What a difference a year makes. At this point in 2011, that headline would have merely indicated that the newly-minted Miami Marlins were still in pursuit of yet another high-priced, big-named free agent. And they landed more than their fair share of them.
This is 2012, however, and we all know that these Marlins are no different than those referred to as “Florida” when it comes to blowing up the roster. The three year spending spree wound up lasting three months. With most of the viable talented already shuttled off, the Marlins are now looking to move right hander Ricky Nolasco and outfielder/first baseman Logan Morrison, this according to reports.
Both players will no doubt draw significant interest on the trade market, but Morrison is the more attractive of the two, assuming you can get past his twitter use. The 25-year-old had his worst season of his young career in 2012, but a move away from cavernous Marlins Park would certainly aid his declined power numbers. A young hitter with power potential and the ability to play both first base and the corner outfield spots is attractive to a lot pf clubs, especially when that player is under team control for the next three years.
Nolasco, on the other hand, is owed $11.5 million for the 2013 season and hasn’t posted an ERA under 4.48 since 2008. He’ll be 30 in December and has seen his strikeout rate drop swifty every season since 2009 from a 9.5 per nine inning mark four seasons ago to just 5.9 last year.
Nolasco is fairly durable, but it’s hard to look at him as more than an back-of-the-rotation innings-eater. For a club maybe like the Rockies, who just need live arms more than anything else, Nolasco may be an option. It’s just difficult to see this particular pitcher moving to a hitter-friendly environmental and doing anything but struggling.
No doubt, they’ll find a taker for Nolasco, which is a deal Miami should be looking to make no matter what other moves they have made. This one just makes sense. Morrison is a guy who has probably worn out his welcome in Miami a bit and given what has happened with his teammates, Morrison would probably be just as happy to be moved. The Fish can get a decent return on LoMo and he could really take off with a new franchise. A young team like the Astros or even the aforementioned Rockies would be a good place for him to land.
The biggest prize left in Miami is slugger Giancarlo Stanton, but word is he’s not going anywhere. Stanton isn’t even arbitration-eligible yet and though Stanton has tweeted his displeasure with his organization, he is the only legitimate drawing card the organization has left. Given the backlash already being felt by the team, I can’t imagine even the chance to see Stanton reach the furthest points of Marlins Park will draw more than a few thousand fans per game.