The Marlins are indeed going all in. Miami, the team that hasn’t reached the NL postseason since winning its second championship in 2003, currently occupies an NL playoff berth. Furthermore, the Marlins seriously believe the time to be aggressive has come.
According to MLB.com’s Craig Mish, the club has finalized a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks which will send outfielder Starling Marte to South Florida. In return, Arizona will receive starting pitcher Caleb Smith, right-hander Humberto Mejia, plus a third additional player.
After the conclusion of the trade deadline, Starling Marte could end up as the replacement for Jonathan Villar. Villar started off the campaign by falling behind the expectations of being a solid leadoff hitter with a high OBP. Instead, the Dominican stood out during the team’s last 15 games and finished his short Marlins tenure with a .328 on-base percentage and .360 SLUG.
The 31-year-old Marte was one of the most-discussed names on the offseason trade block. After eight strong seasons in Pittsburgh, he joined Arizona and even exceeded the bar he set last year. Marte is batting .311 with an OBP of .384 and a .827 OPS. The Diamondbacks have significantly underperformed this year, placing fifth in the NL West with a 14-21 record. Therefore, they are sellers at the deadline, having already dealt one of their aces, Robbie Ray, to Toronto.
Marte’s .384 OBP was the best in the Diamondbacks lineup this year. On the Marlins, he would rank second, behind Matt Joyce‘s .388, if we exclude Miguel Rojas due to missed time. He would slot beyond well as the team’s new leadoff hitter. Meanwhile, power is also on display, with him hitting 20-plus home runs in each of the last two years. The Dominican will be under Miami’s control until the conclusion of the 2021 campaign. He is owed $12.5 million in 2021 when he has the option of a buyout worth $2 million.
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Meanwhile, Caleb Smith’s stint in Miami has ended in a quite disappointing way. The Marlins starter came into the year with aspirations to compete for the “ace” title. Instead, he made just one start before landing on the COVID-19 list. Against the Phillies on July 25th, in his last Marlins start, Smith allowed a run in three innings while walking six batters.
The team then followed that trade up by taking Jonathan Villar out of the game in New York against the Mets and dealing him to the Blue Jays. According to Mish, Miami will be getting Griffin Conine, a Single-A prospect and a son of longtime Marlin Jeff Conine.
Jeff Frisaro is also reporting that Isan Diaz could be back with the team as the everyday starting second basemen. Miami has won 14 games and lost 15, taking second place in the NL East, three games behind the Braves.
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