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"Marlins seem ready to unload pricey players"


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Marlins seem ready to unload pricey players

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Ken Rosenthal / FOXSports.com

Posted: 12 hours ago

 

 

 

In discussing trades for right-hander Josh Beckett, first baseman Carlos Delgado and center fielder Juan Pierre, the Marlins are following the A's blueprint from last off-season ? trying to retool by trading increasingly expensive parts for younger, cheaper players.

 

The Marlins likely would take more of a step back than the A's did, but with no funding in place for a new ballpark, they know they need to reduce payroll. They also know that Beckett might be better than any pitcher on the free-agent market and that Delgado might be better than any hitter. Thus, they could make multiple blockbusters, maximizing their assets.

 

Mike Lowell could be a part of a multi-player deal. ( / Getty Images)

 

The deal that reportedly is close ? Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell to the Rangers for third baseman Hank Blalock and top left-handed pitching prospect John Danks ? would save the Marlins about $14 million. In their perfect world, that would only be the start.

 

Delgado, owed $48 million over the final three years of his contract, is coveted by several high-revenue clubs. Pierre, who likely will earn more than $5 million next season, his final one before free agency, is drawing heavy trade interest as an alternative to free-agent center fielder Johnny Damon.

 

Low-revenue teams like the Marlins generally have a choice when trading expensive players: Accept either financial relief or premium young talent, but not both. If the Marlins landed Danks while saving $14 million, it would qualify as a coup by recent standards.

 

Only last summer, the Marlins failed in their attempt to package Lowell with right-hander A.J. Burnett. Now Lowell is the price for getting Beckett, who is more attractive to clubs than Burnett was as a potential free agent. The Rangers would control Beckett, a former World Series MVP, for two years, not two months.

 

Beckett, 25, has yet to make 30 starts in a season due to injuries, but potentially could be the best starter in Rangers history. Lowell, who recently won his first Gold Glove, could easily revive at hitter-friendly Ameriquest Field under the tutelage of Rangers hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. But the finances still would heavily favor the Marlins ? and remember, they would be getting Danks, who could develop into an affordable ace.

 

Of course, Danks might never reach the level of Beckett, and the loss of Burnett to free agency will leave left-hander Dontrelle Willis as the Marlins' sole accomplished starter. But the Rangers evidently are willing to take on Lowell to stave off the competition for Beckett. If teams overpay for free agents, they will overpay in trades ? and the Rangers are overpaying only in a financial sense, not in the player exchange.

 

Ideally, the Marlins' next step would be to land another top pitching prospect for Delgado; Mets right-hander Yusmeiro Petit, Orioles right-hander Hayden Penn and Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester could be among their possible targets. Blalock, a .222 career hitter against left-handed pitching, might be the only player they get who contributes immediately. But the Marlins are in an even more perilous financial position than the A's were last off-season. They're fighting to survive.

 

Making a killer trade for Delgado might be difficult: High-revenue clubs will be disinclined to part with top prospects if they're paying Delgado's entire salary. But which first baseman would you rather have, free-agent Paul Konerko at a possible cost of $65 million for five years or Delgado for $48 million over three? Delgado, 33, is older than Konerko, 29, but he has a lengthier track record and is proven in both leagues.

 

Of course, the Marlins could contribute financially or absorb salary in a Delgado trade, increasing their chances of acquiring top prospects. They might not get the exact deal they want for Delgado due to his back-loaded contract. But if all of their trades come together, they could rebound the way they did after breaking up their 1997 world-championship club.

 

It's a seller's market, and not just in free agency. The Marlins, one of the game's most creative franchises, are trying to seize the moment. They might not have money, but they've got another form of valuable currency: Players in demand.

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you know if you are going to trade josh beckett....

 

 

you need to do it independently of any mike lowell deal.

 

 

josh beckett should net you at least 3 high quality prospects, due in large to his age and his prior history of performance on the mound.

 

 

 

doubt the marlins can get rid of lowell's entire contract if they package him separately

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you know if you are going to trade josh beckett....

 

 

you need to do it independently of any mike lowell deal.

 

 

josh beckett should net you at least 3 high quality prospects, due in large to his age and his prior history of performance on the mound.

 

 

 

doubt the marlins can get rid of lowell's entire contract if they package him separately

 

so instead you take an anal raping and get little in return for beckett. great.

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It's a seller's market, and not just in free agency. The Marlins, one of the game's most creative franchises, are trying to seize the moment. They might not have money, but they've got another form of valuable currency: Players in demand.

 

 

This could well be the case. And for that reason I'm going to reserve judgment until after the deals are consummated.

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