With Abbott Gone, Castillo and Gonzalez to Patrol Infield

Marlins trade utility infielder Kurt Abbott back to the team where they found him four years ago, the Oakland Athletics. Abbott, who made $650,000 last year and was headed to arbitration lost his starting 2B job when the Marlins acquired Craig Counsell. With a wealth of young talent available in the infield, including Alex González and Luis Castillo, Abbott became expendable. In return, the Marlins receive much needed pitching help with RHP Eric Ludwick.

Cook Traded; Payroll Down to $31 Million

Marlins traded Dennis Cook and his $850,000 to the New York Mets for minor leaguer outfielder Fletcher Bates and pitcher Scott Comer. The Marlins’ payroll is now down to $31 million. Subtracting the $5 million the Marlins will probably receive in insurance for Alex Fernandez’s injury, the Marlins have reached the general range they wanted their payroll to be. Al Leiter and jim Eisenriech are the next players to go.

Alex Arias DFA

Marlins designated Alex Arias for assignment, releasing the last member of the original 1993 Florida Marlins. The 30 year old Arias was one of the leagues best pinch-hitters during his stay with the Marlins. He was originally acquired from the Cubs in 1992 on expansion draft day.

Also, the Marlins picked up Brandon Cromer of waivers from the Pirates. The 23 year-old Cromer hit .232 with eight homers and 36 RBI in 68 games at Triple A last season.