Jose Castillo Out?

Joe Frisaro is reporting that there are grumblings in the clubhouse that Jose Castillo will not make the team.

It’s clear that Jorge Cantu had a great Spring and Dallas McPherson is injured. I’m wondering whether the Fish think Cantu and Alfredo Amezaga will play 3rd and then have Jason Wood backup first. Regardless it’s a bit surprising.

Update: The Marlins just placed him on waivers; we will have to wait and see if someone picks him up; for now he’s still with the team.

Are The Marlins Looking for a Starting Pitcher?

MLBTR speculates that the Marlins are looking to trade for another starter. We know Sergio Mitre is out and Scott Olsen is slow to recover but is it worth trading away Mike Jacobs or some younger talent to get one of these guys?

potentially available starters include Kyle Snyder, Kei Igawa, Dave Bush, Claudio Vargas, Jason Marquis, Daniel Cabrera, Matt Morris, Woody Williams, Matt Belisle, Justin Germano, Anthony Reyes, Cliff Lee, Jeremy Sowers, Aaron Laffey, and Gustavo Chacin.

BTW, I don’t buy the salary argument. If the Fish found a meaningful starter who has a multi-million dollar salary, I’m sure ownership would make it’s infamous one-player salary splurge.

Luis Gonzalez is Heading Our Way

Luis Gonzalez signs with the Florida Marlins

Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Marlins have lured Luis Gonzalez with a one-year $2 million deal (including an additional $1 million in incentives).

Gonzalez, 40, is expected to fill a combination of roles, including left field and first base, and serve as a mentor for the Marlins’ younger players.

Interesting that he is saying left field, meaning the Marlins are serious about giving Maybin the starting CF job.

Gonzo has slowed down significantly over the last couple of years but the team is hoping he provides depth and most importantly veteran leadership.

Marlins Stockpiling Infielders

We’re back after a nice holiday break and we lead off with the news that the Marlins are not done adding players.

With Jose Castillo on board, the Fish are close to adding Jorge Cantu to the mix. Cantu has had some good and some bad in his brief MLB career:

Cantu broke in with Tampa Bay in 2004, and his best season was ’05, when he batted .286 with 28 home runs and 117 RBIs.

It’s not clear whether the Marlins will continue to pursue free agent Dallas McPherson. Some have speculated that Jose Castillo still needs some more experience in the minors but on the other hand, McPherson may not want to compete for a job when he has a chance to start somewhere else.

Update: Cantu is signed. 1-year deal worth $500,000.

In Case You Wondered: The Marlins Proposed the Trade

We’ve all wondered how the trade happens and in this Detroit-loving article by Jason Stark, we discover that after the Tigers rejected the Marlins’ Cabrera for Miller and Maybin offer, the Marlins came back with the 8 player lineup (meaning: included Dontrelle) and Detroit said yes.

Also, the Marlins wanted Mike Rabelo because bench coach Carlos Tosca had managed him before and liked him.

Oh, and one bit of commentary. Trading away your entire minor league system and spending millions on free agents doesn’t make your GM a genius. For every good GM like Dave Dombrowski there is an incompetent GM like Omar Minaya.

Some Positive Spin on the Deal

ESPN’s Christopher Harris summarizes the deal and has some positive views on the new Marlins:

Check out this haul: Florida got prized centerfielder Cameron Maybin, should’ve-been-top-pick lefty starter Andrew Miller, middle-of-the-rotation prospect Dallas Trahern, possible future closer Eulogio De La Cruz, major-league backup catcher Mike Rabelo and another starting prospect, Burke Badenhop.

Continue reading “Some Positive Spin on the Deal”

Tigers Acquire Cabrera and Willis

Wow, the blockbuster deal just happened. is reporting (and Peter Gammons is confirming) that the Detroit Tigers have acquired Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. In return, the Marlins will get outfielder Cameron Maybin, left-handed pitcher Andrew Miller, catcher Mike Rabelo, right-handed pitcher Eulogio delaCruz, right-handed pitcher Dallas Trahern and right-handed pitcher Burke Badenhop.

It’s not official yet, but:

The deal was all but finalized as of late afternoon at the Winter Meetings.

Here is who we know we’re getting:

Maybin and Miller were both first-round Draft picks of the Tigers, Maybin in 2005 and Miller in 2006. Both have tasted the Major Leagues.

Maybin, 20, made his debut in August and appeared in 24 games, hitting .143 with one home run in 49 at-bats. However, he made a rapid rise through the Tigers system, batting .304 with 10 homers in 83 games for Class A Lakeland before making a brief stop at Double-A Erie.

Miller, 22, made 13 starts for Detroit last season, going 5-6 with a 5.69 ERA. In 78 Minor League innings in 2007, he allowed 71 hits and struck out 61 batters. He was drafted out of the University of North Carolina.

Looks like Dave Dombrowksi is serious about bringing as many former Marlins to the Tigers as possible.


Latest Cabrera to the Angels Update: No Deal?

ESPN’s Jason Stark has the latest update on the Miguel Cabrera discussions.

First comes the settled part:

The two teams appear to have agreed that second baseman Howie Kendrick and catcher Jeff Mathis would be part of any deal.

But where it gets complicated is the Marlins demand for two top notch pitching prospects:

According to baseball men who have spoken with both teams, the clubs have talked about three young starting pitchers — Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders and the Angels’ best pitching prospect, Nick Adenhart. But the Angels apparently weren’t willing to trade two pitchers from that group without changes to the other half of the package.

Continue reading “Latest Cabrera to the Angels Update: No Deal?”

White Sox Trying to Acquire a “Big Fish”

The Chicago White Sox have acquired Cabrera. That is, Orlando Cabrera from the Angels.

But that’s not the story here.

Looks like they’re focused on an all-Cabrera left side of the infield as their GM Ken Williams claims that this deal clears some financial room ($3MM) for another deal. And that deal is:

“We’re not done yet. We’re still trying to land a big fish,” Williams said.

You know who which fish he’s talking about.

Why the Florida Marlins Should Trade Miguel Cabrera

We’ve been debating here what to do with Miguel Cabrera and here is one view:

The more I think about it, the more I am OK with trading Cabrera (assuming the trade is for value).

With all this Cabrera talk, did anybody every realize that trading him might not be the a bad thing for the club? First, they can get a lot in return (and are apparently asking for a lot). Second, given the Marlins’ revenue constraints, is Cabrera really worth the cost?

Take a look at these stats… Is Cabrera really that far ahead of Hanley or Uggla?

Cabrera 3B 157 588 91 188 38 2 34 119 332 79 127 2 1 .401 .565 .320
Ramirez SS 154 639 125 212 48 6 29 81 359 52 95 51 14 .386 .562 .332
Uggla 2B 159 632 113 155 49 3 31 88 303 68 167 2 1 .326 .476 .245

Hanley struck out 30% less while having 10% more total bases than Cabrera and still hitting nearly 30 home runs and having nearly identical slugging percentage. That, and Ramirez can steal bases while Cabrera prefers to eat them. Uggla, in the meantime, strikes out way too much, but puts up very respectable numbers. So, while losing Cabrera would mean losing a well known player, it doesn’t, necessarily, hurt the team’s offense as much as, say, the Heat playing without Dwayne Wade or any football team losing its quarterback (not using the Dolphins as an example since they don’t really have a good quarterback). The question then has to be asked, with Ramirez and Uggla (not to mention Hermida, Willingham, and Jacobs — all of whom can hit 20 home runs and in Hermida’s case, for average if healthy), is Cabrera really the “franchise player” on which the future of this team hangs? Or is this just a popularity issue?

Now, if you are the Marlins, you can keep Cabrera for now but can you keep him in the future (and will you want to?). In the long run (even with a stadium) it will be impossible to keep Cabrera and Ramirez (in addition to young pitchers like Olsen, Nolasco, Sanchez, Mitre, and Johnson). In fact with many of those joining the team at the same time, it seems that down the road the Marlins will hit a time when these young talented players will all be arbitration eligible during the same year and their salaries will increase exponentially. Even with a stadium, the Marlins will never have a revenue stream like the Yankees or Red Sox which will allow them to sign and keep all those players. In other words, Cabrera will either get traded some day or be lost to free agency. Alternatively, the Marlins could plan to keep Cabrera in the long run but that would mean planning on losing one of the other young talented players. Would you keep Cabrera, a player who has shown himself to be lazy and indifferent at times and who for two seasons now has been completely unable to control his physical conditioning and declining defensive skills, or do you keep the guys that hustle and will be able to do something other than hitting? Last I checked baseball does not maintain separate defensive and offensive squads. The concern is that while Cabrera will become the equivalent of Pavel Bure — offensively flashy, defensively useless, and always a member of a losing team, guys like Ramirez and Uggla are dedicated and hardworking.

That leaves the last question — do you keep Cabrera now, knowing that he will be gone in the future? That depends on whether you can get the trade value you want. This team has many holes that need to be filled in. After last year, we can all admit there is much room for improvement. Trading Cabrera is the most efficient way to fill those holes while securing this team’s on-field future.

The A-Rod-O-Meter Bursts

I think we will start to put the A-Rod rumors on some kind of scale or meter where 0 means he is not coming and 100 means he is here. For example, anything speculated by the writers in the Sun-Sentinel or Miami Herald is -10 on the scale.

Take a look at the latest speculation from our esteemed local papers. On it’s face it’s a -10. But, it adds some weight:

One thing Beinfest didn’t do in Thursday’s teleconference with local beat writers: scotch the idea.

Yes, we now have a story written on what Beinfest didn’t say. Therefore, we are officially raising the A-Rod meter to 1. We are a mere 99 points/degrees away from success.

A-Rod To Buy the Marlins? Really?

Alex Rodriguez Florida Marlins Jersey

For some reason it’s become very exciting for sports writers to figure out why they think Alex Rodriguez will go the the Marlins. It’s a fun game, I guess. The latest work of genius comes from San Diego and it’s quite innovative:

The mid-revenue Padres strongly expect the Marlins to shop and trade third baseman Miguel Cabrera within five weeks. Confident in Kevin Kouzmanoff and prospect Chase Headley – a Double-A star who will play third and left field in spring training – the Padres will sit out the Cabrera auction. The Padres also will sit out bidding for third baseman Alex Rodriguez. The Padres won’t be surprised if Rodriguez, a Miami native, signs with the Marlins in return for an ownership stake linked to keeping the franchise in South Florida.

I like the idea and it’s certainly a new one, but I wonder whether that’s even possible considering the labor situation in MLB. That would make A-Rod essentially part of both the Players Union and MLB Ownership. There are ways to make it work (via a trust, for example) but I’m wasting time thinking about it.

Bottom-line: A-Rod is likely to get $150 million dollars over the next 5 years from someone else (the Angels?) and will probably end up earning nearly half-a-billion dollars over his career (with endorsements) so he can easily buy the Marlins or some other team when he retires.