The Marlins always seem to have promising young stars. Shoot, there was an article I saw the other day that showed that back in 2019, they actually traded away what would have been a playoff team. The reason I bring it up is that even if a player is young, the Marlins history suggests they would trade them away early if it could net them prospects. This is why I think that the Mariners should call them and ask about Pablo Lopez.
I know this is going to be his age-26 season, so he is still relatively young and has yet to reach his prime. He is also entering his first arb season, so he is likely to make somewhere in the range of $20-25 million over the next three years, depending on how well he does.
Is that enough incentive for the Marlins to trade him away, and hope to find a couple of younger pieces that they can insert into their already strong farm system? I think that it actually is. The Mariners would still have to give up a decent amount, but I do think that Lopez would be available, and available for a reasonable price.
How good has Lopez been, though? It can be hard enough to stay familiar with everyone in baseball. Especially the players on the lesser-known teams. Before we get to what it would take to get him, we should look at how he has done so far in the majors. The biggest issue so far has been innings pitched, as he has only gone 21, 12, 20 over the last three seasons, missing about 20 starts.
Over the last two seasons, he has thrown 160 IP with a 3.26 ERA, a 3.22 FIP, and a 1.144 WHIP. His walk rate is fine at 2.5, and he is pushing 10K/9 (9.8 K/9). All of his surface stats got better in 2021, and it seems like he is only going to improve as he approaches his late 20s.
I’m not that worried about the missed starts, as they came from a rotator cuff strain. That’s not an injury that you need to be too worried about, as long as the player rehabs correctly and takes their throwing regimen seriously. It’s why I’d be willing to give up a fair amount for Lopez.
I can see Taylor Trammell as a piece that the Marlins would be interested in. He’s under team control through 2024, and then his arbitration starts, meaning that they will have rights to him through 2027. That’s a lot of overall control, and a great opportunity for the Marlins to find out what they have in Trammell, and either move him for younger pieces in a few years or have a solid outfielder for their team. Trammell was a top 100 guy last year, so it’s not like he is a bust, either.
Then, Levi Stoudt, who could definitely jump up the rankings when they are released in a couple of months. He is sort of hidden away in the Mariners system behind the better-known group of Hancock, Kirby, Williamson, and Brash, but he is still darn good. He’s like inside the top 150 in all of baseball, and I personally feel like he has a legit shot at top-70 come 2023, the same year he is supposed to debut.
Should the Mariners go after Pablo Lopez? He’s likely available if the Mariners are serious about it, and the report is that the Marlins are willing to listen. If the Mariners were to get him, they could end up with one of the youngest, and strongest, staffs in all of baseball.