Contending Marlins in buy mode at Deadline

August 30th, 2020

On the eve of the Trade Deadline, the Marlins remain open to making moves, and they have many potential players to deal. But the larger question facing the front office is, how willing are they to part with a top prospect?

“Traditionally, we have not been a team in the last few years that has been buying anything,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said on Sunday in a Zoom call. “I’m not sure we’re going to be giving any prospects away to get one piece.”

The Deadline is at 4 p.m. ET on Monday, and the Marlins are in “buy mode.”

Still, that doesn’t mean the organization isn’t open to dealing from its current big league roster or players with big league experience.

Because of their overall depth, the Marlins are nicely positioned to move established players as well as prospects, and not necessarily weaken an organizational strength.

From a players’ perspective, shortstop said the Marlins are in the thick of the pennant race, and from now on they need to play with urgency.

“We feel like we’re in a great position to make the playoffs this year and we are there in contention,” Rojas said. “We just have to play with that sense of urgency from now on, bringing some energy to the games.”

Making trades, obviously, is the front office’s department. That’s where president of baseball operations Michael Hill and his staff continue conversing with their peers.

The Marlins have outfield and pitching depth that could be used to either add an established reliever or position player. A year ago, Miami acquired shortstop prospect Jazz Chisholm from the D-backs for Zac Gallen.

A similar trade -- prospect-for-prospect with a little bit of big league experience -- could be made.

Outfielder and right-hander are both close to coming off the injured list and could be attractive trade pieces. , a free agent after the season, is a big part of the current roster. In Villar’s case, does it make sense to keep him for another month if he can be used to address a longer-term need?

Ramirez is part of a stocked outfield, and getting at-bats would be tough for him. The promotion of top prospect Sixto Sánchez clears the path to at least consider dealing Ureña.

The question then becomes whether the Marlins would consider trading someone like , left-hander Braxton Garrett (No. 7 prospect) or right-hander Nick Neidert (No. 11).

Neidert, who is on the injured list, made the Opening Day roster as a long reliever.

and are established relievers with closer experience. Either could be dangled on the market. If one is moved, the Marlins still have as a potential closer option.

If nothing makes sense, the Marlins could also stand pat and try to fill needs internally, as more players are ready to be reinstated from the injured list.

“I think you’ve got to assess where you’re at as an organization,” Mattingly said. “Where you are at right now, is there a piece that makes sense?”

Wallach healthy, ready
With on the seven-day concussion list, has returned to the roster after being on the injured list since the first week of the season.

Wallach was one of 18 Miami players to test positive for COVID-19.

“I had some light symptoms,” Wallach said on a Zoom call Sunday. “I was very fortunate that they never got too bad. I know some people can get it really bad. I was very fortunate that they never were too serious.”

In recent weeks, Wallach has been getting back into playing shape at the Marlins’ alternate training site in Jupiter, Fla.

At the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex, Wallach was working out with prospects, and Ureña, as well as others close to returning from the injured list.

If they are not involved in any deals by Monday’s Deadline, Smith and/or Ureña are considered close to being reinstated.

“They look good,” Wallach said. “They are really close. I got to face José and catch Caleb, and they both look good. They’re not far off, that’s for sure. Hopefully, we will be able to see them back up here soon.”

Worth noting
• To make roster space for right-hander , who was reinstated from the injured list on Sunday, right-hander Jesús Tinoco was designated for assignment.

• First baseman (stiff back) was out of the starting lineup for the third straight game. The Marlins are hoping to prevent his condition from worsening and are being cautious.