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Marlins Mailbag 10/23/06


Eddie Altamonte
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http://florida.marlins.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/...21/c1719813.jsp

 

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Mailbag: Can Marlins reach playoffs?

10/23/2006 10:00 AM ET

By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com

 

What will happen with Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera? Are the Marlins keeping all of their starting rotation?

-- Joe H., Miami

Besides stadium-related questions, the Willis-Cabrera questions promise to make up a majority of the e-mails I receive in this offseason. It's a topic addressed numerous times in stories and in mailbags, and really not much has changed.

 

As new manager Fredi Gonzalez said when he was hired on Oct. 3, management has talked about keeping both players. Each is in his arbitration year, and it will take about $13 million to sign them both. The team understands how valuable they are, and there is every indication that Willis and Cabrera will again be the team's top stars in 2007. Neither will be eligible for free agency until after the 2009 season, so the Marlins very likely may keep signing them year-to-year until then.

 

As for the rest of the rotation, Josh Johnson, Scott Olsen, Anibal Sanchez and Ricky Nolasco were all rookies who showed tremendous promise in 2006. This team knows the importance of pitching and has plenty of it. While they may be forced to deal a young arm or two to fill some other needs, like center field, that doesn't necessarily mean one of those four will be dealt.

 

Do you think the Marlins are happy with this team the way it is, or are they trying to make the playoffs by trying to find a No. 3 batter to hit in front of Miguel Cabrera?

-- Juan, Miami

 

After starting last season in the cleanup spot, Cabrera batted third the majority of the season. Josh Willingham stepped up to bat cleanup, but obviously, if there is a chance for more power in the middle of the lineup, the team would look to add more pop.

 

You ask if the team is "happy?" well, they are coming off a losing season. As much as the team is thought to have overachieved, there are holes to be filled -- in center field and the bullpen, especially. The organization feels the nucleus is there for a playoff run, and the primary reason for optimism is the young pitching. Even though the Marlins had weaknesses in 2006, they remained competitive because they pitched so effectively. Because of their payroll constraints, they feel their best shot at winning is to out-pitch the opposition.

 

Who are the best candidates to be the Marlins' center fielder next year, and will Gaby Sanchez be in the Majors next year?

-- Jackson L., Holly Springs, N.C.

 

Internally, Alfredo Amezaga, Cody Ross, Joe Borchard and Reggie Abercrombie are in the mix. It's no secret the team has been exploring options elsewhere, and typically, serious potential candidates come into focus during the general manager meetings, which are slated for mid-November. In early November, team management will head up to New York for their organizational meetings. It's then that ideas will be tossed around and payroll parameters should be determined.

 

Who are the Marlins' free agents this year? Which ones do you think we'll keep, and which ones will most likely be headed out of Florida?

-- David G., Miami

 

The primary free agents are Wes Helms, Joe Borowski and Matt Herges. Helms was a big contributor, platooning late in the year at first base and coming off the bench as a pinch-hitter or defensive replacement at first. The veteran has said he wants to explore being more of an everyday player. If he doesn't find a place where he can see more regular playing time, he's made it clear he would consider returning.

 

Borowski was a Comeback Player of the Year candidate after a solid season as closer. Most likely, Borowski has earned himself more money elsewhere. The Marlins have been successful finding veteran relievers like Borowski who have resurrected their careers in Florida.

 

For his part, Herges ate up innings and was a strong veteran presence for the young players, but the right-hander will probably move on.

 

I liked the way that Miguel Olivo played this year and how he handled the rotation. Is there a chance that the Marlins will bring him back again next year?

-- Nick P., Brockway, Pa.

 

Olivo certainly made strides behind the plate and has positioned himself as the front-runner to remain the primary catcher in 2007. He is arbitration-eligible, which will bring him a nice pay raise. He has a strong arm and lends some power to the lineup. He plans to work on hitting breaking pitches in the offseason.

 

What do you think the Marlins' chances are of making the postseason next year?

-- Tony L., New York City

 

If their pitching stays healthy, they should once again enter September with a chance at reaching the postseason. Knowing this organization's commitment to winning, they likely will address their center-field situation, and bolstering the bullpen is a challenge, as it is for all teams. The left side of the infield is as good as, if not better than, any left side in the National League. You'd be hard pressed to find a shortstop-third base duo better than Cabrera and Hanley Ramirez, who projects to be a star for years to come. A nucleus of strong position players are in place, and the Marlins' differentiator is starting pitching. Should that hold up, you have to like their chances.

 

Based on the encouraging signs we saw in 2006, I feel there will be a strong commitment from management to get this team back into the postseason. With 83 wins, the St. Louis Cardinals won their division and now are in the World Series. The Marlins won 78 games, so you never know what could happen.

 

Could the Marlins pick up Jim Edmonds in the offseason, if the Cardinals don't pick up his option?

-- Brett J., Miami

 

Edmonds' price tag probably will be out of the Marlins' range. Then there's the fact that he is getting up there in age and may not be the ideal fit for a youthful Florida squad. There are health concerns with Edmonds as well. I suspect the club likely will explore a more long-term option in center field.

 

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs

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Could the Marlins pick up Jim Edmonds in the offseason, if the Cardinals don't pick up his option?

-- Brett J., Miami

 

Edmonds' price tag probably will be out of the Marlins' range. Then there's the fact that he is getting up there in age and may not be the ideal fit for a youthful Florida squad. There are health concerns with Edmonds as well. I suspect the club likely will explore a more long-term option in center field.

 

I disagree completely. He's going to have a hard time finding 500 AB from clubs in free agency (unless he accepts DHing, but he loves playing defense), and he's a perfect fit for us where we cans sign him to a moderate 2 year deal and guarantee 125+ starts (Cody plays in CF versus LHP). He'd be great as a certifiable all-star veteran presence in the clubhouse, and would look great batting between Cabrera and Hammer. It wouldn't be a long term commitment, he'd be playing for a contender, and he would come off the books right when arbitration hits all of this years rookie class. His health concerns are great for the Marlins because it will keep his asking price lower from all teams. I'd be stunned if he wouldn't take a 2/$10 deal from us. It's a GREAT fit.

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Could the Marlins pick up Jim Edmonds in the offseason, if the Cardinals don't pick up his option?

-- Brett J., Miami

 

Edmonds' price tag probably will be out of the Marlins' range. Then there's the fact that he is getting up there in age and may not be the ideal fit for a youthful Florida squad. There are health concerns with Edmonds as well. I suspect the club likely will explore a more long-term option in center field.

 

I disagree completely. He's going to have a hard time finding 500 AB from clubs in free agency (unless he accepts DHing, but he loves playing defense), and he's a perfect fit for us where we cans sign him to a moderate 2 year deal and guarantee 125+ starts (Cody plays in CF versus LHP). He'd be great as a certifiable all-star veteran presence in the clubhouse, and would look great batting between Cabrera and Hammer. It wouldn't be a long term commitment, he'd be playing for a contender, and he would come off the books right when arbitration hits all of this years rookie class. His health concerns are great for the Marlins because it will keep his asking price lower from all teams. I'd be stunned if he wouldn't take a 2/$10 deal from us. It's a GREAT fit.

why would Edmonds DH? He's one of the best defensive outfielders in the league.

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Could the Marlins pick up Jim Edmonds in the offseason, if the Cardinals don't pick up his option?

-- Brett J., Miami

 

Edmonds' price tag probably will be out of the Marlins' range. Then there's the fact that he is getting up there in age and may not be the ideal fit for a youthful Florida squad. There are health concerns with Edmonds as well. I suspect the club likely will explore a more long-term option in center field.

 

I disagree completely. He's going to have a hard time finding 500 AB from clubs in free agency (unless he accepts DHing, but he loves playing defense), and he's a perfect fit for us where we cans sign him to a moderate 2 year deal and guarantee 125+ starts (Cody plays in CF versus LHP). He'd be great as a certifiable all-star veteran presence in the clubhouse, and would look great batting between Cabrera and Hammer. It wouldn't be a long term commitment, he'd be playing for a contender, and he would come off the books right when arbitration hits all of this years rookie class. His health concerns are great for the Marlins because it will keep his asking price lower from all teams. I'd be stunned if he wouldn't take a 2/$10 deal from us. It's a GREAT fit.

why would Edmonds DH? He's one of the best defensive outfielders in the league.

Because one more concussion and he'll have to call it a career

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Could the Marlins pick up Jim Edmonds in the offseason, if the Cardinals don't pick up his option?

-- Brett J., Miami

 

Edmonds' price tag probably will be out of the Marlins' range. Then there's the fact that he is getting up there in age and may not be the ideal fit for a youthful Florida squad. There are health concerns with Edmonds as well. I suspect the club likely will explore a more long-term option in center field.

 

I disagree completely. He's going to have a hard time finding 500 AB from clubs in free agency (unless he accepts DHing, but he loves playing defense), and he's a perfect fit for us where we cans sign him to a moderate 2 year deal and guarantee 125+ starts (Cody plays in CF versus LHP). He'd be great as a certifiable all-star veteran presence in the clubhouse, and would look great batting between Cabrera and Hammer. It wouldn't be a long term commitment, he'd be playing for a contender, and he would come off the books right when arbitration hits all of this years rookie class. His health concerns are great for the Marlins because it will keep his asking price lower from all teams. I'd be stunned if he wouldn't take a 2/$10 deal from us. It's a GREAT fit.

 

Bingo.

 

If anything, Edmonds fits what we're looking for perfectly. The Marlins and "long term commitment" never belong in the same sentence anyway.

 

Still, I've heard more than one rumor of him heading to Colorado.

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Could the Marlins pick up Jim Edmonds in the offseason, if the Cardinals don't pick up his option?

-- Brett J., Miami

 

Edmonds' price tag probably will be out of the Marlins' range. Then there's the fact that he is getting up there in age and may not be the ideal fit for a youthful Florida squad. There are health concerns with Edmonds as well. I suspect the club likely will explore a more long-term option in center field.

 

I disagree completely. He's going to have a hard time finding 500 AB from clubs in free agency (unless he accepts DHing, but he loves playing defense), and he's a perfect fit for us where we cans sign him to a moderate 2 year deal and guarantee 125+ starts (Cody plays in CF versus LHP). He'd be great as a certifiable all-star veteran presence in the clubhouse, and would look great batting between Cabrera and Hammer. It wouldn't be a long term commitment, he'd be playing for a contender, and he would come off the books right when arbitration hits all of this years rookie class. His health concerns are great for the Marlins because it will keep his asking price lower from all teams. I'd be stunned if he wouldn't take a 2/$10 deal from us. It's a GREAT fit.

 

Bingo.

 

If anything, Edmonds fits what we're looking for perfectly. The Marlins and "long term commitment" never belong in the same sentence anyway.

 

Still, I've heard more than one rumor of him heading to Colorado.

 

Very interesting. Presumably this would free up Cory Sullivan for a possible trade. I did a little research after reading your message. Apparently Sullivan refused a Rockies FO request this September for him to play winter ball in Mexico to work on his hitting. Looks like he may have angered the Rockies FO enough to give him the boot between that and your info on Edmonds going to Colorado. Sullivan would definitely interest me more than replacements like Taveras and Duffy or prospects playing out of position in CF. I'd love to get Edmonds, but I feel the Marlins aren't going to make that big of a move. I think Sullivan might be one of the best out there in the Marlins stated payroll capacity.

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Id love to get Edmonds to balance out the lineup a bit more. He's not nearly the defensive presence he was 5 years ago, but he'd still be an upgrade on Amezega and Co.

 

 

He is an upgrade for the present. But he I would like the Marlins to invest in somebody younger and inexpensive. Jim Edmonds will come pricey and closer to the end of his career than to the begining.

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Id agree with you depending on the pitching price other teams will request for their young CFer. Another point in favor of signing a veteran to man CF is that we have no other position player holes to fill. I think Jake/LHP masher would be fine at 1B and it's worth it to see if Jake improves and can stay healthy.

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Honestly, I wouldn't mind us moving D-Train for uber-spect(s) at C and CF. I honestly do not believe he's anything better than a 3.80-4.50 ERA type of pitcher. I'd love to be proven wrong, but I have serious doubts about him.

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Id love to get Edmonds to balance out the lineup a bit more. He's not nearly the defensive presence he was 5 years ago, but he'd still be an upgrade on Amezega and Co.

 

 

He is an upgrade for the present. But he I would like the Marlins to invest in somebody younger and inexpensive. Jim Edmonds will come pricey and closer to the end of his career than to the begining.

And that's why after you lock Edmonds (or Edmonds type) up, you make a secondary move and obtain Jason Repko or Jeremy Reed for a moderate pitching prospect and hope they turn into Endy Chavez 2007.

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Guest FlummoxedLummox

What about adding Dave Delucci? If I remember correctly he's a free agent who has played center field in the past. The last two years, he's posted OPS's in the .800s. Granted he played in hitter's parks the last two years, but he should come cheap, and could make a decent stopgap.

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What about adding Dave Delucci? If I remember correctly he's a free agent who has played center field in the past. The last two years, he's posted OPS's in the .800s. Granted he played in hitter's parks the last two years, but he should come cheap, and could make a decent stopgap.

I could see that happening. We supposedly were making a strong push for him in 2005. I wouldn't mind seeing him, he played well, from what I saw, for the phillies last year.

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