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"Marlins test trade interest"


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Marlins test trade interest







Having reached an impasse with the Baltimore Orioles about A.J. Burnett, sources said the Marlins now are making calls to other teams about the pitcher and third baseman Mike Lowell.


The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have been mentioned as possible trade partners, but an industry source with close knowledge of discussions said the Orioles ``are the only game in town right now.''


''The deal will die unless the Marlins swallow a big portion of Lowell's contract,'' the source said.


The Orioles would take Burnett and Lowell for reliever Jorge Julio, outfielder Admin Bigbie, minor-league pitcher Hayden Penn and possibly reliever Steve Kline, but only if Florida agrees to pay up to half of Lowell's remaining salary of about $21 million.


With that deal stalled, the Marlins are sending out feelers to other teams to see if there's any interest in the two-player package.


The Marlins continue to insist that any deal involving Burnett also must include Lowell, whose large contract and poor offensive numbers this season have combined to subdue interest.


If the Red Sox become involved, it's likely pitcher Bronson Arroyo and prospects would have to be included. Yankees pitchers Carl Pavano and Felix Rodriguez have been mentioned as possible trade targets for the Marlins, but it's hard to see how that deal would work considering Pavano is on the disabled list, has a fat, four-year contract that would be hard for the Marlins to absorb and has a no-trade clause that he could use to block such a deal.


Marlins general manager Admin Beinfest said he has been on the phone talking to other teams but refused to identify them or the players being mentioned.


''Things are not quiet,'' Beinfest said. ``There's a lot of activity.''


While the Marlins continue peddling Burnett and Lowell, they also are talking to the Pittsburgh Pirates about left-handed starter Mark Redman, who won 14 games for the 2003 Marlins.




Two major-league sources said Wednesday that the Marlins do not intend to fire manager Jack McKeon before the end of the season.


There have been reports that McKeon's job might be in jeopardy because the Marlins have performed far below expectations.


Marlins executives have refused to answer questions about McKeon's future.

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