2 trade candidates the Phillies should consider from the Marlins, 1 they should avoid

The Marlins are off to a poor start and may be sellers by the trade deadline. Which players should the Phillies consider trading for, and who should they avoid?
Miami Marlins v Milwaukee Brewers
Miami Marlins v Milwaukee Brewers / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
4 of 4

Phillies should avoid trading for A.J. Puk

The Marlins have used A.J. Puk as a starting pitcher in 2024. In three starts, he's 0-3 with a 5.91 ERA. He has more walks (14) than strikeouts (eight) with a 2.44 WHIP. The left-hander has allowed seven earned runs in 10 2/3 innings pitched.

The 2016 sixth-overall draft pick by the Oakland Athletics relies on five pitches. His primary pitches are a four-seamer, which he uses 39 percent of the time, and a sweeper (31.5 percent). He also throws a sinker (20.5 percent), a split-finger (7.5 percent), and a slider (1.6 percent).

So far in 2024, his average exit velocity of 85.2 mph is less than last year's 87.3 mph. His maximum exit velocity of 108.1 mph this year is less than his 112.1 mph mark in 2023.

The Minneapolis, Minnesota, native has not done well as a starter. With the recent setback in Braxton Garrett's rehab assignment, it appears the club will keep Puk in the rotation for now. As a reliever, the 28-year-old doesn't have good career statistics in save situations, as he has only successfully converted 19 of 36 saves, including 15 of 24 in 2023.

If Garrett eventually returns while the other four rotation options, besides Puk, stay healthy, will the reliever-turned-starter return to the bullpen? If he continues to struggle starting games, it would behoove the Marlins to do so.

Puk has two years of arbitration left on his current deal before he becomes a free agent. How much will the Marlins want in return for him with two more years of club control remaining? More importantly, it doesn't seem like a plausible option for the Phillies, considering how up and down he has been as a reliever during his career.