You may not get many more rides on the Leocoaster

Monday, July 18, 2011

Another NBCMiami piece today, this time on potential trade deals:
With a playoff appearance looking more and more remote, the Florida Marlins are reportedly considering trading a few of their pitchers before the July 31 trade deadline.

According to, the Fish are amenable to dealing starter Javier Vazquez and relievers Leo Nunez and Randy Choate.
Nunez will get $5+ million in arbitration this winter, and that's a lot to pay for a middling closer. Ted and I are of the same opinion on closers: There are usually 2 or 3 in all of baseball worth their weight in gold (think Mariano Rivera or John Smoltz in his brief closer stint), and the rest are interchangeable (SCWS thinks so, too). The Marlins (wisely) won't pay for Leo next year, so they may as well try to get something for him now.

Vazquez is an interesting case due to his no-trade clause. But he's on a one-year deal, so it makes little sense to keep him if the Marlins can't make a run at the playoffs. Finding a taker for Vazquez could be difficult, but the Tigers once traded John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander, so anything is possible.

I think the Marlins should hold on to Choate, though. He is only due $1.5 million in 2012, and he has been quite effective against lefties this year (facing 57 left-handed hitters in 2011, he has allowed only 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 23). Unless someone blows them away with an offer, it would be wise to keep him.

Only slightly-related, but interesting nonetheless: Choate and Vazquez were traded for each other in 2003 when the Yankees sent Choate, Nick Johnson and Juan Rivera to Montreal for Javy.

One other thing:
Starters Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez are off the table, though, as the Marlins want to "build around" the trio as they move into their new stadium next season.
I would not have been surprised if Sanchez were dealt this year, but apparently the team wants to pay for his services over the next few years. Considering his injury history though, the Marlins might be declining to sell Sanchez when his value is highest. Here's hoping that doesn't turn out to be a mistake.

Speaking of selling high, remember when everyone was mad about the Marlins trading Dan Uggla? As of July 17, he's slashing .189/.264/.366, good for an OPS+ of 72. And the Braves have him for four more years. At least he makes up for it with his -1.2 defensive WAR, amirite?


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