The Miami Marlins just finished up their most productive Winter Meetings in club history and they are still looking to add on. The Marlins went into the winter meetings looking to have three areas addressed: SP, CL, and an impact bat. The Marlins went three for three by signing Mark Buehrle, Heath Bell and Jose Reyes, but that doesn’t mean they will stop there. The fish also tried to sign former Texas Ranger lefty C.J. Wilson, but came up short. The starting rotation at the moment figures to be: Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco, and Chris Volstad. Not that bad, but it isn’t ideal by any means for a team that has aspirations of reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2003. Let’s take a look at some trades that would benefit the Marlins.
1. Trade for Gio Gonzalez
The 26 year old lefty would instantly give the Marlins a legitimate ace type starter to match up with Josh Johnson, resulting in a terrific 1-2 punch. However, the price tag won’t be so nice. If the Marlins were to trade for Gio Gonzalez, the fish would have to rely heavily on its prospects to get the deal done. The Athletics have a shortage of bats at the major league level and within their minor league system, so I would imagine minor leaguers Marcell Ozuna, Kyle Jensen, Matt Dominguez would be among interest. The Athletics in all likelihood would request Logan Morrison in a trade but I think the Marlins could navigate away from that if they include a surplus of prospects in a deal.
Trade scenario- Marlins acquire Gio Gonzalez, Athletics acquire Gaby Sanchez, Marcell Ozuna, Chad James, Matt Dominguez.
The deal benefits both teams in my opinion. The Athletics need bats and would get two that could contribute immediately in Sanchez, and Dominguez, while Ozuna gives them a quality OF for the future. Chad James is arguably the Marlins best pitching prospect and would be able to help the Athletics sooner rather than later.
2. Sign Prince Fielder
The team repeatedly denies having interest in Prince, but that doesn’t mean things could change. Signing the big FA would completely change the complexion of the lineup for the better. Let’s say that the Marlins happened to acquire Gio Gonzalez from the Athletics for Gaby Sanchez among others. Who would play 1B? Logan Morrison is a pretty clear option. The former 1B has had his ups and downs in LF resulting in some serious knee problems. Having him make the transition to 1B wouldn’t be such a bad idea, but then, who plays LF? This results in a lot of shuffling within the team that might not be beneficial, that’s why you must go after Prince Fielder. Fielder provides you the superior lefty bat to be matched up next to Mike Stanton that would be feared for years to come. A lineup that features Reyes-Ramirez-Fielder-Stanton would be among the most lethal in recent memory.
2B. Sign Cespedes
Signing Cespedes would be a secondary option in my opinion if the team were to miss out on Fielder. The 26 year old CF has been rumored to almost every team and has a ton of potential in the eyes of scouts. The “Yoenis Cespedes Showcase” video has been on YouTube for quite a while and has almost everyone oohing and aahing, but there is one thing that the video doesn’t show, Cespedes ability to hit MLB pitching. Sure he has some experience by playing in the World Baseball Classic a few years back, but he hasn’t had to face that type of pitching repeatedly. That is why I would rather have Cespedes as a back up option to Prince. Cespedes could get up to $60 million dollars this offseason from a team. That is $60 million dollars for a man who has never played in MLB. That is worrisome.
These are just my opinions. I don’t entirely know what direction the club wants to take or how interested they are in certain players. One thing is for sure, there is still some unfinished business.