Kim Ng explains the Miami Marlins trade deadline plan, and the approach

Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng looks during the team's first full spring training session at Roger Dean Stadium on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 in Jupiter, Florida.

Miami Marlins general manager Kim Ng looks during the team’s first full spring training session at Roger Dean Stadium on Tuesday, March 15, 2022 in Jupiter, Florida.

The Miami Marlins synchronized have a losing track record and are on the sidelines of the playoffs race with just over two months left in the regular season.

With that in mind, the Marlins — at least from the perspective of General Manager Kim Ng and Manager Don Mattingly — don’t count themselves out of the playoffs just yet as Major League Baseball’s commercial deadline approaches.

“I’m not sure if we’re going to be an obvious buyer or an obvious seller,” said Ng, who noted that she thought the Marlins had a “very outside chance” of a playoff tour. “It’s a little more complicated than that.”

And they have, in part, an extra place to thank for that.

MLB’s expansion this season from 10 teams to 12 – each of the division champions and the next three teams with the best record in each league – has given more teams the opportunity to be in a competitive position as the calendar turns to August and the regular season enters its final extension.

Among that group is the Marlins.

Even with entering a 47-53 game record on Saturday against the New York Mets, the Marlins are just six games behind the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals. for third place in the National League. That number would have been eight and a half games a year ago when each league had only two teams running as wild cards.

That is why Ing said the Marlins are preparing for any possible situation before the 6pm trading deadline on Tuesday.

“The trade deadline is always a challenge, because you’re always trying to improve the club in some way,” said Ng.

Mattingly hopes this means improvement in the present. He said the wild card race is something he talks to the club about “a lot,” especially considering the Marlins are 15 and a half games. Behind the Mets To lead NL East.

“It’s a realistic thing,” Mattingly said. “Think of five or six [games], This is possible. We will play against some of the teams in front of us. All of these things are doable for us.”

The Marlins are still at odds – loosely as one would like to use the term – despite being sent a list representing a shell who they planned to use at the start of the season.

Miami has 17 players on the injured list. Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez are the only two members in good health since the start of opening day, although Jesus Luzardo and Edward Cabrera are on the cusp of a comeback after being out since mid-May and mid-June respectively. Regular center players Jazz Chisholm Jr., Brian Anderson, Garrett Cooper and Jorge Soler miss out, as are high-powered loyalists Cole Solser and Anthony Bender. Rookie bowler Ballyhooed Max Meyer right hand He is also undergoing Tommy John’s surgery It will likely not be shown again until the 2024 season.

Ng said the number of infections makes it “really complicated” when it comes to finalizing decisions by the deadline.

Ng said, “As far as we got hit, we’re in the middle of the pack [in the standings]. “

The Miami Marlins start shooting bowler Pablo Lopez (49) fields during the second half of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers at Depot Park on Thursday, July 21, 2022 in Miami, Florida. David Santiago

So who is available? Alcantara, who has signed a five-year contract in the off-season and is a legitimate contender for the NL Cy Young Award, is untouchable. Everyone else is fair game at the right price.

If the Marlins wanted to swing big, they would find a way to trade Lopez. There’s always a demand for a good start on deadline, and the bar was set on Friday night when the Seattle Mariners sent three of their top five potential players to the Cincinnati Reds. About Luis Castillo.

Lopez, who is set to start the series’ final episode on Sunday against the Mets, has already hit career highs in a single season in innings (116) and strike (118) while advancing to 3.03 ERA during 20 starts but has a history of shoulder injuries.

Ng said she has not spoken to Lopez about a potential deal, and indicated that they do not publicly shop for Lopez, who is under the team’s control during the 2024 season. Lopez Tuesday said After his last start he did not pay attention to commercial rumors.

“With all of our offerings, I think you have to be very careful, and make sure you get the value you want,” Ng said.

Possibly other players on the big league roster in the competition are first-timers Jesus Aguilar and Garrett Cooper as well as loyalists Dylan Floro, Stephen Ockert and Anthony Bass.

“We feel like we’re in the process of searching, and we’re within walking distance,” Mattingly said. “We didn’t get a real chunk of the time where we played really well. … Our guys are hanging there. I’ve been through enough of this stuff that the best baseball game you’ll ever play is in the long run. It’s hard to win games for anyone in front of you or yourself. We’re at Good position. Hope to add. I’m sure Kim and the front office are trying to improve our club. If that means tomorrow or a week from now or a year from now I’m sure they’re doing what they think is best for the organization. But from the field level, We feel we can compete with anyone anywhere here.”

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Jordan McPherson covers the Miami Marlins and high school sports for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and covered the Gators’ athletic program for five years before joining the Herald in December 2017.