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Time for the Marlins to step it up


Marlins2003
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With various teams closing in on a number of the options the Marlins will look to in '06 to repopulate this team, the time is now for Admin Beinfest to start making the moves he needs to make to get payroll under control.

 

Guys like Grudzielanek (.294), Graffanino (.309), Clayton (.270) and Aurilia (.282, 14 HR) won't be out there much longer if other teams have their way. The Marlins need to revamp their infield and fast, and the four best, most affordable and productive options right now, at both second and SS, are all being courted by other teams.

 

Jettisoning Castillo and Gonzalez will save this team somewhere in the vicinity of $10 million right now and more than double that (remember Castillo is still owed a $2 million bonus) over the next two years. If Mota and Villone have any value, then trade them, otherwise cut Mota loose rather than going to arbitration with him, trade Villone even it costs you a milllion or so in a salary subsidy, and pony up what it will take to bring Jones back in the fold. Even if TJ winds up being your setup guy either this season or next, he'll be worth it.

 

Every day one newspaper or another seems to escalate what Dontrelle will be getting in '06. First it was $3 million, then $4 mil, now in today's Herald Spenser opined it could be as much as $5 million. That money has to come from somewhere and then there's Josh Beckett who will be owed even more than Willis.

 

If you wait until you figured out what to do with Delgado, Lowell and JP, it will be too late. Bringing veterans for a year or two will also give the team the opportunity to take higher value prospects in exchange for Castillo, Delgado, Lowell and JP, and give them the time to mature, thus feeding the team with position players for years to come.

 

Kick it in gear Admin and get the ball rolling. He who waits is lost.

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I agree.. I'm with you man..

 

And I'm a big Rich Aurilia fan. I'd be very happy if he came here. He should come cheap, cause he's still trying to prove that he's an every day player. He had a solid year for the Reds last year, but he's capable of more... Put him in front of Delgao and he'll tear it up. He's a hitter who really benefits from having some protection behind him.... I'd love to see him sign with the Marlins or better yet, go back to the Giants.

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To put it simply... a post like this makes it clear why we aren't GM's :D

 

 

 

When your payroll would escalate to around $85 million if you kept the team intact and you're trying to get down into the $55 million range, with money still owed to Pudge and Leiter, and nearly $13 million over two years to your second baseman, what constructive suggestions can you bring to the table that would accomplish that goal? :mischief2

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Said it before and I'll say it again, Castillo has much more value to the team than he would return in any trade.

 

If we have to dump one of the top-2 guys, Pierre's as good as gone.

 

And don't worry, the free agent market won't do anything until Wagner and Furcal sign. Those two guys will set the market, and since the big money teams are fixated on them right now, agents won't really push for anything until they signed because who wouldn't want the Mets and Yankees and Cubs at least making offers for your client?

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Players of quality wil be around past the arbitration deadline, unless they're signed by Brian Sabean. The market rarely ever gets started before December. Relax. I don't know why you'd think that the market will advance their schedules, especially in a seller's market, or that the Marlins haven't contacted or had serious decussions with these players and their agents.

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Said it before and I'll say it again, Castillo has much more value to the team than he would return in any trade.

 

If we have to dump one of the top-2 guys, Pierre's as good as gone.

 

And don't worry, the free agent market won't do anything until Wagner and Furcal sign. Those two guys will set the market, and since the big money teams are fixated on them right now, agents won't really push for anything until they signed because who wouldn't want the Mets and Yankees and Cubs at least making offers for your client?

 

 

Swift, let me tell you why I disagree.

 

Putting aside the Castillo-Pierre debate for a moment, the big money teams that will be bidding for Furcal and Wagner are not the teams we'll be competing against when it comes to rebuilding this team. This year's free agent list, in my mind, while thin when it comes to superstars, has any number of good, servicable players (four mentioned above) who will have value to the twenty or so second tier (money-wise) teams who are looking to improve. For every Yankees or Mets or Cubs team that can afford a Brian Giles, Furcal or Wagner there's four or five or six teams who can afford a Mark Grudzielanek or any of the others I mentioned, and other players in that category.

 

As for JP and Luis, first of all, JP will cost you less than Castillo over the next couple of years without debate. Secondly, you can't count on Castillo to play a full season, his body is betraying him. The OBP thing is a red herring. If you look at what the actual difference is, the total number of times one or the other reaches first is minimal over a 162 season. Yes, JP had a less than stellar season in 2005, but if you look at his numbers in comparison to Castillo's over the last three years, JP is clearly the guy you want at the top of your lineup.

 

 

BTW, I'm not saying JP isn't traded too.

 

I've said in several previous posts that we should sign him and if the opportunity arises, trade him when the time is right, if that option becomes available.

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Marlins2003, while I agree with you alot, your constant assertation that we NEED to trade Castillo, argueably the best 2nd baseman in the game today, makes me question you every now and then. $5 mil per is not much for a guy who hits .300 and provides gold glove defense up the middle, and if we lose Gonzalez and trade Castillo to help keep Delgado, and then sign Grudz and Royce Clayton, our infield defense would be HORRIBLE. Keep Castillo, let Andino play there(his offense cant be any worse than Gonzalez), let him get in the defensive flow with Castillo. And our exact lineup will not be the same anyway, for all intents and purposes, Gonzalez, Burnett, and Encarnacion are all gone(around $12 mil we wont be paying right there), potentially replaced by something along the lines of Hermida, Andino, and lets say Josh Johnson, who combined dont even make $1 million.

 

I do agree with trading Lo Duca and signing Bengie Molina(whos a rock defensively, and is predicted to get a deal in the mid $3 mil range), even though I love Lo Duca. I think that deal needs to happen.

 

But I think with the outgoing big money fellas being replaced by our young low money fellas will help the financial situation by itself.

 

And in the end you just agree with yourself with your neverending push to trade Castillo while everyone else shakes their head.

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Spike, what concerns me about Castillo is in the context of the Marlins overall economic situation. $13 million over the next two years is something I can't ignore. As for your assertion that Grudz and Clayton would translate into horrible defense, I suggest you read what most people who comment on our sport have to say in that regard.

 

For example, from 11/9 USA Today:

Royce Clayton: He's a steady force in the clubhouse, and he remains one of the top defensive shortstops in the game. He also hit .270 this season for Arizona.

Mark Grudzielanek: One of Cardinals GM Walt Jocketty's pickups in the offseason, he surprised with his stellar defense. The Cardinals want him back.

Rich Aurilia: Just when teams think he's washed up, the guy hits .282 with 14 homers and 68 RBI for the Reds. He no longer has the range to play shortstop, but he's fine as a second baseman.

 

Before I mentioned any of them (and those who have my spreadsheets know I picked them weeks ago) I looked at a number of factors, including cost, defense, how well they played down the stretch (an important consideration for me), etc.

 

The objective, from my standpoint, is for the franchise to get through the next year or two by employing seasoned major leaguers while trying to acquire prospects and give them, as well as players in our farm system, a chance to mature.

 

You have every right to disagree. That's what forums like this are for.

 

I knew when I wrote this the Castillo/Pierre debate would dominate the responses. Even if we put them aside for a moment, the shortstop situation is one that needs to be addressed, as are others. It isn't going to be Nomar out there for $1.8 million a year I can guarantee you that, I'm simply suggesting the sooner the Marlins start making the obvious player personnel decisions, the easier it will be for them to make other ones.

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An obvious personel desicion is to keep the best 2B in the game. And your tance on Castillo is misleading because your adding $3 mil to his deal that is not there($5 mil in 2006, team option in 2007 worth $5.75 mil DOES NOT equal $13 mil...and even when bonuses are added in it still wouldn't top much more over $11 mil for 2 seasons). Once again, that is not much money for a player who gets on base, has a high batting average, and is the best defensive 2B in the game...maybe the best since Robbie Alomar.

 

And your right, Grudz and Clayton might not be horrible defensively. But we, as Marlins fans, have been spoiled by exceptional defense up the middle, and to say that replacing Castillo AND Gonzalez with any combination of the players you suggested is not a significant downgrade, which it is, then I think you are being narrow minded.

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You can't get rid of Castillo. He is the lone specimen of Marlin lifetime achievement.

 

He's going into his 11th year with the team (little known fact, even by Marlin fans), and has performed very well throughout his career. He's ONLY 30 YEARS OLD, in his prime, and is genuinely a good guy. He took less money to stay with the team, and even though he noticeably gimps every time he moves, he plays his heart out and produces. Trading him away because of his salary is not only hypocritical, but it would also be the first step toward another '98 disaster.

 

Trade Pierre, let Gonzalez and Encarnacion leave. Shop LoDuca (could always put Willy at C) and Lowell.

 

Those 5 alone would clear up MORE THAN ENOUGH space, and guess what? We'd still have a tremendously talented ballclub with:

 

Miguel Cabrera

Luis Castillo

Carlos Delgado

Jeremy Hermida

Josh Willingham

Free agent SS

Jeff Conine (one year replacement)

Someone we get in exchange for Pierre

 

Dontrelle Willis

Josh Beckett

Jason Vargas

Brian Moehler

Olsen/Johnson/someone

 

Mota

Resop

etc....

 

Harris

Wilson

Aguila

Easley (or not)

etc...

 

 

Don't trade Luis..DO NOT TRADE LUIS CASTILLO.

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An obvious personel desicion is to keep the best 2B in the game. And your tance on Castillo is misleading because your adding $3 mil to his deal that is not there($5 mil in 2006, team option in 2007 worth $5.75 mil DOES NOT equal $13 mil...and even when bonuses are added in it still wouldn't top much more over $11 mil for 2 seasons). Once again, that is not much money for a player who gets on base, has a high batting average, and is the best defensive 2B in the game...maybe the best since Robbie Alomar.

 

And your right, Grudz and Clayton might not be horrible defensively. But we, as Marlins fans, have been spoiled by exceptional defense up the middle, and to say that replacing Castillo AND Gonzalez with any combination of the players you suggested is not a significant downgrade, which it is, then I think you are being narrow minded.

 

 

No disrespect but as of a few months ago the $2 million owed Castillo remained unpaid, and $5 million in '06 and a guaranteed $5.75 million in '07 (if he has only 400 PA in '06) adds up to $12.75 million over two years. Forgive me if I rounded it up to $13 million.

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I'd say trade Lo Duca to Ariz for Vazquez(even though I am not high on Vazquez), and sign Molina. Thats around $2.5 mil in savings right there. I'd take Treanor as the starting everyday cather eveyday of the week if the options were him and Willingham. Kensing, Resop, Messenger, Moehler all seem like cheap locks for the bullpen. Maybe sign a guy like Rudy Seanez to a 1 year deal(like we should of the first time), let Mota close and Resop or Messenger move into the setup role.

 

I'd still take Andino over any of the fellas you mentioned, because the coaching staff could make it to where he doesn't dog it on field, and working with Luiy will only make him better.

 

If we could find a way to acquire Huff cheaply(maybe trading them Lo Duca and a prospect or 2 instead of Ariz, be like simply flipping contracts).

 

Still wouldn't know what to do about CF, I'd take a Pierre/Patters-Murton deal, that wouldn't bother me. Give us a LF option once Huff leaves at the end of the season.

 

2B-Castillo

LF-Hermida

1B-Delgado

3B-Cabrera

RF-Huff

C-Molina

CF-Patterson

SS-Andino

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"Trade Pierre, let Gonzalez and Encarnacion leave. Shop LoDuca (could always put Willy at C) and Lowell.

Those 5 alone would clear up MORE THAN ENOUGH space..."

 

 

I wish they were but they aren't. Not even close.

 

Willis and Beckett alone eats up Encarnacion and Gonzalez (less replacement costs) plus.

 

Lowell will cost probably $6+ million to move (over the next two years), and suggesting Willingham is your frontline catcher is laughable (not at you, I respect you) at best. You want to trade LoDuca, fine, but expect to pay at least half what he's making to find an adequate replacement. And meanwhile Cabrera comes up for arby, Beckett and Willis go up, up, up, the spiral is endless unless the Fish make the tough choices this season, get payroll tremendously lowered, and then let is start to grow again.

 

You think I like saying these things? I don't take any pleasure in looking at a spreadhseet of payrolls and contract obligations and realizing the only alternatives are to make the team worse than what I'm proposing. Barabu had it right, I'm no GM, I don't pretend to be. But as long as two and two are four, the math is just plain terrifying without a stadium plan on the horizon.

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"Trade Pierre, let Gonzalez and Encarnacion leave. Shop LoDuca (could always put Willy at C) and Lowell.

Those 5 alone would clear up MORE THAN ENOUGH space..."

 

 

I wish they were but they aren't. Not even close.

 

Willis and Beckett alone eats up Encarnacion and Gonzalez (less replacement costs) plus.

 

Lowell will cost probably $6+ million to move (over the next two years), and suggesting Willingham is your frontline catcher is laughable (not at you, I respect you) at best. You want to trade LoDuca, fine, but expect to pay at least half what he's making to find an adequate replacement. And meanwhile Cabrera comes up for arby, Beckett and Willis go up, up, up, the spiral is endless unless the Fish make the tough choices this season, get payroll tremendously lowered, and then let is start to grow again.

 

You think I like saying these things? I don't take any pleasure in looking at a spreadhseet of payrolls and contract obligations and realizing the only alternatives are to make the team worse than what I'm proposing. Barabu had it right, I'm no GM, I don't pretend to be. But as long as two and two are four, the math is just plain terrifying without a stadium plan on the horizon.

I understand your reasoning here, but your suggestions are not feasible at this time. I'd say Castillo is probably one of the most untouchable players on the team. I"m sure Florida would deal him for the right price, but they are definitely not actively searching a buyer.

 

Florida's main immediate goals are apparently getting rid of Pierre and Lowell. Once they get past that (if), then they will probably focus on LoDuca. IF Wilson can somehow prove that he is worthy, I wouldn't entirely mind seeing him out there on a regular basis--but that will take a year of experience, methinks. I'm not against trading Castillo after this season. I'm completely against trading him as part of a huge offseason of cruddy trades. He's too valuable for that.

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I just think you are overlooking how many cheap young players and cheap vetern players are going to take places with the team next season. Cabrera, Hermida, Andino, Olsen, Johnson, Vargas, Aguila, Willingham, Treanor, Easley, Dillon or Wilson, Kensing, Messenger, Moehler(if he resigns), and Resop...those are 15 players that combined wont even make 5 or 6 mil

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Let's face it, the payroll is not going to be 55 million. My guess would take it closer to 60+. Loria can't trim 30 million off the potential payroll without completely losing the faith of Marlin fans and South Florida constituents. Each year he's been here, he's pulled out some 'secret' bonus cash--and he'll probably do it again this year. If not, he'll most likely lose any chance of getting a stadium. Nobody wants to pay tax money for a sh*tty team.

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I have appointments so this will be my last post in this thread for the afternoon (so everybody line up and take a shot, lol)...

 

...but a) I think there's a way out of this, b) I still think we can play competitive ball next year with the replacements I mentioned and without longterm commitments, c) no number of inexpensive youngsters can make up for what Cabrera, Willis and Beckett will earn in the next few years, nevermind Delgado (if he stays).

 

It's really not about Castillo vs Pierre, and I love Luis and yes it's cruel of me to want to trade him now, I admit it, but I'd rather endure one season of lowered expectations (I still believe you'll have at least a .500+ team in '06, maybe with less D but better offense) than go through this season after season.

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Players of quality wil be around past the arbitration deadline, unless they're signed by Brian Sabean. The market rarely ever gets started before December. Relax. I don't know why you'd think that the market will advance their schedules, especially in a seller's market, or that the Marlins haven't contacted or had serious decussions with these players and their agents.

 

I agree with this sentiment. It's not as if other teams are making a ton of moves and we're just sitting there, twiddling our thumbs. Who knows what kind of discussions have happened behind the scenes with what players.....point is, let's not rush into something just for the sake of getting it done. I know, we'd all like to see the market moving a little faster at this point, but it's not happening for anyone. It's not just us.

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I'm not sure if we have to jump the gun, since service parts are usually only signed at the beginning of the offseason if they are meant to be snagged under the radar. I also, as Marlins2003 and I have discussed privately, very much against the trading of Luis Castillo and have a different method for how this all goes down.

 

I do think, however, that a player like a Rich Aurilia or a Royce Clayton to play SS wouldn't such a bad thing and a significant amount of salary saved from Alex Gonzalez. As much as he's a good guy and a fun player to have around, he costs too much unfortunately. I might be in the minority where I thought the deal with Chicago, if we got back Cede?o, would have been a great idea and a huge salary relief which could have been put into some short term contracts for a solid bullpen and maybe some left over for long term deals with one of the core players. Jury is still out on whether Pierre is moved to Chicago or elsewhere, but any deal where we can get a ready to go SS would have to be looked at very positively.

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