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Wheel and Deal


WildMarlinMan2003
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MIAMI -- Ideas were batted around, interests were measured and inquires were made last week at the General Managers Meetings in Dana Point, Calif.

Next on the horizon for the Marlins is deciding how many trades and/or signings they will make as the free-agent signing period is set to begin.

 

At a time when there is so much uncertainty regarding who may be added or subtracted from the roster, one thing is abundantly clear: Florida will be active.

 

The Marlins' payroll parameters, combined with the fact they have more than a dozen players eligible for arbitration, indicates at least some movement is inevitable. Besides, the team has already said it wants to improve defensively and athletically.

 

As we saw the day after the World Series ended, Florida is ready to deal. On Oct. 30, it sent first baseman Mike Jacobs to Kansas City for reliever Leo Nunez. And last week, lefty Dan Meyer was claimed by Florida off waivers from Oakland.

 

At the GM Meetings, left-hander Scott Olsen and closer Kevin Gregg were actively mentioned in potential trade talks. The Marlins also are on record saying they are interested in depth at catcher, with the Rangers' Max Ramirez mentioned as a possibility.

 

Then there is the issue of pitching. The club always in looking to add arms, especially now to the bullpen.

 

Because of their financial limitations, the front office again must spend wisely. The payroll projects to be around $35 million next year, about $13 million more than 2008.

 

Even with the increase, Florida still wouldn't be able to fit in all its arbitration-eligible players from an '08 squad that finished third in the National League East with an 84-77 record.

 

With all the speculation flying about possible moves, Marlins president of baseball operations Admin Beinfest cautions against reading too much into rumors.

 

On the day Jacobs was traded, Beinfest told the media: "I know there is a lot of speculation because of our number of arbitration-eligible players, and I know there is speculation because of some of our payroll challenges. I think it is premature to try to figure out who or how many."

 

Now that the GM Meetings are completed, the Marlins and the rest of the league have a better understanding of the landscape on the trade and free-agent markets.

 

Something that also shouldn't be lost is that Florida intends to retain its nucleus. All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez is signed for six more years at $70 million, and second baseman Dan Uggla, a two-time All-Star, likely will return.

 

As they've shown in the past, the Marlins' front office has the reputation of making shrewd deals.

 

"The way we operate is we think we're fair in what we ask for," Beinfest said. "We generally go into a deal with an idea of what we'll ask for. We generally don't do a lot of searching and poking and feeling out. We try to just go right at it.

 

"So I'd guess in any dealings or future dealings we may or may not have in the next couple of months, we'll go at it the same way."

 

Because Florida was one of the youngest teams in the league a year ago, it doesn't have many veteran free agents. Four were on the final roster: outfielder Luis Gonzalez, lefty reliever Arthur Rhodes, catcher Paul Lo Duca and lefty Mark Hendrickson.

 

The Marlins have until Thursday to negotiate exclusively with all four. Most likely, none will return.

 

If Florida pursues a veteran free agent, chances are it will look for bargains. Barring a rare exception, the organization doesn't figure to be in the market for a marquee player who will command a multiyear, multimillion-dollar contract.

 

In other words, the Marlins do not project to be in the mix for Manny Ramirez or CC Sabathia. Also, indications are Florida would not be interested in Ken Griffey Jr.

 

For the right price, however, couple of candidates could be two former Marlins: catcher Ivan Rodriguez and pitcher Carl Pavano.

 

- MLB.com

 

 

Personally, I would love to bring Pudge back for a one year deal. If we trade Olsen for Max Ramirez or another young catcher, who's better to tutor Baker and Ramirez than Pudge?

 

I truly believe Pudge can make our starters elite with his skills, even if declining.

 

Should be a fun offseason. :shifty

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Does anyone think Baker could be a franchise player? I am talking about a franchise player in the sense that he will stay with us and our FO and coaching staff will understand that their main goal is to develop him into our catcher of the future.

Pretty unlikely, although he may be a solid platoon or a strong backup type. Especially because he's a lefty.

 

We still need to acquire more youth at catcher. The Marlins are doing the right thing looking for someone new.

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Personally, I would love to bring Pudge back for a one year deal. If we trade Olsen for Max Ramirez or another young catcher, who's better to tutor Baker and Ramirez than Pudge?

 

I truly believe Pudge can make our starters elite with his skills, even if declining.

 

Should be a fun offseason. :shifty

 

Depending on the results of our trades, there is a really good chance we would not reasonably be able to carry 3 catchers. Also, there are only so many at-bats to go around, and I'd rather not share Baker's and (Max's) with Pudge, while paying several million (from our limited funds) for that "privilege" - would we really want to give him more than 250 ABs? Too high a price for too little return.

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Personally, I would love to bring Pudge back for a one year deal. If we trade Olsen for Max Ramirez or another young catcher, who's better to tutor Baker and Ramirez than Pudge?

 

I truly believe Pudge can make our starters elite with his skills, even if declining.

 

Should be a fun offseason. :shifty

 

Depending on the results of our trades, there is a really good chance we would not reasonably be able to carry 3 catchers. Also, there are only so many at-bats to go around, and I'd rather not share Baker's and (Max's) with Pudge, while paying several million (from our limited funds) for that "privilege" - would we really want to give him more than 250 ABs? Too high a price for too little return.

 

Agreed. If we get Ramirez or Salty, we have no need for the luxury of Pudge. But, if unable to attain quality catching in return, I'd love to bring him back.

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agree with mystikol87.

 

If Baker was a younger franchise type guy, bringing in Pudge might make more sense. But particularly if you can add Ramirez to the equation, Pudge is just taking at-bats away. And no way we're carrying 3 catchers. Seems like at this stage he's an injury risk, is on the downside, and still may not come cheap.

 

estan's question about Baker being an integral part of the team's future.... that's a tough one.

 

Although he's not young, 28 next season certainly isn't old, and if he were here for 3 or 4 seasons that's a relatively long time in catcher terms. Would be enough time to keep the seat warm for Skipworth for example, if that was the long-term thinking.

 

I think the questions are:

 

a) was 2008 close to what we can expect from him?

b) defensively he's still not quite what you want in a starting catcher

c) is he more suited to be a platoon player?

 

Now granted, (b) is a heck of a lot easier to deal with if the answer to (a) is yes.

 

and as for 'c', defensively I don't know whether durability is an issue with him or not, but at the plate he mashed righties, so even if you platoon him it seems you'd still want to give him a majority of at-bats.

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agree with mystikol87.

 

If Baker was a younger franchise type guy, bringing in Pudge might make more sense. But particularly if you can add Ramirez to the equation, Pudge is just taking at-bats away. And no way we're carrying 3 catchers. Seems like at this stage he's an injury risk, is on the downside, and still may not come cheap.

 

estan's question about Baker being an integral part of the team's future.... that's a tough one.

 

Although he's not young, 28 next season certainly isn't old, and if he were here for 3 or 4 seasons that's a relatively long time in catcher terms. Would be enough time to keep the seat warm for Skipworth for example, if that was the long-term thinking.

 

I think the questions are:

 

a) was 2008 close to what we can expect from him?

b) defensively he's still not quite what you want in a starting catcher

c) is he more suited to be a platoon player?

 

Now granted, (b) is a heck of a lot easier to deal with if the answer to (a) is yes.

 

and as for 'c', defensively I don't know whether durability is an issue with him or not, but at the plate he mashed righties, so even if you platoon him it seems you'd still want to give him a majority of at-bats.

 

If Baker is next year what he was this year, he and Ramirez would be exceptional. If he isn't, Ramirez is still expected to be a fantastic full-time backstop offensively. No worries.

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agree with mystikol87.

 

If Baker was a younger franchise type guy, bringing in Pudge might make more sense. But particularly if you can add Ramirez to the equation, Pudge is just taking at-bats away. And no way we're carrying 3 catchers. Seems like at this stage he's an injury risk, is on the downside, and still may not come cheap.

 

estan's question about Baker being an integral part of the team's future.... that's a tough one.

 

Although he's not young, 28 next season certainly isn't old, and if he were here for 3 or 4 seasons that's a relatively long time in catcher terms. Would be enough time to keep the seat warm for Skipworth for example, if that was the long-term thinking.

 

I think the questions are:

 

a) was 2008 close to what we can expect from him?

b) defensively he's still not quite what you want in a starting catcher

c) is he more suited to be a platoon player?

 

Now granted, (b) is a heck of a lot easier to deal with if the answer to (a) is yes.

 

and as for 'c', defensively I don't know whether durability is an issue with him or not, but at the plate he mashed righties, so even if you platoon him it seems you'd still want to give him a majority of at-bats.

 

If Baker is next year what he was this year, he and Ramirez would be exceptional. If he isn't, Ramirez is still expected to be a fantastic full-time backstop offensively. No worries.

 

 

Well, one worry.......we still have to pull off the trade. :thumbup

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agree with mystikol87.

 

If Baker was a younger franchise type guy, bringing in Pudge might make more sense. But particularly if you can add Ramirez to the equation, Pudge is just taking at-bats away. And no way we're carrying 3 catchers. Seems like at this stage he's an injury risk, is on the downside, and still may not come cheap.

 

estan's question about Baker being an integral part of the team's future.... that's a tough one.

 

Although he's not young, 28 next season certainly isn't old, and if he were here for 3 or 4 seasons that's a relatively long time in catcher terms. Would be enough time to keep the seat warm for Skipworth for example, if that was the long-term thinking.

 

I think the questions are:

 

a) was 2008 close to what we can expect from him?

b) defensively he's still not quite what you want in a starting catcher

c) is he more suited to be a platoon player?

 

Now granted, (b) is a heck of a lot easier to deal with if the answer to (a) is yes.

 

and as for 'c', defensively I don't know whether durability is an issue with him or not, but at the plate he mashed righties, so even if you platoon him it seems you'd still want to give him a majority of at-bats.

 

If Baker is next year what he was this year, he and Ramirez would be exceptional. If he isn't, Ramirez is still expected to be a fantastic full-time backstop offensively. No worries.

 

 

Well, one worry.......we still have to pull off the trade. :thumbup

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agree with mystikol87.

 

If Baker was a younger franchise type guy, bringing in Pudge might make more sense. But particularly if you can add Ramirez to the equation, Pudge is just taking at-bats away. And no way we're carrying 3 catchers. Seems like at this stage he's an injury risk, is on the downside, and still may not come cheap.

 

estan's question about Baker being an integral part of the team's future.... that's a tough one.

 

Although he's not young, 28 next season certainly isn't old, and if he were here for 3 or 4 seasons that's a relatively long time in catcher terms. Would be enough time to keep the seat warm for Skipworth for example, if that was the long-term thinking.

 

I think the questions are:

 

a) was 2008 close to what we can expect from him?

b) defensively he's still not quite what you want in a starting catcher

c) is he more suited to be a platoon player?

 

Now granted, (b) is a heck of a lot easier to deal with if the answer to (a) is yes.

 

and as for 'c', defensively I don't know whether durability is an issue with him or not, but at the plate he mashed righties, so even if you platoon him it seems you'd still want to give him a majority of at-bats.

 

If Baker is next year what he was this year, he and Ramirez would be exceptional. If he isn't, Ramirez is still expected to be a fantastic full-time backstop offensively. No worries.

 

 

Well, one worry.......we still have to pull off the trade. :thumbup

 

Well, it sounds like Beinfest has his eye on his prize... Probably a pitching prospect being worked into the deal on our end at this point.

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Does anyone think Baker could be a franchise player? I am talking about a franchise player in the sense that he will stay with us and our FO and coaching staff will understand that their main goal is to develop him into our catcher of the future.

Pretty unlikely, although he may be a solid platoon or a strong backup type. Especially because he's a lefty.

 

We still need to acquire more youth at catcher. The Marlins are doing the right thing looking for someone new.

I honestly don't see anything wrong with a platoon with a veteran free agent that can mash lefties and mentor for a year or two or three while we wait for Skipworth. That would allow us to deal Olsen/Gregg for some corner outfield talent.

 

Maybe I'm just too much of a Baker homer.

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Does anyone think Baker could be a franchise player? I am talking about a franchise player in the sense that he will stay with us and our FO and coaching staff will understand that their main goal is to develop him into our catcher of the future.

Pretty unlikely, although he may be a solid platoon or a strong backup type. Especially because he's a lefty.

 

We still need to acquire more youth at catcher. The Marlins are doing the right thing looking for someone new.

I honestly don't see anything wrong with a platoon with a veteran free agent that can mash lefties and mentor for a year or two or three while we wait for Skipworth. That would allow us to deal Olsen/Gregg for some corner outfield talent.

 

Maybe I'm just too much of a Baker homer.

 

Sure, Baker would probably be a great platoon partner with a vet who can match righties. Those are hard to come by for a reasonable price in this catchers market right now, though.

Also, Skipworth is a tremendous prospect, but he is no lock. And, he is our only depth at catcher. We have more depth at the corner outfield positions at the ML and MiL levels.

If we platoon Baker but he gets hurt, for example, we are stuck platooning the other guy with Rabelo......that stinks (if they pick up a veteran FA, they won't bring back Treanor).

Whereas should Hermida get hurt or stink, we can sub in Willingham, Raynor, and possibly Cousins (assuming starting outfield of Hermida/Maybin/Ross).

Of course, we could use more depth almost everywhere (although I think we're okay first base) - who couldn't.

And believe me, I'd like more depth at the corners as well, but catching depth is still a more pressing need.

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That would allow us to deal Olsen/Gregg for some corner outfield talent.

NO.

 

Young catcher, pitching. We have 4 MLB guys - Maybin, Hermida, Willingham, Ross, 3 guys in high minors - Raynor, Cousins, Petersen, and a monster in A - Stanton.

 

Outfield is also easy to find in FA for 1 year veterans who can stopgap easily. Outfield is the DEAD LAST thing we should be trading for as a feature piece of a deal.

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I would guess, aside from Pudge returning (for a number of reasons not all of them baseball and I'm not sure how they all fall into the equation) I can't imagine the front office going out and signing a Ramon Hernandez whose career (to be polite) behind the plate is in steep decline, just for the sake of experience. Baker won the job outright last season (and I was surprised and unabashedly admit it) and so long as isn't hurt or falls on his face this spring, I think it's his job so long as he can perform at the level he did last summer.

 

The big question mark is what the Marlins do with Treanor, healthy or not, and I'm not going to debate his value here, that an individual choice, but I think as a #2 guy behind the plate he fits in nicely. The problem comes if and when Baker either can't play or is DLed for any amount of time, then where are you? For that reason I think (and this is as much dependent of Treanor's health as anything) absent the "big" signing, a guy like Ramirez (with some ML experience) might be exactly the right choice.

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I just don't see the Olsen for Ramirez deal happening. The Red Sox are dangling Buckholz for Saltalamacchia which would mean the Rangers will probably keep Ramirez for the future. I think if you really want Ramirez or Salty they would need to add another high level arm or consider dealing Anibal and a minor league arm. It sucks that the Red Sox are in the mix with Buckholz because now the Rangers are going to want a sexier deal for one of these catchers (although personally, right now I would take Olsen cuz you don't know which Clay Buckholz you're getting).

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That would allow us to deal Olsen/Gregg for some corner outfield talent.

NO.

 

Young catcher, pitching. We have 4 MLB guys - Maybin, Hermida, Willingham, Ross, 3 guys in high minors - Raynor, Cousins, Petersen, and a monster in A - Stanton.

 

Outfield is also easy to find in FA for 1 year veterans who can stopgap easily. Outfield is the DEAD LAST thing we should be trading for as a feature piece of a deal.

 

 

Also, if worse comes to worse, we also can put Amezaga in the outfield. Granted his offense is less than stellar but assuming all of the other outfielders fail (which is highly unlikely) he is an option. Outfield is definitely not a priority.

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That would allow us to deal Olsen/Gregg for some corner outfield talent.

NO.

 

Young catcher, pitching. We have 4 MLB guys - Maybin, Hermida, Willingham, Ross, 3 guys in high minors - Raynor, Cousins, Petersen, and a monster in A - Stanton.

 

Outfield is also easy to find in FA for 1 year veterans who can stopgap easily. Outfield is the DEAD LAST thing we should be trading for as a feature piece of a deal.

depends if the OF talent is something like gonalez (A's) or like A delmon young but there is no way we get a talent like that imo.

I would love a right fielder with a cannon for a arm, but it is a luxery for a team not a necessity. (could then put hermida to LF).

 

I would personally agree a catcher (salty) + an arm (hurley perhaps? his stock has been down but he has good talent).

 

any chance we can do Gregg + Olsen for Adam Miller + Santana?

 

I doubt it but a man could dream.

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I just don't see the Olsen for Ramirez deal happening. The Red Sox are dangling Buckholz for Saltalamacchia which would mean the Rangers will probably keep Ramirez for the future. I think if you really want Ramirez or Salty they would need to add another high level arm or consider dealing Anibal and a minor league arm. It sucks that the Red Sox are in the mix with Buckholz because now the Rangers are going to want a sexier deal for one of these catchers (although personally, right now I would take Olsen cuz you don't know which Clay Buckholz you're getting).

 

 

Yeah buckholz really lost his confidence last year, Id take olsen over him right now. Olsen is like a gurantee to go out there and at least keep you some what in the game he isnt going to dazzle you but he gets you through and eats innings.

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depends if the OF talent is something like gonalez (A's) or like A delmon young but there is no way we get a talent like that imo.

I would love a right fielder with a cannon for a arm, but it is a luxery for a team not a necessity. (could then put hermida to LF).

 

I would personally agree a catcher (salty) + an arm (hurley perhaps? his stock has been down but he has good talent).

 

any chance we can do Gregg + Olsen for Adam Miller + Santana?

 

I doubt it but a man could dream.

 

Cody is an excellent outfielder. He may not have a "cannon" but he is very good in all 3 spots and good fundamentals and cutting off balls can help make up anything he might lack without a Brett Favre arm out there.

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Would you all consider outfield a priority now that we got rid of Willingham? Granted, I still think a catcher is more important but considering we don't have a 4th outfielder. Just wondering.

No, now instead of having 4 ML-caliber starting outfielders we have 3 in Ross/Maybin/Hermida. We don't need a starting OFer to sit on the bench. Plus we still having guys like Raynor, Stanton, Cousins, and maybe even Logan Morrison in the minors.

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Would you all consider outfield a priority now that we got rid of Willingham? Granted, I still think a catcher is more important but considering we don't have a 4th outfielder. Just wondering.

No, now instead of having 4 ML-caliber starting outfielders we have 3 in Ross/Maybin/Hermida. We don't need a starting OFer to sit on the bench. Plus we still having guys like Raynor, Stanton, Cousins, and maybe even Logan Morrison in the minors.

 

I think Brett Carroll would be first in line to be our 4th outfielder, with the rest competing.

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Would you all consider outfield a priority now that we got rid of Willingham? Granted, I still think a catcher is more important but considering we don't have a 4th outfielder. Just wondering.

No, now instead of having 4 ML-caliber starting outfielders we have 3 in Ross/Maybin/Hermida. We don't need a starting OFer to sit on the bench. Plus we still having guys like Raynor, Stanton, Cousins, and maybe even Logan Morrison in the minors.

I disagree. We need someone pushing Maybin and Hermida as there production isn't guaranteed. It's going to be very scary if the backup outfielders are converted light hitting middle infielders.

 

I think I want this right now for the bench - McPherson, Helms, Andino, "legit 4th outfielder," "backup catcher"

 

Then we have in AAA

C - Rabelo

IF - Bonifacio, Coghlan

OF - Raynor, De Aza, Carroll

 

That's adequate depth, we don't have to DFA Andino, and we have Gregg and Amezaga still to trade off the team. That's also a fabulous AAA middle infield (Bonifacio could use sometime there, and it's a good excuse to try Andino out anyways), and decent 5th outfield candidates if someone goes down on the MLB squad.

 

The big boys are obviously in AA and will fix the longterm OF flanking Maybin.

OF - Morrison, Cousins, Petersen < - Awesome AA outfield

 

We can get through 2009, but we really need another OF to slot in. I'd rank our priorities for 2009 after this deal:

 

1 - Legitimate 4th Outfielder (this does not include Griffey or Raynor)

2 - Upgraded backup catcher, preferably a young'en

3 - Additional SP talent at AAA level in the form of prospects or minor league free agents (like a Pavano)

 

Longterm

1 - More SP depth

2 - Young C (if the 2009 acquisition is not one)

3 - Another young 3B

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