To trade a closer who is about to get too expensive in a market where many teams want a closer is a reasonable move for the Miami Marlins to make. As far as the business of baseball is concerned, that move is arguably a no-brainer given the relative ease with which teams can replace pieces in the bullpen, especially a team with organizational depth like the Marlins.
There might be a rather huge problem with that plan, however. The Marlins would like to sign Giancarlo Stanton to a long-term extension this off-season, but according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the team would hurt their chances to do so if they traded Cishek.
Trading closer Steve Cishek, according to a major league source, might send the wrong message to Stanton, especially if the return is a haul of prospects, which is what the Padres received from the Angels in their trade for closer Huston Street a few days ago.
“I don’t think there’s much chance Stanton ends up staying (long-term) with the Marlins, anyway,” the source said. “But if they do move Cishek, what’s that telling him (Stanton)? If they traded Cishek, they could pretty much kiss him (Stanton) goodbye.”
Given the market, trading a closer for prospects does not necessarily have to signal that the team is not ready to win now or soon. But unless the Marlins can persuade Stanton about the nuances of such a trade, it sounds like it would be a risky move as they try to build a future around the 24-year-old superstar.