Jump to content

"Sources: Marlins close to fire sale"


Recommended Posts

Sources: Marlins close to fire sale

By Joe Capozzi

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Sunday, November 20, 2005


As the Marlins and Rangers continued talking Saturday about Florida sending Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Texas, multiple baseball sources said more of their Marlins teammates could soon leave the team, too.


"They may take it all the way down, like we saw in '98," an American League source said, referring to the dismantling of the Marlins' 1997 championship team.


Marlins President David Samson would not comment Saturday. But sources said Florida's front office has been telling teams that, except for pitcher Dontrelle Willis and third baseman Miguel Cabrera, everyone is available because of orders to cut payroll from the club-record $65 million spent on last season's team.


One source said Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, who is frustrated over stalled talks for a new stadium, is prepared to go with a 2006 payroll as low as $40 million, which could be the lowest in the major leagues.


By trimming payroll, the Marlins could give themselves enough flexibility to offer long-term contracts to their two youngest stars ? Willis, the runner-up in the NL Cy Young voting, and Cabrera, who led the team in hitting (.323), home runs (33) and RBI (116).


The Marlins have not made any trades yet, but they have been actively shopping their players for the past two weeks, starting with first baseman Carlos Delgado (owed $48 million over the next three years), who has received attention from the Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets and New York Yankees.


Florida and the Mets have had extensive talks over the past two weeks about Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo.


The Chicago Cubs and White Sox are interested in center fielder Juan Pierre. The Colorado Rockies like catcher Paul Lo Duca.


The Marlins have talked to six teams about Beckett, including the Boston Red Sox, but they are demanding that Lowell (owed $18 million over the next two years) be included in any deal.


Florida is closest to a trade with Texas. Under a proposal that was first discussed two weeks ago by Marlins General Manager Admin Beinfest and Rangers GM Jon Daniels at the general managers' meetings in California, Beckett would go with Lowell to the Rangers for two-time All-Star third baseman Hank Blalock.


Loria and Rangers owner Tom Hicks, who is said to desperately want a No. 1 starting pitcher, continued discussions this past week during the owners' meetings in Milwaukee.


The original proposal also called for Texas to send Florida one of two pitching prospects ? John Danks or Thomas Diamond, both first-round draft picks. But the Rangers' front office has balked at losing either pitcher and is now trying to find a way to finish the deal. One option is for Texas to dangle first baseman Adrian Gonzalez as trade bait to a third team for pitchers to flip to Florida.


The Rangers and Marlins also have discussed scenarios that include Pierre in the deal.


Gonzalez, Florida's first round pick in the 2000 draft, was traded to Texas on July 11, 2003, in a deal that brought reliever Ugueth Urbina to Florida. Gonzalez made his major-league debut with Texas in 2004 and batted.227 with six home runs and 17 RBI in 43 games in 2005.


If the Beckett trade is completed, there's a chance the Marlins will trade Blalock to another team. Blalock might not fit into Florida's long-term plans because he is owed $3 million in 2006, $4.75 million in 2007 and $5.95 million in 2008.


Beckett, the MVP of the 2003 World Series, made $2.4 million in 2005 and could make at least $4 million in arbitration this winter. A native of Spring, Texas, he is eligible for free agency after the 2007 season.


"It's kind of a shock to me, almost surreal," Beckett said Saturday about the possible trade. "I've been with the Marlins all the time. I guess it happens to everybody. They say everybody gets traded at least once. I guess the first time for me is kind of weird."


In their talks with the Red Sox, the Marlins want shortstop Hanley Ramirez and pitcher Anibel Sanchez, who was floated by Boston last summer in a proposal for Marlins pitcher A.J. Burnett.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just trade them all away, what does it freaking matter anymore? No one can become a good player and stay with this franchise for more than 3 years.


And I'm sorry, but if you're Miguel Cabrera or Dontrelle Willis, why on EARTH would you want to sign a long term deal with this franchise? They think by doing all this they can secure contracts with these 2 guys, but why in the hell would they want to stay involved in this stuff every year? I won't be a bit surprised if Cabrera doesn't sign a contract. And the only reason I think Dontrelle will end up signing is because he's such a good kid. But everyone has their breaking point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to quickly clarify the gloom and doom:

- Moving to another city? None of the leading candidate cities (LV, Portland, Monterrey) have a ML-ready stadium right now, so if it happens it'll be at least 3-4 years down the line while they build a stadium... Essentially though, any move is unrealistic right now from what I've read.


It's a payroll dumping, but there will be young talented players playing their hearts out for your Florida Marlins, if this is true, which I fear it might be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't Loria find some investors and make it a group ownership, pool money for a stadium, keep the payroll respectable and keep the core of this team intact? This "poor" sh*t is old: can't keep players, can't fill seats, can't build a stadium, another damn firesale... Just can't stand watching this team sink lower and lower and no one (Selig, MLB, or wealthy investors) does anything about it... Maybe we should all buy gobs of lottery tickets, hope one of us wins a major jackpot and build the stadium ourselves...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...