2. SP Pablo Lopez
The Marlins have to trade one pitcher, right? They can’t hit! Let’s say the Luis Castillo trade talks with the Reds don’t materialize … then perhaps Miami can help out the Yankees.
There’s no reason to think the Marlins wouldn’t consider trading right-hander Pablo Lopez, who could be a solid consolation prize (or even in addition to Castillo, if more crazy stuff happens) that would help lengthen the Yankees’ rotation. Everyone’s forgotten about him, too! What was once a heavily discussed trade candidate, Lopez too a back seat to Castillo and other top names.
Lopez is 6-5 with a 3.14 ERA, 3.75 FIP, 1.09 WHIP and 107 strikeouts in 19 starts (109 innings). The presence of Sandy Alcantara and the emergence of Braxton Garrett would lessen the blow should Miami part with Lopez, who is under club control through 2024 (his age-28 season). Do the Marlins really need Lopez these next two years? They’re still so far off from contention.
The only blemish on Lopez’s profile is his propensity to give up hard contact. Otherwise, he’s got a five-pitch mix that gets hitters to chase and swing and miss. If Blake and Co. can help him cut down on the walks, then we’re looking at a significantly better version of the right-hander.
The Marlins are 11-8 in Lopez starts this year, but in five of those games, the offense has provided one or fewer run across ALL nine innings. Safe to say he’ll have much more help in New York alongside the league’s best offense.
Castillo is far from a foregone conclusion for the Yankees, which makes Lopez — despite the fact he doesn’t have a “big game” resume — a secondary priority for New York.