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Florida putting chips on the table


Ralph
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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. - This is how slow things have been at the baseball general manager's meetings: the big news through Thursday afternoon was the trade between Toronto and Detroit in which journeyman infielder John McDonald was basically traded for himself.

 

Last week, the Tigers sent cash to Toronto to complete a July 22 trade for McDonald. On Thursday, they turned around and sent him back to the Blue Jays for cash.

 

But by Thursday night there were signs the hot stove league was heating up, and the Marlins could be right in the middle of the action. The team has told other clubs it is willing to listen to offers for at least half its everyday lineup and has had conversations with at least two organizations that centered on first baseman Carlos Delgado, center fielder Juan Pierre and catcher Paul Lo Duca.

 

The team is also shopping third baseman Mike Lowell. What's not known, however, is if the Marlins want to trade all four players or simply seeking the best deal for one.

 

''I don't think there's anyone who's off the [table],'' said one source with knowledge of the conversations.

 

The Marlins had formal meetings with four teams Thursday but, according to assistant general manager Jim Fleming ``nothing is imminent.''

 

In fact, general manager Admin Beinfest left the meetings early, flying out Thursday evening after a busy afternoon. The rest of the Marlins' delegation is scheduled to leave this morning, shortly after this winter's crop of 175 free agents became eligible to negotiate contracts with all 30 teams.

 

''We basically had an exchange of ideas,'' said Fleming, who refused to identify the clubs the Marlins are talking with. ``We've been listening more to what people would like from us.''

 

Beinfest said last week owner Jeffrey Loria has given him ''some direction'' on the team's 2006 payroll, but there's no doubt that direction is down, with the team expected to trim at least $10 million from last season's franchise-record $65 million payroll. So if Delgado and Lowell both return, they would account for nearly half the budget for player salaries.

 

Lo Duca would be the team's third highest-paid player at $6.25 million while Pierre, who is eligible for arbitration, figures to command at least $5 million next season. Add that to the salaries pitchers Josh Beckett and Dontrelle Willis (both eligible for arbitration) are likely to get, and it's clear the Marlins need to move somebody.

 

Loria spent big last winter, putting together a team many considered to be the best in the National League. But the Marlins collapsed down the stretch and finished tied for third in the NL East. And with negotiations for a new stadium now dead, the club might be retrenching by trading salary for prospects.

 

Plus with this year's free agent class lacking the depth of seasons past, this could prove to be a good winter to be active on the trade front -- and the Marlins are already drawing suitors.

 

The Chicago Cubs are among the teams that have asked about Pierre and are said to very interested, while the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners have inquired about Delgado.

 

The Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels are also interested in Delgado, with the Angels seeing him as an alternative if they fall short in efforts to sign White Sox free agent Paul Konerko or trade for Boston Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez. The White Sox could use him at first if Konerko leaves, or as a designated hitter in place of Carl Everett.

 

One drawback for both teams, however, is the fact Illinois and California each has state income taxes, and Delgado's contract requires the club to pay those taxes if he's traded.

 

Among the possible suitors for Lo Duca would be Arizona, the Angels and San Diego. The Marlins are having a tougher time finding interest for Lowell, a three-time All-Star who won his first Gold Glove this season. The third baseman is owed $18 million over the next two seasons after hitting a career-low .236 in 2005 with just eight homers and 58 RBI.

 

Meanwhile, Delgado became the first player to join Puerto Rico's team for the inaugural World Baseball Classic, signing a letter of intent on Thursday. The 16-nation, 18-day tournament will start on March 3 in Asia.

 

It will be the first time Delgado will represent Puerto Rico since the 1995 Caribbean Series.

 

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sport...ll/13138717.htm

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Guest Moneyball

I wouldn't be against trading LoDuca.

 

Like rferry said he's a poor defensive catcher with low OBP and middling power making 6 million a year.

 

Don't bring that "leadership" crap. It's just a tag the media likes giving to certain players.

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I'm perfectly comfortable trading half our team away...this market doesn't deserve a $65 Million payroll. Thankfully for the Marlins, our best players are our cheapest. Of all the players we're looking to trade, I'd least like to see us get rid of Delgado - simply because he actually lived up to his contract. But, he's probably the only player on our team that we can link to Lowell, LoDuca, etc. to rid ourselves of truly overpriced players. The bottom line is that I'd rather trade some of our overpriced "leaders" now - than risk crippling our team OUT of south florida when we have to gut our roster to become the Devil Rays. Loria can't lose this kind of money forever without selling the team to recoup his losses...and anyone he sells it to will likely move the team to greener pastures.

 

Unlike most teams, we can field a competitive $40 Million team.

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Now we are bashing our best players? Amazing. Lo Duca bashing now is popular. Three players who agreed to long term contracts are on the blocks and some of you feel we should sign Molina. The writing is on the wall people. No big contracts are being offered to quality players. If any free agents of quality sign here it will be one of those 1 yr contracts with someone having something to prove that other teams backed off from. The direction clearly isn't winning in 2006. With that in mind, do the firesale and hope for the best in return. No matter how you slice it the future isn't looking real bright.

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Fine, gut the team. Lowell, Lo Duca, Pierre. Those guys are replaceable. That's 20 million right there. Pierre can be replaced in-house on the cheap (Aguila). Lowell will be replaced by Miggy. Conine moves into LF. The tough one to replace is Lo Duca... if we can find a nice young catcher with a promising future that can give us .280, 10hr, 65 rbi, let's go for it. However, I truly think that letting Delgado go will mean we won't be competitive next season. He just provided way too much offense for us. And just think of this, without Delgado, what team in their right mind would even throw Miggy a strike?

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Fine, gut the team. Lowell, Lo Duca, Pierre. Those guys are replaceable. That's 20 million right there. Pierre can be replaced in-house on the cheap (Aguila). Lowell will be replaced by Miggy. Conine moves into LF. The tough one to replace is Lo Duca... if we can find a nice young catcher with a promising future that can give us .280, 10hr, 65 rbi, let's go for it. However, I truly think that letting Delgado go will mean we won't be competitive next season. He just provided way too much offense for us. And just think of this, without Delgado, what team in their right mind would even throw Miggy a strike?

 

 

If we clear that money we can keep Delgado, possibly resign Gonzalez(or get Nomar for a year or 2), and sign Molina. I wouldn't be totally opposed. Still want Milton Bradley tho.

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trimming payroll when our payroll is in the bottom third of baseball already is not the best way to build up the fan base . beinfest will have to be very creative and lucky under these conditions to field a team capable of having a winning season

 

Neither is throwing money at veterans to have them fail.

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Guest markotsay7

I will be FURIOUS if this team trades LoDuca.

 

 

If we get a crappy pitcher and prospects in return, then yeah. But if we get a solid all-star caliber player in return, depending on what position, then i'd be for it.

 

And play who at catcher? Willingham? Treanor? Where else are you gonna find a catcher of Duke's caliber for $6 million, not to mention his leadership skills.

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