In fact, I doubt the Marlins even consider trading Stanton before they have a chance to offer him an extension after the season. Even if he refuses a deal after the season, it’s doubtful to see him in any other uniform in 2014. The Marlins have enough funds currently to be able to afford Stanton’s first arbitration season.
Otherwise, I prefer to keep Stanton and offer him a crooked number he would have a tough time declining in the off-season. There is no sure things in baseball, and both Stanton and the prospects that the Marlins could get in return for Stanton fall under that category.
4. Teams have been calling on Steve Cishek, but have quickly been turned off by the asking price. The Marlins are currently seeking a team’s top prospect in return for Cishek. Cishek will be arbitration eligible for the first time in 2014 and has an immense amount of trade value currently. It would shock me to see a team fork over the Marlins asking price before the deadline.
Mike Dunn is another reliever drawing interest on the trade market, he however is not available either. The Marlins have deemed Dunn an important part of their 2014 team, and maybe beyond. I would actually be less hesitant to trade Dunn then the Marlins are, as his peripherals concern me going forward.
Chad Qualls and Ryan Webb have been getting hits on the trade market as well, neither of them are anything special and the return for either should be a low-end prospect. Both are very likely to be traded before the deadline.
5. The team will likely trade outfielder Justin Ruggiano, and despite his recent woes, I think he can bring in a decent prospect. His hitting numbers have suffered at Marlins Park, but he has still been a 1.0 WAR player in 2013. All 12 of his homers have come on the road. He would be a great fit in a hitters paradise like Texas. Another thing he has going is that he is under team control for three more seasons, as he will be arbitration eligible after the season as well.
Tom Koehler will be on the mound Saturday and although I see him as a bullpen guy down the road, he has held down the fort as a starter. He throws a lot of zip on his fastball and plus curveball, but does not have much else to retire hitters out on a consistent basis. He did strike out seven in his last start against the Rockies, but has not been known for strikeouts outside of that in 2013.
I cannot wait for Sunday’s Jose Fernanadez-Gerrit Cole matchup. No way I miss this game. Cole of course is the highly touted Pirates prospect and the same is true of Jose Fernandez for the Marlins. Fernandez has been extremely dominant in his 20-year old rookie season. He has a plus fastball, a plus curveball, and a developing changeup. Fernandez has a great story I am sure Pirates commentators will share on Sunday and made quite an impression in the All-Star game, despite a Pirates reliever currently on the DL stealing his spotlight.
What’s your prediction on the series?
7. I will go with Pirates winning two of three, as they hold the pitching edge in the first two games. In the finale, however, I believe Fernandez tilts the matchup to his side.