The MLB trade deadline is less than a week away. The SF Giants remain in a tightly packed race for the National League West crown. On the other side of the country, the Miami Marlins find themselves in the cellar of the NL East and 15 games below .500. While the Marlins found their way to the postseason in 2021, they are clearly set to be cellars this summer. What could a few trades look like between these two teams?
SF Giants: Five potential trades with the Miami Marlins
1. Starling Marte
Starling Marte has been as good as ever this season with the Marlins, hitting .303/.403/.452 with seven home runs and 21 stolen bases in 62 games. On the defensive side of the ball, Marte may not be the same player he was when he won back-to-back Gold Gloves in 2015-2016, but per Statcast’s Outs Above Average, he remains one of the best defensive center fielders in the league.
One of the best available players on the market this summer; it makes perfect sense that the SF Giants were already tied to Marte last week. Making $12 million in the final year of his contract, his market is unlikely to yield the Marlins a significant return. In fact, given Miami’s focus on returning to postseason contention quickly, the Giants might be able to use more of their upper minors and MLB depth pieces to help swing a deal.
While none of the trio of prospects in this package ranked among the Giants top 31 prospects heading into the season, Diego Rincones and R.J. Dabovich would easily slot into the group after some exceptional starts to 2021. Just as importantly, both players are just 22 and have already reached Double-A.
Dabovich has quickly emerged as one of the best relief-pitching prospects in the organization. He generates fantastic spin on all his pitches to help his high-90s fastball and power curveball form a lethal strikeout combination. After starting the year at High-A, where Dabovich struck out an absurd 60.2% of batters he faced, he’s struggled a bit since reaching Double-A, posting a 5.84 ERA across 12.1 innings of work. However, Dabovich has still posted a 35.2% strikeout rate and has actually cut his walks since his promotion. In fact, advanced metrics like FIP (2.99) and xFIP (3.99) are both far higher on his performance with the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
Rincones has always had a plus arm and fantastic bat-to-ball skills, but questions about his range and power potential left him on the fringes of most prospect rankings. This season, though, Rincones has consistently impacted the ball in the minors and for the Venezuelan Olympic qualifying team. Rincones hit .300/.385/.533 in 25 games at High-A before he was promoted to Richmond, where he’s still posted a .822 OPS despite playing in one of the most pitcher-friendly environments in the minor leagues and recording a .270 BABIP.
Grant McCray was the Giants third-round pick in 2019, with the potential for above-average tools across the board in center field. However, without a minor-league season in 2020, there are questions about whether the 20-year-old will ever be able to put it together. Still, he could easily be replaced by another low-level flier the Marlins prefer.
This package may lack punch and upside, and there may be some other players in other proposals that could get a deal done. Still, it’s harder to find two prospects in the Giants system with closer proximity to the big leagues and youth on their side quite like Dabovich and Rincones.