It’s been widely reported over the past several months — really, dating back to last offseason — that the Marlins are open to dealing from their wealth of starting pitching depth in order to solidify other needs on the roster. That’s led to righty Pablo Lopez, who drew strong interest from the Yankees and the Dodgers at the trade deadline, being one of the most heavily speculated-upon trade candidates of the 2022-23 offseason. However, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes in his latest Marlins notebook column that the team may be more open to moving left-hander Trevor Rogers than Lopez.
The 25-year-old Rogers is coming off a down year — nowhere near the excellent season enjoyed by Lopez — but would appeal to other teams in a different capacity. While acquiring Lopez would likely require trading a bevy of prospects for a pitcher at his value’s peak, Rogers is more of a buy-low option on the heels of a down 2022 season. The former first-round pick was an All-Star and the NL Rookie of the Year runner-up to Jonathan India in 2021, when he tossed 133 innings of 2.64 ERA ball with a hefty 28.6% strikeout rate and a solid enough 8.4% walk rate.
The 2022 season was a brutal sophomore campaign for Rogers, however. Back spasms and a lat strain prompted a pair of IL stints for the 6’5″ lefty, and his results when healthy enough to take the mound didn’t even come close to that brilliant rookie output. In 107 innings, Rogers worked to a 5.47 ERA that was more than double his 2021 mark, and his strikeout rate fell by more than six percentage points (to 22.2%) while his walk rate crept up to 9.4%. After allowing just 0.41 homers per nine innings in 2021 (1.1% of his opponents took him deep), Rogers yielded an average of 1.26 homers per nine frames (3.1%).
In addition to the discrepancy between the pair’s 2022 seasons, Lopez is under team control for only two more years and is projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn $5.6MM in his second year of arbitration. Rogers, meanwhile, is not yet arbitration-eligible and can be controlled for another four seasons. Both players would be highly appealing to the majority of clubs seeking rotation help this offseason, but a win-now club might feel better about plugging the veteran Lopez into its rotation, as he’s coming off a career-high 180 innings and has worked to a combined 3.52 ERA (3.48 FIP, 3.69 SIERA) over his past three seasons combined.
As was the case last offseason, it’s not a…