23 July 2011
With the Florida Marlins now six games under .500 (47-53) 100 games into the season and the trade deadline only a week away (July 31) it is time for the Marlins to admit that they are going to be selling. Not sellers in the sense where they will dump anyone with talent, but they will look to trade players who they can get value for and not damage the teams value going into next year. It is almost certain that the Marlins will not be trading Mike Stanton, Logan Morrison, Gaby Sanchez, and most definitely not Hanley Ramirez, despite what Jeff Conine believes. In any deal the Marlins do they will be looking to be getting back a third basemen and some starting pitching prospects.
Here is a breakdown off all the Marlins players who could be on the move.
Who Is Gone?
The one player who you can almost certainly believe will be traded away is closer Leo Nunez. Nunez is in the final year of his contract and could make between $5-6 million a year in his next contract (he is making just over $3 million in 2011), which is too rich for the Marlins. Leo Nunez will pretty much be the consolation prize to which ever team fails to acquire Heath Bell. Nunez has converted 27 of 29 save opportunities this year and could be a real benefit to the Cardinals and Phillies, neither of whom have reliable closers, and also Texas has an interest in him as an eigth inning pitcher. Also it should be noted that the Marlins have also talked about doing a deal to send Nunez to the Detroit Tigers for Brandon Inge, who would fill the Marlins hole at third base.
(Personally I think the Inge trade would be a horrible deal. He would be Omar Infante 2.0. Although Inge hit for more power and less for average than Infante, they are both good fielding utility players who have had one or two good seasons among a lot over very average ones.)
The other player who I am almost certain will be traded, although no one really talks about him, is Greg Dobbs. Dobbs has three home runs, 27 RBI, 24 runs and is hitting .300 in 227 at bats. He is a perfect left handed bat come off the bench for any contender, especially when you look at how he has really come threw in clutch moments for the Marlins in the first half of this year.
50/50 He Goes or Stays
Just like closers, left handed relievers are always a premium at the deadline, so it is no wonder that Randy Choate's name is being tossed around a bit. Choate has had a good 2011 with 46 appearances and a 1.33 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 26 strike outs in 20.1 innings of work. Choate has also vocalized his displeasure in Manager Jack McKeon, who has twice pulled Choate out of the game in the middle of an at bat. However, to trade away a good left bullpen pitcher because he does not get along with the manager who will be gone in two months is not good reason to trade him. While Choate maybe moved, he will only be traded if the Marlins are able to get the right deal.
Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez are the two biggest names that the Marlins are being shopped around, but it doesn't seem like the Marlins Organization are really sure what they want to do with them. I should make it clear, the Marlins if they do a trade involving Nolasco or Sanchez, only one of them will be traded. Based on all of the rumors the Marlins seem to prefer to trade Nolasco since he has been less consistent, is a year older, and cost the Marlins more since they did sign him to big contract. However, for all those same reasons other teams are more interested in Anibal, who still has a year left on his contract. If the Marlins do not trade away Anibal before this deadline, that could signal that the team is willing to sign him to a long term contract this off season.
Pray Someone Takes Them Off Our Hands
Teams could do the Marlins a huge favor if they are willing to take either Omar Infante or Javier Vazquez off of their hands. Both players are in the final year of their current contracts, but the way that both have under performed and Vazquez's no trade clause makes it doubtful the Marlins would be able dump them on some one. Honestly the Marlins would be lucky to get a player to be named later or cash considerations for either player, but if they get offered it I would take it if I was them.
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