The Miami Marlins have been perhaps baseball’s best story in 2020. After losing 18 players at one point in July due to a COVID-19 outbreak and already being in the midst of a major rebuild, it looked like 2020 would be another long season in South Beach.
Instead, Miami put together a 31-29 regular season to end their 17-year playoff drought and Tuesday will open an NLDS matchup with the Braves after sweeping the NL Central Chicago Cubs in the Wild Card series.
With a huge step forward in 2020, the Marlins will likely look to add young and controllable pitching this offseason to help their franchise take the next step. The Indians can help by sending them right-handers Aaron Civale and Adam Plutko for much-needed outfield depth and future help.
Lewis Brinson is one name the Marlins look to move this offseason given the emergence of Monte Harrison, Magneuris Sierra and Starling Marte now under contract after coming over in a midseason trade from Arizona, Miami no-longer has a need for the once top prospect that led the team to send Christian Yelich to the Brewers before the 2018 season.
Brinson, who is a former first-round draft pick and top prospect, has not panned out with the Marlins. He hit below .200 in 2018 and 2019 and this season slashed just .226/.268/.368 with three home runs and 12 RBI’s.
However, at just 26 years old, a change of scenery and low-stress situation in Cleveland could help Brinson turn things around.
Fitterer was drafted in the fifth round by the Marlins in the 2019 Draft and was expected to turn them down and pitch for UCLA but opted to sign with the team and is now their 24th ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline. In nine minor league outings, which included eight starts in 2019, he posted an impressive 2.38 ERA.
He is someone who down the road can find himself in an Indians rotation that even with a projected trade of Civale should have Shane Bieber, Triston McKenzie and Zach Plesac for several years to come.
As for Encarnacion, he is Miami’s 17th ranked prospect. The 22-year old has spent the past four years in the Marlins minor league system and finished 2019 in High-A ball. He is a career .261/.309/.409 with 26 home runs and 130 RBI’s.
He is best known for having a “plus” arm in the outfield and big-power and at 22-years old is estimated to reach the majors by 2023.
This deal gives the Indians an instant starter in the outfield, a potential future down the road replacement for Civale in the rotation and another big future outfield bat that would help the teams rebuild process while also helping a Miami team take the next step.