Miami Marlins Fire Sale: Would Marlins Really Trade Core Players To Shed Salary At MLB Trade Deadline?

Could a Miami Marlins fire sale really take place before the MLB trade deadline this July? Several new Miami Marlins trade rumors have surfaced, suggesting that the team is taking offers on some key players to the roster. This suggests that the front office is looking to make some drastic changes to the team, but would the franchise really go through another fire sale this soon after the last one?

A report by CBS Sports states that Miami Marlins trades involving Christian Yelich, J.T. Realmuto, and Marcell Ozuna could actually take place this summer. It furthers a report made by baseball analyst Ken Rosenthal, who noted that the Marlins could quickly become “sellers” if the team isn’t in the Wild Card race this summer. This also joins prior Marlins trade rumors about the team possibly willing to listen to trade offers for Giancarlo Stanton.

On the surface, news of yet another Miami Marlins fire sale isn’t that surprising to anyone who has been paying attention to the franchise over the past 20 years. The team has a cyclical nature, where one year it is overspending in free agency to win a title and the next year the front office is selling off those parts for future prospects. Has the time, once again, arrived for the Marlins to start selling off pieces in order to keep the salary costs low?

Despite a really good game against the Pittsburgh Pirates and starting pitcher Gerrit Cole on Thursday (June 8), the Miami Marlins are still way back in the updated National League Standings. The Marlins have a 26-33 record that has the team nine games behind the Washington Nationals (38-21) in the NL East. It’s not an insurmountable deficit for the division lead, but it’s really far back for the team to be at the beginning of June. Things don’t look a lot better in the NL Wild Card race.

The Arizona Diamondbacks (37-25) and Los Angeles Dodgers (36-25) are the two NL Wild Card teams so far, putting the Marlins nine games behind the Dodgers and nine-and-a-half games behind the Diamondbacks. This is a primary reason why there are suddenly so many Miami Marlins trade rumors, as the team just doesn’t have the talent to compete against a group of improved teams. That doesn’t even count the Chicago Cubs (30-29), as they are yet another team that the Marlins would have to catch just to get back in the race for the postseason.

The Miami Marlins’ payroll is at just about $114 million for the 2017 MLB season, but that number could climb by quite a bit over the next few years. Without even taking into account a number of arbitration cases that the Marlins have to deal with in the offseason, the franchise already has a payroll of $97.9 million for 2018. That includes built-in raises for Giancarlo Stanton and Martin Prado, pushing their salaries to $25 million and $13.5 million respectively.

All that money already on the payroll is for only eight players and it doesn’t include catcher J.T. Realmuto or outfielder Marcell Ozuna. Realmuto is heading into arbitration for the first time and as one of the better catchers in Major League Baseball could be getting very expensive. Ozuna is up for his second try at arbitration, looking for a raise from his $3.5 million salary in the 2017 MLB season. Closer A.J. Ramos will be in his third arbitration year and will want a raise from his salary of $6.55 million in 2017.

If it’s true that the Marlins are looking to cut costs again, then the MLB trade deadline could become quite busy. There will be a lot of suitors for Christian Yelich, J.T. Realmuto, and Marcell Ozuna, especially since they come with team control. Many baseball experts will state that the Marlins should just be patient and look to add more pitching for 2018 and beyond, but that isn’t something that the franchise has ever been good at. Barring an impressive winning streak taking place soon, a Miami Marlins fire sale could take place in less than a month.

[Featured Image by Justin Berl/Getty Images]

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