Red Sox and Marlins discussed trade scenarios, with recent reports indicating Sox interested in infield veterans Joey Wendle and Miguel Rojas. It appears they also discussed a much bigger trade, with the Fish attempting to acquire a young first baseman. Triston Casasaccording to a report by Barry Jackson and Craig Mish of the Miami Herald.
Given that Wendle and Rojas are both in their thirties and impending free agents, their trade value would be quite modest. Casas, however, will turn 23 later this month, he still has six years left in control and is generally considered one of the top 50 prospects in the game. If he were to be involved in a trade, it would surely go beyond a deal for Rojas or Wendle. The Herald report says Miami attempted to untie Casas from Boston in discussions involving their starting pitchers.
There is no indication that Boston is open to negotiating Casas or has ever seriously considered overtures from Miami. Still, it should be noted that such a monumental deal was even discussed. The Marlins have reportedly been trying to use their rotation surplus to increase their roster for a while, but have yet to reach a deal to their liking. While the ace Sandy Alcantara and best prospect Eury Perez would be banned, Pisces seems willing to part ways with one of the Pablo Lopez, Jesus Luzardo, Trevor Rogers or Edward Cabrera in a trade that would give them an impact bat and targeted Casas to be that guy.
The 26th overall pick in the 2018 draft, Casas worked his way up the minor league ranks and reached the majors last year at the age of 22. , but he also walked 20% of the time and threw five home runs in just 27 games. His slant line of .197/.358/.408 resulted in a 120 wRC+, indicating he was 20% better than the league average. It’s a very small sample size, but it also hit very well in the miners. In 72 Triple-A games last year, he hit .273/.382/.481 for a wRC+ of 127.
While it makes sense that the Marlins would be interested in such an exciting young player, it also makes sense that the Sox would want to keep him. Boston acquired Eric Hosmer of the Padres at last year’s deadline, but then were impressed enough with Casas’ debut to release Hosmer in December. Suddenly pivoting and including Casas in a trade would be quite shocking.
The Marlins are also potentially interested in Ceddanne Rafaela, another highly touted Boston prospect but farther removed from the majors. The 22-year-old infielder/outfielder reached Double-A in 2022 and should be ready for Triple-A exposure this year. He’s generally not ranked as highly as Casas, but he still has some hype, with Baseball America currently listing him as the No. 78 prospect in all of baseball and MLB Pipeline placing him in the No. 96 slot. , Jackson and Mish report that the Marlins prioritize improving the 2023 team, which makes Rafaela less attractive to them than the MLB-ready Casas.
The general framework for a trade is not entirely inconceivable, in the sense that the Sox could surely use the starting pitch the Marlins have to offer. Chris Sale and James Paxton have barely launched in the last three years while the recent signer Corey Kluber is about to turn 37 and has his own injury question marks. Garret Whitlock has worked well in relief but appears to be headed for rotation despite only nine career MLB starts at this point in his career. Nick Pivette is arguably the most reliable member of the group, but he has never posted an ERA below 4.53. It would make sense to add a little more insurance to this group, but it seems that the acquisition costs discussed with Miami are high.
While the Marlins have enough starting pitches to interest the Red Sox and many other teams in the league, these discussions may give us some insight into why a deal still hasn’t worked out, given their high price. With those talks yet to bear fruit, the club have been limited to free agency in their pursuit of upgrading an offense that produced an 88 wRC+ in 2022, good enough for 25th place. of the league.
The club had known an interest in Jose Abreu, with Jackson and Mish reporting that they offered a two-year deal worth around $40 million. Instead, Abreu joined the Astros on a three-year contract with a similar salary, equivalent to a guaranteed $58.5 million. The Marlins then pivoted to Justin Turner and offered him a one-year contract worth $15 million. He instead joined the Red Sox on a deal that nets him $15 million in 2023, but also has a 2024 player option that would push his guarantee to $21.7 million over two years. The fish would also have offered Brandon Dry $19 million over two years, but he ended up accepting a slightly lower $17 million contract with the Angels. It had recently been reported by Sam Blum and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that Drury grew up as an Angels fan and also had a pre-existing relationship with Angels manager Phil Nevin from when Nevin led the Triple-team. Has Diamondbacks that Drury was. in 2015 and 2016. After missing out on Abreu, Turner and Drury, the Marlins then reached a deal with Jean Segura.
While Segura is a solid addition, it looks like the Marlins are still trying to complete a big trade that will have an even bigger impact on their roster. It doesn’t seem likely that Casas will be the only one, but it gives some idea of the type of impact player they have their eyes on. With around six weeks left before spring training, it will be very interesting to see what other players they pursue and if they can line up on a deal.