cash savings or to capitalize on teams in desperate need of help at first base, paying down the remaining money to net a decent prospect return. 


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