Posted on: July 31, 2009 12:16 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2009 12:39 pm

Marlins want Nick Johnson, but 'may move on'

The Marlins could be the latest team to talk trade with the Nationals, only to come away frustrated.

The teams have been talking about a deal for first baseman Nick Johnson, but two sources familiar with the negotiations said the Marlins are tiring of the slow pace of talks and "may move on."

It's believed that the Marlins want Washington to pay some of the roughly $1.3 million remaining on Johnson's contract, and that the Nationals are balking. Earlier this month, teams that inquired about Adam Dunn were told that the Nats wouldn't pick up any of the $12 million owed to Adam Dunn next year.

The Nats have been active, without getting much done. Teams have shown interest in Johnson, Dunn, Joe Beimel and others, but the only deal Washington has completed has been one with the Pirates, exchanging Lastings Milledge and Joel Hanrahan for Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett.

Posted on: June 4, 2009 12:15 pm

Braves talked to Marlins about Ross

Before trading for Nate McLouth, the Braves had serious trade discussions with the Marlins about outfielder Cody Ross.

The Marlins had made Ross available, major-league sources said, but later decided against making the trade with Atlanta. Some Braves officials favored the Ross deal over the eventual trade they made for McLouth, because the cost in prospects would have been considerably less.

The Braves believe they paid a fairly high price for McLouth. Outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and pitcher Jeff Locke were ranked fourth and seventh by Baseball America on the list of top Braves prospects, and pitcher Charlie Morton was 7-2 with a 2.51 ERA at Triple-A Gwinnett.

The Marlins have sent out mixed signals on their willingness to trade off their players, but rival officials believe that they're now open to dealing Ross and Jeremy Hermida, as well as the previously available Dan Uggla and Jorge Cantu.
Category: MLB
Posted on: March 14, 2009 7:54 pm
Edited on: March 15, 2009 1:22 pm

Astros have interest in Pudge

MIAMI -- The Astros always made sense as a potential destination for Pudge Rodriguez. Finally, the team is showing some interest in the free-agent catcher.

It's not yet clear how serious the Astros' interest is.

The three catchers on Houston's major-league roster are a combined 8-for-47 (.170) this spring. With three hits tonight against Team USA, Rodriguez is 9-for-15 in the WBC.

The Marlins also remain a potential Pudge destination. Guaranteed playing time has been an issue in talks with Florida, but it's possible that something could be worked out where Rodriguez would play some first base in addition to catching.

The Giants and Twins have also talked about Rodriguez, even though neither team is in the market for an everyday catcher. The Giants have been looking all winter for a bat at one of the corner infield positions. The Twins seem a more remote possibility, even with the possibility that Joe Mauer will have to begin the season on the disabled list.





Category: MLB
Posted on: September 27, 2008 5:19 pm

Scoreboard-watching with the Mets

The Brewers-Cubs game was playing on one television in the Mets clubhouse after this afternoon's 2-0 win over the Marlins, but only a few players stopped to watch. The Phillies-Nationals game was on a TV just outside the clubhouse, but only a security guard was watching.

And on the board that told the Mets what time to report for Sunday's game against the Marlins, there was also a reminder to pack for a one-day trip to Philadelphia, should the Phillies lose that game to Washington.

As of 5 p.m., as the Mets players and coaches were heading home, there was still a chance of a one-game playoff with the Phils, which would be Monday at Citizens Bank Park. There was still a chance of a one-game playoff with the Brewers, which would be Monday at Shea Stadium. And there was still a chance, of course, that the Mets' season would end with Sunday's game against the Marlins.

So many possibilities.

"We've taken care of what we could do today," David Wright said.

Yes, they had. For the second straight season, the Mets are alive right to their final scheduled game.

It didn't go well a year ago. Now they have another chance.


There's a feeling in New York that the Marlins hate the Mets, and that it would make the Marlins' season if they keep the Mets out of the playoffs.

"That's not true at all," Marlins center fielder Cody Ross said today. "Any one of us in here would trade places with them in a heartbeat. The only thing for us is that if we don't make it (to the playoffs), we don't want anyone else to. That would be true if we were playing the Phillies, the Cubs, anyone. It's nothing personal (against the Mets). That wouldn't make our season."


Posted on: September 17, 2008 2:10 pm

Would Marlins have won with Manny?

It looks now like Manny Ramirez is going to get the Dodgers to the postseason. So here's what I'm wondering:

Would he have done the same for the Marlins?

As of today, Florida is 5 1/2 games back in the National League East, and five out in the wild-card race. It's too much ground to make up in 12 games, but it's close enough to think that two months of Ramirez could have put them over the top.

Especially if Manny had been the same Manny in South Florida that he's been in Southern California.

According to sources, the deal that fell through would have cost the Marlins just Jeremy Hermida and Taylor Tankersley. The Pirates were apparently willing to accept that deal (and also get the two other players from the Red Sox). The Red Sox were willing to pay Ramirez's salary, just as they eventually did in the trade that sent him to the Dodgers. But the Marlins wanted even more money than that, supposedly to pay the draft picks they would have gotten when Ramirez left as a free agent.

When the commissioner's office hesitated on approval, the Marlins believe that the Pirates got understandably antsy, looked elsewhere, and found the Dodgers.

The Marlins were left with nothing. They were left looking greedy.

And today, you wonder if they missed a good chance at a playoff spot.

Here are Manny's numbers in 43 games as a Dodger: .401, 14 home runs, 44 RBIs, 1.226 OPS.

Here are Hermida's numbers in that same span: .184, 1, 9, .497

Could Manny have made a difference of five or six wins?

We'll never know, and neither will the Marlins.

Posted on: September 2, 2008 11:40 am

What's with all the cycles?

Nothing against Stephen Drew or Adrian Beltre. It still means something to hit for the cycle. It's still one of the rarest feats in the game.

It's just not nearly as rare as it once was.

A decade ago, a cycle was nearly as rare as a no-hitter. Through 1999, modern baseball had seen 204 cycles, 202 no-hitters.

Since then: 38 cycles, 12 no-hitters.

I'm not sure it means anything. Sure, we're in an era that favors hitters, but wasn't that also true in the 1990's? And yet, there were more no-hitters than cycles in the '90s (31-24).

A little cycle trivia: The Padres have been playing for 30 years, and yet they've never had anyone hit for the cycle. Neither Tampa Bay nor Florida has had a cycle hitter, either. And the Tigers once went 43 years (1950-93, or George Kell to Travis Fryman) without anyone hitting for the cycle.

Posted on: August 18, 2008 12:46 pm

It's the bullpens -- in the AL Central, anyway

The Indians and the Tigers are two of the biggest disappointments in baseball this year. No question there.

Here's the interesting part: You can blame both teams' demise almost completely on their bullpens.

Don't believe me? Here's the evidence:

AL Central Standings, based on only the first six innings of games

                            W             L          T        GB
1. Twins          60            50       13        --
2. Indians       60            50       14        --
3. White Sox   58            49       16       1 1/2
4. Tigers          58           53        13       2 1/2
5. Royals         51           62        11      10 1/2

In other words, if you take out the innings usually pitched by the bullpens, the AL Central would be an amazing four-team race, and the Indians would be tied for first place. Not only that, but in this six-inning world, the Tribe never trades away CC Sabathia at the beginning of July.

What does it all mean? Two things, as far as I can tell. One, White Sox GM Kenny Williams was smart to spend his money last winter on Octavio Dotel and Scott Linebrink. Two, the Twins were smart to sign Joe Nathan long-term, rather than trade him away.

Oh, and by the way, the six-inning rule doesn't help the Yankees. They'd be 55-56-13 if games ended after 6.

It does, however, help the Mets -- big time. They're 68-40-16 after six, compared to 51-52-18 for the Phillies and 52-58-15 for the Marlins. In the six-inning world, they'd have a huge lead in the NL East, as opposed to the two-game lead they hold in the real world.
Posted on: July 29, 2008 1:20 pm

Are Dodgers interested in Paul Byrd?

The Indians haven't been optimistic that they'll find someone to take Paul Byrd off their hands, but perhaps the Dodgers will bite.

A Dodger scout who had been in Cleveland watching Casey Blake was told to stay in town through Monday night's game, and he was watching as Byrd threw seven shutout innings against the Tigers.

Byrd is 4-10 with a 5.28 ERA, but he has won two straight games. The start before he beat the Tigers, he allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings against the Angels.

Besides, said another scout who watched Byrd Monday, he'd be an even better fit for a National League team.

"I would take Byrd, especially if I was a National League team, because the (other) NL teams haven't seen him," the scout said. "He pitched well (Monday). He would have beaten anybody."

The Denver Post has reported that the Rockies have talked to Cleveland about Byrd, but the Rockies did not have a scout watching him Monday night.


The Mariners have yet to make a trade, but  you'd think they should be able to make several before Thursday's 4 p.m. deadline.

One name to keep in mind: Arthur Rhodes.

The veteran left-hander hasn't allowed a run in 11 2/3 innings since the end of May, and he was impressive in an inning Monday night in Texas. The Brewers, who definitely need bullpen help, were among the teams in attendance (so were the Tigers).

"He had a very good slider, he was throwing 92 and his arm angle was good," said a scout from another team. "He was outstanding."


The Mets have reason to be concerned about John Maine, who is to have an MRI on his right shoulder today in New York. While Maine didn't want to leave Monday night's game against the Marlins, Mets officials got worried when he had trouble getting loose in 85-degree heat.

The Mets do get one break if it turns out that Maine's injury isn't severe. With off days Thursday and Monday, and with Pedro Martinez returning to pitch this weekend, they could conceivably go nearly two more turns through the rotation before they would need to pitch Maine or find a replacement for him.

In any case, the Mets continue to chase both relief help and a corner outfielder. It's not clear which one should be a bigger priority. In fact, one Mets person said that seems to shift from day to day.


The Marlins keep looking for catching, but they keep running into roadblocks. They felt that Texas's price for Gerald Laird was too high, and when they asked the Giants about Bengie Molina, they were supposedly asked for three top prospects who they wouldn't give up.

Maybe they can revisit Pudge Rodriguez, especially if the Tigers have a couple more nights like Monday.
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