The Marlins’ Pablo Lopez has often come up in trade rumors, but according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Lopez is just one of four starters that the Marlins are telling other teams are available in trade talks. The other three are Edward Cabrera, Trevor Rogers and Jesus Luzardo. It’s been widely reported that the Marlins were willing to tap into their pitching surplus in trades, but this sheds more light on who the Marlins are willing to trade and who’s seemingly off limits.
The Marlins have a solid stable of controllable pitching with ace Sandy Alcantara and youngster Braxton Garrett joining that quartet, as well as a group of young arms including Sixto Sanchez, Eury Perez and Max Meyer who should be able to help the big league club within the next few seasons. As such, there’s definitely a surplus of pitching in Miami and the team could well look to offload an arm to bolster their offense.
Last summer, it was reported that the Yankees came close to acquiring Lopez in a deal involving Gleyber Torres. It was also reported this winter that the Marlins and Rockies discussed a deal involving Cabrera and Brendan Rodgers, so it’s no secret that Miami is listening on some of its starters. Notably, both of the two players the Fish would have acquired in those trades are second basemen, but they’ve recently gone out and picked up Jean Segura to bolster their infield group.
Instead, the team could look to turn one of their starters into an outfielder. The Padres have been linked with adding another starter, and have reportedly shown a willingness to trade Trent Grisham, so there could be a match there. It’s also been reported that the Pirates are seeking young pitching to headline any deal for Bryan Reynolds, so if the Marlins are really keen to make a big splash, perhaps floating Cabrera as part of a deal would get Pittsburgh’s attention.
With six years of control remaining, Cabrera, 24, would certainly be an attractive acquisition for pitching hungry teams. A former top-100 prospect, he tossed 71 2/3 innings of 3.01 ERA ball for the Fish last year, with a solid 25.8% strikeout rate and an 11.3% walk rate.
Luzardo, 25, is hitting arbitration for the first time this year as a Super Two player, and is projected to make $2M in 2023. He put together a 3.32 ERA over 100 1/3 innings with a very strong 30% strikeout rate and an 8.8% walk rate. He missed about two-and-a-half months last season with a forearm strain, but a full season of his output would make for a quality starting pitcher. The left-hander is under control for four more years.
Rogers, 25, was excellent in 2021, but took a step back in 2022. The southpaw made the All Star game in ’21 during a season in which he threw 133 innings of 2.64 ERA ball. That was followed up by 107 innings of 5.47 ERA ball in ’22, as Rogers saw his strikeout rate drop by about 6% and his walk rate jump by a percentage point. He also saw his HR/FB rate jump from just 5% in 2021 to 13.2% last year. Rogers is under control for four more seasons, and is due to hit arbitration for the first time next winter.
Lopez, 27 in March, was a steady presence in the rotation for the Fish last season, hurling 180 innings of 3.75 ERA ball over 32 starts. He may not possess the upside of the three younger pitchers, but Lopez has been a consistent pitcher for a few years now, finishing up with ERAs of 3.61, 3.07 and 3.75 in the past three years. Projected to make $5.6M through arbitration this year, he’s under control for another two seasons and would slot nicely into the middle of a lot of rotations around baseball.
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