Bleday to Sign (Misner likely, too)
Playing in the College World Series was a valid reason for the Marlins and fourth-overall pick J.J. Bleday to delay contract negotiations after the Draft in early June. Even though a deal was expected to be announced swiftly after the Vanderbilt outfielder wrapped up the title in Omaha, the deadline to sign draft picks (5 p.m. ET today) has been quickly approaching. You can breathe a sigh of relief, however, as a deal has been reportedly been struck, and should be announced in the next few hours. Kameron Misner, the 35th pick, is also tipped to put pen to paper today, but the fact that he was a potential top ten pick before his mediocre junior year—meaning he could return to Missouri to prove himself worthy of a bigger signing bonus in the Draft next year—makes his acquisition less than certain.
Trade Deadline Strategy
As expected, the Marlins are out of the playoff race as the second half of the season begins, so they will definitely be labeled as “sellers” at the trade deadline in a few weeks’ time. The team has numerous talented, high-ceiling pitchers both on the major league roster and down in the minor leagues, but it is offense which is currently holding the big league team back. The organization will almost certainly be looking to acquire big bats that they can slot into the middle of the order, and they might deal from their strength in order to do so.
Starlin the Trade Chip?
Having been a trade candidate seemingly ever since he first put on a Marlins jersey last year, many thought that Starlin Castro’s poor first half (.245/.272/.336) would cause his market value and trade appeal to nosedive. On the other hand, 19 hits over his last 15 games before the break may have piqued the interest of some contenders, as Miami has been fielding a few calls on the veteran infielder. With a replacement ready and waiting in Isan Diaz, the Marlins may not have to release Castro to make way for their sixth-rated prospect after all.
New Ballpark Safety Measures
After extending the netting down the baselines prior to the season, the Marlins are aiming to further improve fan safety at the ballpark by adding security barriers and checkpoints along the perimeter of the West Plaza prior to game time. This process will come into effect immediately, so be sure to arrive at Marlins Park early moving forward to avoid any possible delays.
Minor League Roundup
Major league action is set to pick up again tonight, but Miami’s minor league affiliates have been plugging away all week. Roster transactions have been occurring at quite a rate as more and more prospects continue to develop and advance up the minor league ladder, and better results are being seen almost across the board.
For instance, Single-A Clinton, now laced with talent after the arrival of some 2019 Draft picks, are now one of the hottest teams in their league. They’ve won their last four games to move into a playoff spot. Longtime organizational hitting coach Frank Moore has played a role in that and sat down with Erik Oas earlier in the week.
Baseball is back in town tonight as the Fish take on the Mets at 7:10 p.m. at Marlins Park. The scheduled starters are Caleb Smith (4-4, 3.50 ERA) for Miami, and Jason Vargas (3-4, 3.77 ERA) for New York.