8:57pm: In a separate column, Rosenthal reports that Miami and the Royals discussed the framework of a trade that would’ve sent the southpaw to Kansas City and first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino to South Florida during the Winter Meetings. It doesn’t appear that those conversations are still going, as the Royals instead addressed their rotation with free agent adds of Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha.
Pasqunatino, who owns a .272/.355/.444 slash in 558 career plate appearances, saw his second big league season cut short by surgery to repair a labrum tear in his right shoulder. He remains under team control for five years.
The Miami rotation has been a frequent nexus point of rumors in recent years, which has continued into this winter. Just last month, Rosenthal reported on the same concept, highlighting Edward Cabrera and Trevor Rogers as possible trade candidates. At that time, Rosenthal portrayed Luzardo as likely off-limits, but his report from today seems to suggest it may not be totally off the table after all.
Rosenthal suggests that Peter Bendix, the club’s new president of baseball operations, might have more willingness to consider a trade than now-former general manager Kim Ng. As Rosenthal points out, Bendix came to the Marlins from the Rays, a club that has generally been unafraid to trade players at peak value. For instance, in 2018, they traded Chris Archer to the Pirates for Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows and Shane Baz. They later sent Meadows to the Tigers for Isaac Paredes and are in the process of trading Glasnow to the Dodgers at this very moment.
If Bendix has any intention of bringing a similar operating style to Miami, then considering a Luzardo deal can become plausible in that light. He has three years of club control remaining, with MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projecting a salary of $5.9MM in 2024. He will be due raises in the two following seasons before he’s slated to reach free agency after 2026. Since he’s going to get more expensive as his control dwindles, his trade value right now is likely as high as it will get.
Of course, beyond the contractual situation, there is the on-field stuff to consider. Luzardo posted a 3.32 earned run average in 18 starts last year, then a 3.58 ERA in 32 starts here in 2023. He struck out 28.7% of batters faced over those two years while walking just 7.9% and keeping…