MIAMI -- By trading Justin Bour to the Phillies on Friday for prospect McKenzie Mills, the Marlins added more depth to their system.With just under three weeks remaining until the Aug. 31 revocable waiver trade deadline, Miami remains open to making even more moves."We're pretty open, we're always looking for ways
MIAMI -- By trading Justin Bour to the Phillies on Friday for prospect McKenzie Mills, the Marlins added more depth to their system.
With just under three weeks remaining until the Aug. 31 revocable waiver trade deadline, Miami remains open to making even more moves.
"We're pretty open, we're always looking for ways to get better," president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "If there is an opportunity out there, we'll pursue it. At this point, we're just seeing if there is anything out there that makes sense."
Mills is a 22-year-old left-hander and has reported to Double-A Jacksonville.
The plan is to have Mills be part of the rotation, but his path to the big leagues may ultimately be in the bullpen. Mills' fastball topped at 95 mph as a starter, but if he relieves, the thinking is it can track higher, if he gives max effort for an inning or two.
Mills' role could eventually become similar to that of Adam Conley, who has become a late-inning option for the Marlins, and a potential closer.
Had the Marlins not traded Bour before Aug. 31, he would have been a non-tender candidate, as his $3.4 million salary in his first year eligible for arbitration was expected to jump to more than $5 million. So rather than risk not getting anything for the 30-year-old first baseman, Miami made the move.
The Marlins are looking for more versatile and athletic options at first base. For now, Derek Dietrich is playing first. But Miami may still trade Dietrich before the end of the month. Right-hander Dan Straily and second baseman Starlin Castro are two other potential August trade candidates.
The Marlins already have made three trades in recent weeks.
At the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Marlins made two deals. Reliever Brad Ziegler was traded to the D-backs for right-handed reliever Tommy Eveld, who is at Double-A. And outfielder Cameron Maybin went to the Mariners for infielder Bryson Brigman and $250,000 of international free-agent signing pool money. Brigman is at Class A Advanced Jupiter.
Since last year, the Marlins have made several trades that brought in 27 new players to the organization. That number is now 30, counting the three deals since July 31.
"We just didn't have that upper-level depth," Hill said. "We didn't have depth anywhere. We talk so much about layering the talent, and having the talent from the low Minors up to the big leagues. It's imperative. You don't have a sustainable product, unless you have layers and waves of talent coming in. That's something we've been able to accomplish in pretty short order."
Several of the young players acquired over the past year have already reached the big leagues, including outfielder Magneuris Sierra and right-hander Pablo Lopez. Outfielder Lewis Brinson, first baseman/outfielder Garrett Cooper and left-hander Caleb Smith were also acquired through trades, but all three are on the disabled list.
"We're excited about all the young players," Hill said. "Some of them we see on display in the big leagues now. The fans in South Florida can see that. We're very excited to add depth."
• Kyle Barraclough (lower back stiffness) threw a light bullpen session on Saturday. The reliever said he may be ready to come off the disabled list after his 10 days are up. The club doesn't believe the issue is serious and will continue to monitor the right-hander.
• Shortstop prospect Jose Devers, ranked as Miami's No. 12 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, was recently promoted to Jupiter. But the 18-year-old is dealing with a tired arm from throwing, and the organization is weighing whether to place him on the disabled list. Devers has already made tremendous strides, moving from Class A Greensboro to Jupiter, and the organization isn't taking any chances with him.
• Hard-throwing right-hander Jorge Guzman will likely finish the season at Jupiter. With Mills at Jacksonville, there isn't a need at this point for another pitcher. So Guzman, Miami's No. 5-ranked prospect, may finish out the season with the Hammerheads.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.