Tag:Florida Marlins
Posted on: July 30, 2009 12:21 am
Edited on: July 30, 2009 12:24 am

Pads talk Gonzalez with Boston, Bell with Florida

The Boston Red Sox continue to swing for the fences, exploring impact trades on all fronts: As of Wednesday night, according to CBSSports.com sources, they were in on Toronto ace Roy Halladay, Cleveland slugger Victor Martinez and, in a very intriguing twist, San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

The Gonzalez development is the most recent. The Red Sox had approached the Padres several weeks ago but were told at that time that Gonzalez was staying put. San Diego now appears to have had a change of heart and is at least exploring a potential deal for its All-Star slugger less than 48 hours before Friday's 4 p.m. EDT non-waivers trade deadline.

The cost-cutting Padres are looking for young, controllable players, especially starting pitchers. To move Gonzalez, it probably would cost Boston multiple young arms, likely from the group of Clay Buchholz, Michael Bowden and Daniel Bard, and probably a young position player or two.

Those also are pitchers about whom Toronto has inquired during talks for Halladay, according to sources. So Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, who has proven adept in the past at multi-tasking down parallel trade lines, has some serious decisions to make in these last 30-some hours.

Meantime, the Padres are fielding several inquiries about closer Heath Bell and appeared to be engaged in serious discussions with the Florida Marlins. One source with knowledge of the talks said the Padres are asking for premier young pitchers and that there might not be a match.

If there is, and the Padres wind up shipping Bell to Florida and Gonzalez to Boston, then they probably could fill their closer's role with one of the young arms they acquire, such as Bard.

As for the Red Sox, it's clear that they have their sights set on an impact trade. Gonzalez or Martinez would be a huge boost to a slumping lineup. Left fielder Jason Bay, for example, was batting just .203 in the month of July into Wednesday night's game with Oakland. He had just one homer and five RBI in the month, with 24 strikeouts in 69 at-bats.

In the Halladay deal, Boston is said to be willing to part with  Buchholz, he of the no-hitter two summers ago. But the Red Sox reportedly will not include outfielder Ryan Westmoreland and pitcher-shortstop Casey Kelly -- each a 2008 draft pick -- in any potential deal.



Posted on: November 10, 2008 9:11 pm

Nationals acquire Marlins' Olsen, Willingham

The Florida Marlins, looking to avoid costly player payroll increases via arbitration, have traded left-handed pitcher Scott Olsen and outfielder Josh Willingham to the Washington Nationals for a three-player package in a deal that allows both clubs to accomplish what they're after, sources tell CBSSports.com.

The deal is expected to be announced on Tuesday, when the Nationals will host a press conference featuring both Olsen and Willingham.

Washington general manager Jim Bowden has vowed that the Nationals, after christening their new stadium with an embarrassing worst-record-in-baseball finish last summer, will aggressively seek to improve themselves this winter.

The Marlins, meanwhile, are following their usual blueprint of dealing away players as they become more expensive in favor of re-stocking their supply of young players. In exchange for Olsen and Willingham, the Marlins will receive young second baseman Emilio Bonifacio and two Class A players in right-handed pitcher P.J. Dean and outfielder Jake Smolinski.

Both Olsen and Willingham should help the Nationals immediately. Olsen, 24, was 8-11 with a 4.20 ERA last summer and, perhaps most importantly, worked 201 2/3 innings. Washington's rotation is a wreck, and Olsen by far will become the quintet's workhorse as things stand now. Tim Redding and John Lannan led the Nationals with 180 innings pitched last season.

No Nationals starter won more than 10 games.

Meantime, the Nationals ranked a lowly 14th in the NL in runs scored in 2008, and Willingham, 29, should help them improve in that area. He's is expected to play left field alongside Lastings Milledge in center and Elijah Dukes in right. Austin Kearns is in the mix, too -- and could become trade bait as the winter progresses and Bowden looks to make other moves. Willingham hit 15 homers and had 51 RBI for the Marlins in 2008.

The Marlins, who also spoke with Texas are believed to have spoken with Atlanta about Olsen, like all three of the young players they acquired. The acquisition of Bonifacio undoubtedly will lead to questions surrounding whether they intend to trade incumbent second baseman Dan Uggla, and the short-term answer is, not likely.

Despite their ever-present financial constraints, the Marlins have targeted Uggla as one of their building blocks. Bonifacio, who could slide over and play third base, addresses one of Florida's primary objectives this winter, which is to add speed.

Dean is just 20 and was chosen as Washington's pitcher of the year at short-season Vermont. The Marlins have had great success in the past identifying young pitchers and acquiring them after scouting them in short-season rookie-ball. That's how they nabbed both Dontrelle Willis and A.J. Burnett.

Posted on: February 17, 2008 5:21 pm

The richest Marlin

JUPITER, Fla. -- As you know, I'm here to help. Which is why I spent time with Florida closer Kevin Gregg seeking information to help shield him from the IRS.

See, here in the land of minimum wage (first you must realize all of baseball is Fantasy Land, which is how the Marlins' $17 million player payroll for 2008 pretty much qualifies as minimum wage), Gregg is the highest-salaried Marlin this season. He's scheduled to earn $2.5 million.

But that doesn't qualify him for some special club in which the highest-paid players from each team gather to have peeled grapes served to them. He isn't hanging with Alex Rodriguez and Barry Zito over the winter.

In fact, while Pedro Martinez (who isn't even the highest-paid Met) is driving some cherry-red Cadillac SUV that looks custom-built, Gregg is still tooling around at home (Corvallis, Ore.) in a 2004 Dodge 1,500 Quad cab.

"Nothing special," he says.

Memo to the IRS: See, don't read "highest paid" next to Gregg's name and allow your ears to start ringing. Make sure you hear the complete phrase, "highest-paid Marlin." Which is like being seated at the kids' table at a 50th wedding anniversary.

What else does being the highest-paid Marlin get Gregg?

Not an Armani suit.

"No, no," he says. "My most expensive suit probably cost a couple hundred bucks. Got it at Portobello's (in New York). Went in there and bought four suits, six shirts, six ties, some socks ... I think all of that was right at $1,000.

"I don't live a lavish life."

Gregg's salary is a nice raise over the $575,000 he made last year, earned by his becoming the Marlins' closer in '07 and converting 32 of 36 save opportunities.

He'll celebrate his 10th anniversary this year with his wife, Nicole. They have two children, daughter Ryann (6) and son Max (3). The Greggs did take a nice vacation during the off-season, though it wasn't an around-the-world junket. They went to Hawaii.

"We've talked about it for years," Gregg says. "We've never been on a vacation."

Nope, the richest Marlin (by 2008 salary standards, anyway, does not live a lavish life.

A good life, yes. But it's not exactly surf-n-turf every night.

"Oh, no -- I still eat macaroni and cheese and peanut-butter-and-jelly with my kids," Gregg quips.

Likes: What a nice guy Kevin Gregg is. Say one thing for the Marlins: You get to meet a lot of new guys every spring. ... Marlins pitcher Scott Olson good-naturedly tweaking Dontrelle Willis in absentia, saying, "Obviously, the loudest one of everybody is gone from last year." ... Sunday afternoon on I-95. Traffic is about as light as you'll ever see it. ... A Saturday night working in the hotel room with a pizza for dinner, a cold Mountain Dew, and a good college basketball game on the tube. Well, that final part didn't work Saturday as Indiana clobbered Michigan State. ... Bruce Springsteen's Girls in Their Summer Clothes from the Magic album. What a great song. ...

Dislikes: OK, this is small and whiny, but now Subway is serving pizza. Which I put in the same category of their toasted sandwiches. They're both simply things that bog down the usually overworked people behind the counter and hold up the line.

Sunblock day? Mostly. Temperatures in the 80s, but there was a morning shower and it clouded up later in the day.

Rock-n-Roll lyric of the day:

"Well some say life
"Will beat you down
"Break your heart
"Steal your crown
"So I started out
"For God knows where
"But I guess I'll know
"When I get there"

-- Tom Petty, Learning to Fly


Category: MLB
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