Marlins’ Future Bright Amid Disappointing Season

You could hear the overreaction from fans across the state.

“Let the fire sale begin!”

An hour before the first pitch of Miami’s game against the Braves on Monday, the team announced via twitter a lineup change. Missing from the lineup was second baseman Omar Infante. The rumors began to circulate and we
soon learned he along with starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez had been traded to the Detroit Tigers.

Four months in and the Marlins look like a team who may have set the bar too high.

Trading away two quality starters signals this Marlins team isn’t where it wanted to be when the season started. It also signals their need to take a step back in order to move forward and have this team competing at a higher level. But that doesn’t mean this team is beginning another fire sale. The organization can’t afford to do so. Not after the promise it has made to it’s fan base of building a winner. And while ace Josh Johnson is rumored to be on the market, even trading him shouldn’t signal a fire sale.

Unlike the days of the Florida Marlins, the Miami Marlins are trading quality players away but they’re trying to get better and not just clear cap space.

In the trade for Infante and Sanchez, the Marlins received the Tigers’ top pitching prospect in Jacob Turner as well as two other prospects: catcher Rob Brantly, and left-handed
pitcher Brian Flynn.

Of the three, Turner could pay the biggest dividends before seasons end. The ninth overall pick in the 2009 draft, Turner has had a brief career in the majors making just three starts this year. But in his last start came on Sunday and he showed flashes of potential and recorded his first career win. Only 21-years-old, Turner’s potential is limitless. Scouts say he has the body to project to the next level with a good low 90’s fastball. If he can continue to develop his other pitches and put it all together, Turner could be the anchor of Miami’s pitching staff for years to come. He’ll begin his Marlins career with Triple-A New Orleans but don’t expect him to be there long.

While Turner is the jewel of this trade, Rob Brantly could prove to be just as valuable. Entering the year Brantly was ranked the 16th-best prospect in the Tigers organization. Their best catching prospect has now become Miami’s best major league-ready catching prospect. The Marlins currently have John Buck handling plate duties and while he is serviceable, Miami continues to look for their catcher of the future. Scouts say Brantly has a good eye at the plate with a quick and compact swing who could hit for power in the future as his game develops but could be more of a gap hitter.

Like Turner, Brantly will also begin his Marlins career in New Orleans and he too could be making his major league debut before seasons end.

Thoughts of contending for a title this year are a distant memory.

But at least management recognized a shakeup was needed and in doing so they hope they’ve improved the team for a better run next year.