What would a potential Red Sox-Marlins trade look like?
The Marlins are seeking two types of players – outfielders and controllable, young talent. This list excludes prospects as the Marlins are said to be seeking improvements to the 2023 team (per Jackson and Mish). Perhaps the Marlins see Ceddanne Rafaela as someone who could contribute soon, but they may just be exploring how willing the Red Sox are to include him. Still, unless the return is Pablo Lopez, Rafaela should be off limit in these talks. As should Triston Casas.
The Red Sox don’t have a surplus of outfielders on the roster, but they do have two players the Marlins could be interested in – Alex Verdugo and Jarren Duran. Given that Verdugo is just a few months older than the former top prospect Duran, neither is really a “controllable young star,” but Duran is under team control through the 2028 season, while Verdugo is only under control through 2024. That raises Duran’s value, though he really doesn’t have much trade value. The 26-year-old has failed to catch on in the majors, hitting just .221/.283/.363 in 2022 with below average defense. Verdugo could be more likely to go.
Red Sox-Marlins Trade No. 1
Red Sox Acquire: SP Trevor Rogers, INF Joey Wendle
Marlins Acquire: OF Alex Verdugo
This is a trade to land both a pitcher and a middle infielder. From the Marlins’ perspective, they keep their four best starters with plenty of options for a #5 starter, and they lose a backup utility infielder, while gaining a starting outfielder with two years of control. From the Red Sox perspective, they add a starter with more upside than Nick Pivetta and a 2B to rotate with Christian Arroyo, but the outfield is left in poor shape with Jarren Duran stepping up in RF barring another addition. This trade doesn’t help or hurt either team too much.
Red Sox-Marlins Trade No. 2
Red Sox Acquire: SP Edward Cabrera, INF Joey Wendle
Marlins Acquire: OF Alex Verdugo, 1B Bobby Dalbec
Would the Marlins be willing to give up Edward Cabrera for this? Well, considering they discussed moving him for Brendan Rodgers before signing Jean Segura (per Jon Heyman, NY Post), the Marlins are willing to move Cabrera if it fills a need. Not only does this help their outfield, but the Marlins would also add Bobby Dalbec, a year removed from 25 HR and a .792 OPS, to play first base. The Red Sox again add their new SP and 2B, and with Casas ready to takeover at 1B, Dalbec is expendable. This trade would depend on whether the Marlins get a better offer, but both teams benefit in this scenario.
Red Sox-Marlins Trade No. 3
Red Sox Acquire: SP Pablo Lopez
Marlins Acquire: 1B Triston Casas
This is probably the offer the Marlins were seeking Triston Casas in. Are the Marlins seeking a Tyler Mahle level return of several mid-range prospects, or a Luis Castillo level return of a top-25 prospect? Given that they’re even asking about Casas, the Marlins have a high price tag on Lopez. Perhaps too high of a price tag. This is not a trade the Red Sox can afford to make, as Casas has the talent to be one of the cornerstones of the Red Sox’ lineup in the coming years.
The first two trade scenarios are the likeliest, but regardless, the Red Sox aren’t making a trade with the Marlins without giving up MLB-ready talent. This shows why the two sides are yet to make a trade, and why they might not be able to reach a deal. If the Red Sox and Marlins can find middle ground, however, the Marlins are an excellent partner for the Red Sox to booster both their rotation and middle infield depth.