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Inbox: Could Marlins make a Wild Card push?

Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers questions from fans
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

I know the Marlins have no starting pitching. So am I crazy to think they could make a playoff run?
-- @hgillming

There's been a lot of knocks on the Marlins' pitching -- yet in terms of numbers, they are in the middle of the pack in runs allowed (584), and 14 teams in the Majors have given up fewer runs.

I know the Marlins have no starting pitching. So am I crazy to think they could make a playoff run?
-- @hgillming

There's been a lot of knocks on the Marlins' pitching -- yet in terms of numbers, they are in the middle of the pack in runs allowed (584), and 14 teams in the Majors have given up fewer runs.

For all the questions about the pitching, the Marlins have made things interesting, They are two games under .500 heading into Tuesday's series opener in Philadelphia, and six games back for the second National League Wild Card spot. With four teams within seven games of that position, Miami's final 40 games will be interesting. For the most part, the pitching has held its own. In August, the team's ERA is 3.81, seventh best in the Majors.

In September, Dillon Peters, the Marlins' No. 4-ranked prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, is likely to get a callup. The lefty could help down the stretch.

:: Submit a question to the Marlins Inbox ::

Who are some president or general manager candidates for next season after the Bruce Sherman-Derek Jeter ownership group takes over?
-- @Chan_White02

My MLB.com colleague Mark Feinsand has reported Gary Denbo as a potential GM/president of baseball operations candidate. Denbo is the Yankees' vice president of player development, and he has been a close friend of Jeter for a long time. I had heard Denbo's name as a possibility a while back. Now, as to what exact title Denbo might have, it's way too early to say that since the sale of the club from Jeffrey Loria to the Sherman-Jeter group has not been finalized. Another name I've heard to fill a prominent role, perhaps as a special assistant, is Gordon Blakeley, currently a special assistant to the general manager with the Braves. Blakeley spent more than two decades in the Yankees' baseball-operations department, and he has experience in international operations.

Can't we trade Marcell Ozuna for pitchers?
-- @Gustavorios0620

Ozuna was the subject of trade talks last offseason, and he promises to be again this offseason. The two-time All-Star turns 27 in November, and he is in his second year of arbitration. Considering Ozuna's strong season, his salary will jump substantially from the $3.5 million he's making this year. Ozuna has two more years of arbitration, and he's eligible for free agency in 2020. Based on his service time and the unlikelihood of signing a long-term deal with Miami, the organization will certainly listen on trade offers. When you ask if the club trade him for pitching, the answer is yes -- but ideally it would be for a high-end pitching prospect who is moving closer to being big league ready.

If you're asking if the Marlins should trade Ozuna for an established front-line big league starter and go for it in 2018, that's a very tricky situation. You don't want to weaken yourself at one position to strengthen another. If you rebuild, then do it correctly.

If the Marlins trade Giancarlo Stanton, will the fan base react like they did when Miguel Cabrera was traded? Can the franchise recover from that again?
-- @josi_elder

I addressed Stanton's situation in my most recent Inbox. But this is a major story, and Stanton could be the most watched player this offseason. If the Marlins intend to trade him, and I believe they will, there will be many different layers to any deal. First, you are looking at moving a massive amount of salary -- $295 million over the next 10 years of his contract. Stanton also has a full no-trade clause.

So Stanton's situation is far different from when the Marlins dealt Cabrera to the Tigers at the 2007 Winter Meetings. Cabrera was in arbitration, with controllable years left. Miami actually got two of the highest-ranked prospects in baseball in that deal -- Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin. Neither, of course, panned out with the Marlins. That's the risk of moving a franchise-caliber player.

Because of the size of Stanton's contract, Miami's return, in terms of impact players, could be reduced if the other team picks up the remaining $295 million.

Can the fan base survive trading Stanton? When you note the backlash of trading Cabrera, if you remember, the 2008 Marlins actually finished 84-77, in third place. Their infield that year had three players reach 30 home runs -- Hanley Ramirez (33), Mike Jacobs (32) and Dan Uggla (32). Jorge Cantu played third that year and had 29 homers.

Obviously, you don't replace the talent of Cabrera, but the team was pretty good that season.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins