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Trade with Dodgers costs one Penny


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Trade with Dodgers costs one Penny

 

Marlins trade Penny, Choi and prospect to L.A. for Lo Duca, Encarnacion and Mota

 

By CLARK SPENCER

 

cspencer@herald.com

 

 

The Marlins traded one of their starting pitchers - Brad Penny - in order to satisfy their need for an everyday catcher, reliever and run-producing outfielder.

 

With Saturday's trade deadline approaching, the Marlins acquired catcher Paul Lo Duca, outfielder Juan Encarnacion, and set-up reliever Guillermo Mota from the Los Angeles Dodgers. In exchange, the Marlins send Penny, first baseman Hee Seop Choi and minor-league pitcher Bill Murphy to the Dodgers.

 

Choi was scratched from the starting lineup Friday night 20 minutes before the Marlins faced the Expos, and Penny was giving hugs to his teammates in the dugout before the Marlins took the field.

 

Sources said the complicated, multi-team deal could have hinged on Rockies catcher Charles Johnson waiving his no-trade clause to go to the Dodgers. And the deal could trigger two more deals involving the Diamondbacks and Dodgers, ones in which pitching ace Randy Johnson could wind up in Los Angeles in return for Penny.

 

Penny, 8-8 this season and the club's all-time winningest pitcher with 48 victories, said he sensed his days with the Marlins were numbered.

 

''I'll miss the guys,'' Penny said. ``Last year was a special year and it will be hard not to play with these guys anymore.''

 

The Marlins resolve many of their greatest needs with the trade, obtaining one of baseball's top-hitting catchers in Lo Duca, reinforcing a suspect bullpen with Mota, and adding RBI strength in the outfield with Encarnacion, who drove in 94 runs for the Marlins last season.

 

They would lose a dependable and mostly successful starter in Penny. It is uncertain how the Marlins would fill his spot in the rotation. There were reports Thursday that a potential deal could be on the burner with the Red Sox for pitcher Derek Lowe. Other fifth-starter candidates include Justin Wayne and Nate Bump.

 

The trade sets off a chain reaction defensively for the Marlins.

 

Juan Encarnacion likely will reclaim his former spot in right field. The Marlins could move Miguel Cabrera to left, in which case Jeff Conine would slide down to first base. Or Cabrera could move to first, even though he has no experience there.

 

Mota, a right-hander, brings the qualifications to serve in a set-up role for ailing closer Armando Benitez. Mota, 31, has been a bullpen workhorse for the Dodgers' in support of elite closer Eric Gagne, pitching a total of 168 innings over the past two seasons in which he's gone 12-7 with a 2.04 earned run average.

 

The deal would end up costing the Marlins about $2 million in additional payroll for this season.

 

Penny's present $3.725 million salary could escalate to $8 million next season through arbitration. Lo Duca, who is earning $4.1 million this season, could also double his salary through arbitration.

 

Lo Duca is hitting .301 with 10 home runs.

 

Encarnacion manned right field for the Marlins last season but lost his starting job to Cabrera in the postseason. The Marlins traded him to the Dodgers over the winter for a player to be named later. He has hitting .235 with 13 home runs this season.

 

Mota is 6-3 with a 1.97 earned run average in 63 innings. He threw 105 innings for the Dodgers last season when he went 8-4 with a 2.14 ERA.

 

With the Marlins deal with the Dodgers completed, sources said the Diamondbacks were prepared to trade outfielder Steve Finley to Los Angeles for Nunez, Murphy and Jason Worth. And if Johnson, who has a blanket no-trade clause and started Friday for the Diamondbacks, gave his approval, the Diamondbacks would trade him to the Dodgers for Penny and pitcher Edwin Jackson.

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What do you think of the Marlins' trade?

Wow! Great move. Wow!?

74 votes (50%)

Are you kidding me? How could we give away Penny and Choi?? ?

38 votes (26%)

It won't make any difference, the team will still miss out on the playoffs? ?

7 votes (5%)

I dunno, let's see what happens.? ?

28 votes (19%)

?

147 people have voted so far

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