The Marlins are less likely to deal players such as J.T. Realmuto and Kyle Barraclough before the July 31 trade deadline than they are “rentals” such as Brad Ziegler.
That doesn’t mean the Marlins aren’t listening when other teams call asking about their top younger players, and they're receiving plenty of calls on their relievers.
But they’re in no hurry to deal those with years of team control remaining.
“I think that’s why this trade deadline is a little different for us because your rentals are guys you’re open to talking about,” said Michael Hill, Marlins president of baseball operations. “But the majority of our guys, we have control over.”
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Realmuto, for example, can’t become a free agent until 2021. For Barraclough, it’s 2022. For those players and others such as lefty reliever Adam Conley, the asking price is believed to be so great that it’s less than likely any team will come forward with an offer the Marlins can’t refuse, or one that Hill said “makes incredible sense” to the organization.
“If I’m trying to acquire (players of comparative value and experience), I know it’s going to be costly,” Hill said. “My counterparts understand that these guys are completely controllable players. It’s not something where you have to do anything with them.”
The Marlins, sources said, are more apt to build around their All-Star catcher by offering Realmuto a long-term contract extension after the season than they are to trade him before the deadline or even in the offseason.
The veteran Ziegler, on the other hand, becomes a free agent after this season, doesn’t fit in the team’s long-term plans, and has pitched well since losing the closer’s role. As such, he’s expected to generate significant trade interest over the coming weeks.
Ziegler would be especially attractive to teams trying to add a seasoned reliever who can be used against right-handed power hitters.
“We’ve talked to some clubs who fit that mold, guys looking for that right-handed specialist, clubs looking to neutralize those big right-handed bats,” Hill said of teams that have called about Ziegler.
For now, though, Hill said Ziegler “will keep helping us win ballgames.”
The Marlins are also believed to be fielding calls on utility infielder Miguel Rojas, first baseman Justin Bour, starting pitcher Dan Straily and outfielder Derek Dietrich.
There is not strong demand for second baseman Starlin Castro due to the fact he’ll still be owed close to $13 million after this season. Nor are other teams clamoring for injury-plagued third baseman Martin Prado ($15 million in 2019) and starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen ($42 million over the next two seasons).
But the Marlins aren’t expected to remain idle at the deadline.
Just don’t expect any bombshell trades.
“We’re not going to do anything rash, not going to do anything emotional,” Hill said. “We want to win as many games (this season) as we can, as well.”