MLB.com is reporting that the Marlins have traded Mike Jacobs to the Royals for Leo Nunez. I like this deal a lot for both teams. The Marlins will add speed, defense, and pitching to their team all in one move. That is what they said they wanted to build around, and they didn’t lie. They now can call up Chris Coghlan, move Dan Uggla to third base, and Jorge Cantu to first base. That would help the defense. Coghlan’s speed would give them more versatility on offense. Nunez is a big addition to the bullpen and could help replace Kevin Gregg should he be traded this winter. On top of all that, the Fish are able to cut salary, something they had to do. The Royals did well, also. Some would have argued that they should’ve given Kila Ka’aihue and Ryan Shealy a full shot before trading for Jacobs, but the latter can come in and fill a big void in their lineup. Bringing him in, as well as a possible free agent bat could give them a solid lineup next year. If certain guys do well in the starting rotation, the Kansas City Royals might become the Rays of 2009. Overall, I think this was a good way to start off the 2008-2009 offseason.
It seems like the Marlins will make slugging second/third baseman Dan Uggla available this offseason. There will probably be tons of suitors. Lets check them out.
Cardinals (frontrunners) Bryan Anderson for Dan Uggla. This trade just makes too much sense for both teams. The Marlins get a catcher significantly better than Matt Treanor and open up a position for the fast, good defensive Chris Coghlan. The Cardinals get the bat they want to protect Albert Pujols, and Bryan Anderson has no role on their team because of Yadier Molina. I’d be surprised if either team got a better offer for their player.
Indians (frontrunners) They also have a catcher they could trade. They would be reluctant to do it, but Kelly Shoppach could get a deal done for both sides. I explained how it made sense for the Marlins above, and it makes sense for the Tribe, too. They’d have to be 100% sure Victor Martinez is healthy or else they shouldn’t do the deal. Dan Uggla can play either second base or third base, so it gives them even more flexibility as to who they will sign. This trade also makes sense.
Marlins (frontrunners) Unless they can get a good, young catcher in return, it might make more sense to trade Jorge Cantu or Mike Jacobs instead. Both players could bring back a hard throwing pitching prospect: the kind of player the Fish are looking for. Plus, it improves the defense by moving Jorge Cantu to first base or another team. If they want to build around pitching, defense, and speed it makes sense to move someone other than Uggla.
Twins (possible) If the Marlins are willing to take young pitching for Uggla, then the Twins are a good fit. They could offer one of their young guns and play Uggla at third base. I don’t know if the Marlins would do this trade, though.
Giants (possible) It is pretty much the same thing here as with the Twins. If the Fish will take pitchers, the Giants could trade Jonathan Sanchez for him. If the Marlins don’t accept starters, then Uggla won’t be in a Giant uniform next year.
A’s (possible) It’s possible the Marlins would rather have hard throwing prospects instead of proven young pitchers. If that is the case, don’t be surprised to see Uggla heading down to the bay area. The A’s could play him at second base until Adrian Cardenas is ready, then they could move him to third base. This makes sense for the A’s, but maybe not the Marlins.
Dodgers (possible) They could offer James McDonald. He’s not the best prospect, but could get the deal done with an added player and poor offers for Uggla. Or, the Marlins could decide to keep him and trade someone else.
White Sox (not likely) They would be interested, but I don’t see them giving away their farm for another slow player. I don’t know if they could even pull off a trade. They’d be much more interested in Brian Roberts.
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I am making a new series here on All Baseball All the Time. It is called the offseason plan series. I will go through all thirty teams and put on my GM hat. Today I will start with the Florida Marlins.
The penny pinching Marlins could be set for another fire sale this offseason. You may wonder why, as they are an above five hundred team and possibly could get better. Their owners do not like spending money, however. There projected payroll with many arbitration eligible players is about 58 million. I’m sure they would like to lower that to at least 50 million, probably less. And they still need a catcher. They could also use a cheap left reliever to replace Arthur Rhodes in the offseason. This is a list predicting the amount players will earn in arb. I think Scott Olsen should be moved to open up a spot for Andrew Miller. Mike Jacobs should also be traded. The Marlins have to many low average high power type players. They can spare him becasue the Marlins have a good second base prospect in Chris Coghlan. They can move Jorge Cantu to first base, and Dan Uggla to third base. That would improve the defense at third, first, and second base. Also, they get some speed in the lineup from Coghlan. Also, if the above list is correct, they shave 5 million off their payroll. They need to move an outfielder to open up a spot for Cameron Maybin. The least talented is Cody Ross, so I say move him. That’s another 1.5 million, only 1.5 left untill they are at 50. Since it is such a small number, they could just move fringe guys like Alfredo Amezaga and Sergio Mitre, whom are easily replacable. For the return in trades, I think they could get Gerald Laird from the Rangers. Maybe the Marlins throw in an extra prospect or 2 to get the Rangers to eat all of Laird’s contract. Jacobs could go to a team like the Angels if they fail to resign Teixera. The Marlins would likely ask for a prospect in return. Ross, Amezaga, and Mitre could be dealt for mid-to-low-level prospects. This is my offseason plan for the Florida Marlins.