Quartet of relievers drawing trade interest

July 11th, 2018

MIAMI -- Less than three weeks until the non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Marlins are fielding calls on a number of players, and the organization is more willing to deal players closer to free agency than those still under team control.
The Marlins are receiving plenty of calls on reliever , a ground-ball specialist, and closer . Lefty and, to a lesser degree, rookie right-hander are also attracting attention.
Of the four relievers mentioned, Ziegler is a free agent after the season. Barraclough and Conley have yet to reach arbitration, and Steckenrider is in his first full season in the big leagues.
"That's why this Trade Deadline is a little different for us," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said Wednesday afternoon. "Obviously, your rentals are guys that you are open to talking about. A majority of our guys, we have control over. During the Deadline, it's a lot of relievers that frequently move."

Without getting into specifics, Hill noted that the asking price is extremely high for Barraclough, who was the National League Reliever of the Month in June.
"My counterparts understand, these guys are completely controllable players," Hill said. "You're talking about trading one-pluses and two-pluses [years of service time]. If I call and I'm trying to acquire a one-plus, or two-plus, I know it's going to be costly. Our game is about maximizing value, and control of players."
But since Barraclough has three more seasons beyond this one before he is eligible for free agency, the Marlins have little urgency to move him.

"We want to win as many games as we can as well," Hill said. "We understand we're in the middle of our building. But our goal is to build, as we've said, a sustainable organization. Where year-in, year-out, you have an opportunity to win. That's our goal."
The Indians, Red Sox, Astros and Dodgers are among the teams that have checked in on Miami's relievers.

"I'm not going to do anything rash, or emotional," Hill said. "We know where we're at. We know where we want to go."
Ziegler, 38, has pitched at a high level since moving from closer to a setup spot.
"Guys are looking for that right-handed specialist," Hill said, referring to Ziegler. "Clubs are looking to neutralize those big right-handed bats. It makes sense. He will keep helping us win ballgames and we'll see where things go."
In his last 15 2/3 innings, Ziegler has a 0.57 ERA.
As for position players, the Marlins also have set a high asking price for All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto, in his first season of arbitration. Realmuto has two more seasons of control, and isn't eligible for free agency until 2021.
"I think he knows where we're at, as an organization," Hill said. "Where we stand with him in the organization. We're just focused on getting better every day and trying to win a ballgame."

Realmuto is a candidate to be approached with a contract extension in the offseason.
Other position players who are receiving at least some level of trade interest are first baseman , left fielder , utility infielder and outfielder . Second baseman , signed through 2019, also could be dealt for the right price.
"From our standpoint, our goal is to build a championship here, and build something sustainable," Hill said. "We're always going to make decisions that are in the best interest of our organization. That's how we look at everything."