MIAMI -- Each trade is another sign the Marlins are moving in another direction. On Friday night, AJ Ramos became the third established veteran to be dealt.The Marlins dealt the 30-year-old closer to the Mets for two prospects -- right-hander Merandy Gonzalez and outfielder Ricardo Cespedes. With the non-waiver Trade
MIAMI -- Each trade is another sign the Marlins are moving in another direction. On Friday night, AJ Ramos became the third established veteran to be dealt.
The Marlins dealt the 30-year-old closer to the Mets for two prospects -- right-hander Merandy Gonzalez and outfielder Ricardo Cespedes. With the non-waiver Trade Deadline set for 4 p.m. ET on Monday, Miami may still be making more deals to restock its system.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said he didn't anticipate sweeping trades but reminded that president of baseball operations Michael Hill makes that call.
"If I get to play GM for a second, and you look at the situation here in Miami, I think you're always looking to kind of stay young," Mattingly said. "You have to be able to move guys at the right time. If you go too long, and then you don't get anything in return, it kind of sets you backwards."
In recent weeks, Miami also traded reliever David Phelps to the Mariners and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to the Rays.
The downside is the club's biggest star, right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, is having a strong bounce-back season. The four-time All-Star entered Saturday night with 33 home runs, tied with Aaron Judge of the Yankees, for the Major League lead.
Stanton, 27, and Ramos have been roommates and close friends.
"Every trade for Minor Leaguers is two or three years away from seeing the result of that trade," Stanton said. "That means two or three years of every person taken away is a couple of years until you realize what that means."
Seeing Ramos dealt hits home even more for Stanton, because of their friendship.
"It's different in terms of just going through the year, and the grind together," Stanton said. "The offseason, and everything, we work and build our product of us, individually. So you see the work that we put in the whole time."
Stanton has a full no-trade clause but noted that he is informed if other clubs are interested in making a deal for the power-hitting outfielder.
"Yeah, I'm aware of things," Stanton said.
The Marlins have maintained they are not trading controllable core players like Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, J.T. Realmuto and others.
But the organization has an unsettled ownership situation, with Jeffrey Loria weighing sale options. The club is also looking to build as much organizational depth, which may mean parting with more established players.
"You have to be able to continually build your system," Mattingly said. "You have that in place at all times to be able to help you with depth. It helps you with injuries. We have to be able to do that from within.
"I don't feel like there is a whole lot more before the Deadline, if there's anything, at all. I don't know what happens into the future. Again, our ownership is up in the air. What's going to happen if there's a new group, what they want to do? What kind of payroll are they going to have? Things like that."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.