Marlins' vets the focus as Trade Deadline nears

July 25th, 2019

CHICAGO – A week until the Trade Deadline is usually an uneasy time for players who sense they could be on the move.

It’s no secret the Marlins are in sell mode, and veterans with expiring contracts – like closer , infielder and outfielder – could possibly be in their final week with Miami.

The same holds true for second baseman , who has a club option for $16 million and a $1 million buyout for 2020, and infielder .

“I don’t think we’ve got a ton of guys that you’re hearing huge things about or anything else,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “I think the older guys know the situation that they’re in. Usually, the younger guys are pretty much just here playing. You’re not thinking like that.”

The Trade Deadline is on July 31 and is the only deadline with MLB doing away with August waiver deals.

The Marlins are looking for impactful hitters, and also could wind up compiling international bonus pool money.

Unlike a year ago, when All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto was rumored to be moved (but not dealt in July), the Marlins don’t have high-profile candidates who could be traded by the Deadline.

“I don’t think it’s a big deal for this club this year,” Mattingly said. “There have been clubs where a lot of guys have been mentioned, and their names are out there. Guys who are going to be free agents or things like that. This club this year, I think, has been pretty low key.”

The 2018 Marlins finished 63-98, and did end up trading outfielder Cameron Maybin to Seattle (for infielder Bryson Brigman) and reliever Brad Ziegler to Arizona (for reliever Tommy Eveld).

Realmuto ended up being traded in February to the Phillies for Jorge Alfaro, Sixto Sanchez, Will Stewart and $250,000 in international bonus pool money.

“I thought last year’s Deadline, you could really feel a difference when we lost Cameron and Ziegler,” Mattingly said. “It kind of changed the dynamic. We had a number of guys that thought they were going somewhere, and there really wasn’t a lot of interest. They understand at that point that they’re here for the rest of the year. It’s a situation where they thought they were getting into a pennant race. This year, I’m not sure we have those guys who are thinking we are going somewhere. That type of thing.”

The Marlins have been measuring interest in some of their controllable starting pitchers, like left-hander and right-hander . It will take a big haul to move controllable starters -- Smith and Richards each have four more years of club control after this season.

Pep rally and Throwback Weekend

The Marlins are off on Thursday before opening a throwback jersey weekend beginning Friday in their three-game set with the D-backs at Marlins Park. During the series, the Marlins will wear retro teal vest uniforms and Florida Marlins hats.

As a lead-in to the throwback weekend, on Thursday, the Marlins have teamed up with Brightline, soon to be Virgin Trains, for a pep rally.

The Brightline Pep Rally starts at 4 p.m. ET at Virgin MiamiCenter. The team is dubbing it as a train takeover to Fort Lauderdale, and a pep rally will begin at 5 p.m. at Brightline Fort Lauderdale Station. The train returns to Miami at 6 p.m.

Billy the Marlin, the Marlins Mermaids and Marlins alumni (Antonio Alfonseca and Alex Arias) will be on the trip.