Marlins might dip into buyer's pool at Deadline

July 13th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Christina De Nicola’s Marlins Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

The All-Star break is done, and thus begins -- in my opinion -- the stretch run.

The Marlins (53-39) have the fourth-most wins in the Majors and hold the top National League Wild Card spot with 70 games remaining on their schedule. It will not get easier, with matchups against the Orioles, Rays and Phillies before the Aug. 1 Trade Deadline.

Will general manager Kim Ng ride the current group's chemistry? Will she add key pieces to jolt the lineup?

"That definitely enters into the equation for sure," Ng said. "But we do have decisions to make, and so you make them, you contemplate them, you talk to a lot of people -- whether it's [manager] Skip [Schumaker] and the staff -- whether it's your scouts, player development people. You really just try and gather the most information that you can and try to be really thoughtful about the decisions that you make."

What we learned in the first half: Never count them out

In order to compile a 21-6 record in one-run games, a club must possess a combination of things: the ability to execute, a strong bullpen, a bit of luck and a growing sense of belief. Not only are the Marlins 44-2 when leading after eight innings, but they also have 25 comeback wins because the lineup has scored 151 runs in the seventh inning or later -- third most in the Majors.

Likely Trade Deadline strategy: Buyers if there’s a match

As one of MLB's surprise clubs, the Marlins are ready to be buyers for the first time in Ng's tenure. As was the case last Deadline, however, they will not make a move unless they receive appropriate value in return. Unfortunately for Miami, it's not much of a buyer's market at the moment, with other clubs still trying to figure out where they stand. Adding an impact hitter will continue being the focus.

Key player: Jazz Chisholm Jr.

Right-handed-heavy Miami has had  in the lineup for just 45 games due to injuries. His numbers seem pedestrian (102 OPS+), but he's a left-handed power hitter with game-changing speed.

Prior to a turf toe injury, Chisholm had gone deep in consecutive games. Before straining his left oblique, he was slugging .696 in six games since returning from the injured list. During their limited time together, Chisholm and Luis Arraez fed off each other to spark Miami's offense.

Prospect to watch: Sean Reynolds (No. 23)

Since Eury Pérez has graduated from prospect status, Reynolds, a 25-year-old converted pitcher, could be that dude in the second half. The 6-foot-8 flamethrower was just optioned without making an appearance in his first MLB stint, but he has a triple-digit fastball and closing experience in the Minor Leagues.

The Marlins have four high-leverage lefties in the bullpen, but they are light on righties. The opportunity is there for the taking for Reynolds.