An interesting rumor regarding the Colorado Rockies surfaced prior to New Year’s Eve, as Jon Heyman reported the team had discussed acquiring RHP Edward Cabrera from the Miami Marlins. Heyman noted that Brendan Rodgers was the player Miami sought in return while also mentioning Colorado’s management entertaining the idea of a reunion with OF Corey Dickerson.
Let’s table the Dickerson idea (because…why?) and focus on the real meat on the bone: the Rodgers-for-Cabrera rumor.
In October, I wrote about the concept of moving Rodgers for a young, top-of-the-rotation-caliber starter with Cabrera and the Marlins as the exact type of player and trade partner in mind. Although he has less than 100 career major league innings to his name, the 6’5” Cabrera has physical tools that pop off-the-chart, resulting in a 25% strikeout-rate against MLB hitters in his young career. Plus, he is under team control through 2028, which fits much more in-line with a possible Rockies window of contention than Rodgers, who will be eligible for free agency after the 2025 season.
Cabrera isn’t the only talented young arm the Marlins have at their disposal, either. Sandy Alcantara headlines the group and is virtually untouchable for other teams after his Cy Young 2022 season. But beyond their ace, the Marlins still have a productive veteran in Pablo López through the 2024 season to pair with Braxton Garrett, Jesús Luzardo, Max Meyer, Trevor Rodgers and Sixto Sánchez who are all under control through 2025 or beyond.
Some, most notably Sánchez, still have major questions regarding their health or production to answer. But overall it is a large pool of talented starters, making someone like Cabrera expendable to improve their offense, which scored the third-fewest runs in baseball last season.
This is what has made a deal between Colorado and Miami a fit all along; hitting for pitching. The Marlins need bats to score more runs for their emerging pitching core while the Rockies need more talented arms to pair with the offensive prospects they’re betting on for future success.
But the Marlins have not sat around, waiting for Colorado to woo them with an offer. The team has worked to address its subpar infield by acquiring two former top-100 prospects – Jordan Groshans (acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays at the 2022 deadline) and Xavier Edwards (acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in November) – before signing veteran free agent Jean Segura to a 2-year, $17 million deal. All of this is meant to better support their most established young piece, Jazz Chisolm Jr., who is expected to return healthy next season after playing just 60 games in his 2022 All-Star campaign.
Maybe there is still smoke coming from the fire of this rumor that we don’t know about and a deal between the two sides can be made for Cabrera or one of their other prominent young hurlers. But it makes more sense that the conversations between Colorado and Miami were previously held, with the Segura signing indicating Miami’s intention to go a different route.
So while a deal for a premium Miami starter may no longer be the fit it was at the start of the off-season, that doesn’t mean a trade of this caliber isn’t still worth exploring for the Rockies’ front office. Hopefully, we’ll catch wind of more discussions the club is involved in before Spring Training kicks off at the end of February.
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Mark Polishuk recently took the time to go over how each MLB organization has addressed their worst-performing position last season. In the National League segment of the league rundown, Polishuk highlighted the Rockies catching situation and the front office’s apparent lack of urgency to attend to it:
Rockies (Catcher, 0.1 bWAR): There hasn’t been much buzz about the Rox getting involved in the catching market, so it seems likely the team will just run it back and hope for better results from Elias Diaz and backup Brian Serven. Diaz signed a three-year, $14.5MM extension in November 2021, and followed up that long-term pact by hitting only .228/.281/.368 over 381 plate appearances. Given the lack of MLB experience on the catching depth chart, the Rockies will probably sign at least one veteran backstop to a minor league deal, if for no other reason than to provide Serven with some competition in Spring Training.
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