If you’ve been following Major League Baseball’s early offseason at all, you know that the Miami Marlins have been one of the most aggressive clubs out there. Miami has already offered contracts to Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes and has been in contact with numerous other free agents. But, while we already knew the Marlins were willing to spend to upgrade this winter, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com is now reporting that Miami would consider trading away its top young talent to bring back established players.
For years players in Miami (then Florida) seemed to go through a cycle.
The Marlins ability to cultivate young talent was matched by few. This young talent would make their way to the majors where they would play and establish themselves. It was usually at this point, when arbitration years were running low or getting too costly, that the Marlins would ship said talent out for a return of young prospects.
And the cycle continued.
But now, with the opening of their new stadium, the Marlins are looking to build a contender in 2012. They expect to draw 30,000 fans a night and can afford to increase their payroll. This throws them into the upper tier of the free agent market, a place they have never before ventured.
Also, if the Marlins are not able to coax the market’s top names to bring their talents to Miami, they appear willing to deal the young prospects it would take to land established players.
While the Marlins are looking to land a starter via free agency, Frisaro says the club will also look to obtain an arm through trade. According to Frisaro, James Shields of the Tampa Bay Rays and Gio Gonzalez of the Oakland A’s are two pitchers the Marlins covet at this time. We already know that the Chicago White Sox have made John Danks and Gavin Floyd available for the right price, and Houston Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez is another player that could be had this winter.
At this time, the Marlins are also acting as if they will not be getting their 2011 closer Juan Carlos Oviedo (Leo Nunez) back. If they are unwilling to spend the kind of money it will take to add one of the market’s top finishers, they may turn to a team like the Colorado Rockies who is known to be shopping their closer Huston Street.
For more on the Marlins, be sure to check out Marlin Maniac.