Marlins' relievers drawing trade interest

Guerrero nearing return; Diaz excelling at Triple-A

July 22nd, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Citrus Series may not be significantly swaying the divisional standings, but it has captured the attention of contending clubs.

At least a dozen scouts have been at the three-game set between the Marlins and the Rays at Tropicana Field. They are mainly focused on pitchers for both teams.

Miami closer and lefty reliever are receiving the most attention. Dan Straily, who allowed one run in seven innings in a win on Friday, may have improved his trade value.

The non-waiver Trade Deadline is July 31, and the Marlins are open to making moves that fit into their long-term direction. Reliever , a free agent after the season, is a likely trade candidate.

Because Barraclough and Conley have yet to reach arbitration, the Marlins have set a high asking price for both.

Barraclough -- who pitched the last two games after being unavailable on Friday due to a stomach virus -- yielded the decisive home run on his 40th pitch in Sunday's 6-4 loss to the Rays. His previous high pitch count was 38 at Atlanta on Sept. 13, 2016. The outing shouldn't affect his value since he has allowed two runs in an outing just once this season -- against the Mets on April 10.

Manager Don Mattingly said he has spoken to the team about the trade speculation, and noted that if anything is brewing, the organization would do its best to keep players in the loop.

"I think we came into it knowing what we were doing," Mattingly said. "From the beginning, we had a plan. This is what it was going to be. We are going to build it from the bottom up. That's the way we're going to do it, and we're going to stick to it."

Since the ownership group led by Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter took over last October, the Marlins have spoken about patience and building from the bottom up.

The building process also includes identifying which players to retain on the Major League roster.

All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto has been the subject of trade speculation, but the asking price for the 27-year-old is extremely high. The Marlins also are internally discussing trying to sign their coveted catcher to an extension in the offseason. He has two more years of arbitration remaining before qualifying for free agency in 2021.

"I think that's something you feel like, [if] we could get the pieces together, when it's time to keep them together, we can," Mattingly said. "That's encouraging. Derek said it from the beginning. We're going to have a plan and we're going to stick to it. We're not going to deviate four months, five months, six months down the road. We're going to build this thing right, where it's sustainable in a year-in, year-out basis through our system."

Worth noting

, on the disabled list since July 5 with a left lumbar strain, threw a clean inning on Saturday in his first rehab assignment appearance at Double-A Jacksonville. The hard-throwing right-hander is scheduled for a second appearance with the Jumbo Shrimp on Tuesday, and then he will be re-evaluated.

• Second base prospect is making an immediate impact since being promoted to Triple-A New Orleans. In his last two games with the Baby Cakes, the 22-year-old is 4-for-6 with two walks and a triple. Ranked by MLB Pipeline as Miami's No. 7 prospect, Diaz was brought up from Double-A Jacksonville on Friday. In his first game, he was hitless in three at-bats, with three strikeouts.

"We really liked what we saw out of Isan in the spring, from the standpoint of his swing," Mattingly said. "His eye at the plate, his approach, we felt needed to keep growing. There's room to grow, but there is a really good foundation there for a really good player."