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Marlins to add marquee name/Sauerbeck

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Article in Sun-Sentinel about Marlins expecting to add a marquee name before Feb. 21 - and yes, Vlad is mentioned. So is Maddux and Kendall...here is the article:


Marlins aim to sign marquee player before spring training


By Juan C. Rodriguez

Staff Writer

Posted January 7 2004


Before the Marlins took their holiday respite, General Manager Admin Beinfest said the team had done most of its offseason heavy lifting. The Marlins may still have the wherewithal to clean and jerk another big name onto the roster before beginning their World Series title defense.


According to industry sources, the Marlins are examining a number of options from Vladimir Guerrero to Greg Maddux to Jason Kendall. None is beyond the exploratory stage, but don't be surprised to see the Marlins make another marquee acquisition before pitchers and catchers report for spring training Feb. 21 in Jupiter.


For Guerrero to become the Marlins' right fielder, his negotiations with the Orioles would have to break down. A source said the Marlins are in a holding pattern awaiting that outcome and have not made Guerrero an offer. If Guerrero fails to reach agreement with Orioles, who have a $65 million deal on the table, the Marlins "would have a great shot" of landing him, the source said.


The Marlins would likely consider guaranteeing an eight-figure annual salary for a year or two with heavy deferrals and tie the rest to ballpark construction. Earlier this offseason, third baseman Mike Lowell signed a four-year, $32 million deal contingent on the team securing financing for a stadium.


Though negotiations are progressing slowly, the Orioles have not expressed any pessimism regarding their prospects for signing Guerrero.


That may eventually shift the Marlins' attention to Maddux or Kendall. A free agent, Maddux reportedly is seeking no less than $11 million per season. The Padres have balked at that, settling instead for lefty David Wells. If Maddux does not land an acceptable multiyear deal, sources said the Marlins may offer the four-time Cy Young winner a one-year contract.


"He'll win 15," one National League talent evaluator said. "That is a lock. Plus, he has seen what going to a bad ballclub just for the money did to [Tom]Glavine."


Whether Maddux would consider playing for the Marlins is speculative. He resides in Las Vegas and recently purchased a home in San Diego.


Kendall could nix any proposed move to the Marlins. His six-year, $60 million contract includes a full no-trade clause, and he resides on the West Coast. Kendall is due $42 million over the next four years. The Pirates would likely have to pick up no less than half that total to make it worthwhile for the Marlins, who would hope to make up in offense what they'd sacrifice from Kendall's fielding deficiencies.


The Pirates unsuccessfully tried to package him to San Diego last season, but they would not eat more than $18 million of his remaining salary. The Marlins could demand greater relief if they put together an attractive enough package, which would likely include Ramon Castro or Mike Redmond.


Also mentions our pursuit of Sauerbeck - a solid move. Could be lefty out of the pen:




The Marlins are looking at left-hander Scott Sauerbeck to flesh out their bullpen. Though he combined to go 3-5 with a 4.76 ERA for the Pirates and Red Sox last season, in 2002 he had a 2.30 ERA in 622/3 innings and held left-handed batters to a .147 batting average for the Pirates.


"He got a little taste of the playoffs last year with Boston and that was a tremendous experience for him," said Adam Hubble, Sauerbeck's Ohio-based agent. "The Marlins demonstrated that last year and there's no reason to expect they're not going to be competing at least for one of those postseason spots. That certainly makes it an attractive situation. We're going to hear everything they have to say."


Sauerbeck, who the Red Sox non-tendered last month, was on the Marlins' wish list before the July 31 trading deadline.

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