Miami eyes Sanchez, more at Futures Game
Trade Deadline decisions loom on Romo, Walker, Grandy, others
ATLANTA -- In 2017, the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game was played at Marlins Park, and representing the Marlins that afternoon were third-base prospect Brian Anderson and reliever Tayron Guerrero.
As it turns out, a future Marlins outfielder also was on the field that day, then representing the Brewers. Lewis Brinson was part of the Futures Game, and after that season, the native of Coral Springs, Fla., was traded to the Marlins as part of the Christian Yelich trade.
The 2019 Futures Game was played Sunday night at Progressive Field in Cleveland, and the Marlins saw their No. 1 prospect -- right-hander Sixto Sanchez – and No. 6 prospect, second baseman Isan Diaz -- playing for the National League squad. Sanchez pitched 2/3 of an inning and gave up one hit. Diaz went 0-for-3 with a walk.
But with the July 31 Trade Deadline looming, and the Marlins open to making deals, some potential trade targets for Miami may have been competing for other organizations in the Futures Game.
That’s why the Marlins were heavily scouting the contest.
“We’ll be well represented at the Futures Game, evaluating all the talent on the field,” Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said on Sunday afternoon. “I think it’s another opportunity just to see the best players in the game, and see them competing against one another. So, you get to see the best talent, and how they perform and react, and respond to comparably talented players.”
The Marlins had a third player initially scheduled to compete for the National League team, but he was scratched due to injury. Triple-A New Orleans outfielder Monte Harrison has been placed on the seven-day injured list with a right wrist injury.
Harrison and Diaz are currently teammates at New Orleans, and Sanchez is at Double-A Jacksonville.
Brinson, Harrison, Diaz and right-hander Jordan Yamamoto (currently in Miami’s rotation) rounded out the Yelich trade.
Trade Deadline decisions ahead
Sunday afternoon's 4-3 loss to the Braves at SunTrust Park wraps up the first half for the Marlins, and after the All-Star break, the organization will gear up for a potentially busy period heading into the Trade Deadline.
Reliever Sergio Romo, infielder Neil Walker and outfielder Curtis Granderson are each on one-year contracts and will be free agents after the season. Second baseman Starlin Castro has a one-year club option after the 2019 season. Third baseman Martin Prado (currently on the injured list with a right hamstring strain) also has his three-year contract expiring.
They are the most likely candidates to be dealt by the end of the month.
“When you think about this time of year, you know that expiring contracts are ones that are often attractive,” Hill said. “But when you are talking about [who] gets traded at this time of year, a lot of the time, it’s [from the] bullpen, and people are looking for starting pitching. We have -- albeit some of it injured -- some starting pitching depth, and we have some interesting relievers as well. I think it will just be a matter of continuing to talk with my counterparts to see what their needs are and to see if there’s a fit.”
The Marlins have surplus starters, and they will listen to inquiries, but Miami likely won’t actually make a trade unless another club is willing to overpay. Miami is in the market for middle-of-the-order hitters.
Left-hander Caleb Smith and right-hander Trevor Richards each have five years of club control remaining, as does All-Star Sandy Alcantara. It would take a serious offer from another club to pry any of the three away.
“We understand where we are, organizationally,” Hill said. “I think we have some interesting pieces, from an assets standpoint. We’ll just look to be as opportunistic as we can, and maximize value for our assets, knowing where we want to go.”