Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The new-look Florida Marlins?

posted by Pauly
It is uncanny. I go ahead and vent my bellyaching for the Marlins trade of Cameron Maybin and what do they do?

Of course, they one-up me.

In case you hadn't heard, the Marlins just traded Dan Uggla for career utility man Omar Infante and LH reliever Mike Dunn.

I think we just found #11 on the list of worst trades in the last 25 years in my previous posting. Holy cannoli!

It's hard to ascertain what the Marlins are doing here. They just traded their CF and 2B for three relievers and a utility infielder for heaven's sake....but there may be a silver lining on this very dark cloud (more on this in a second).

First, I understand the reasons why the Marlins needed to trade Uggla away. Forget the fact that he is the club's all-time home run leader, because he refused a decent $48 million offer from the Marlins earlier this offseason. Yes, Florida had to get some kind of return on investment -- and as a my good friend Adam reminded me yesterday, the Marlins got Uggla for nothing way back in 2005 in the Rule 5 Draft.

But Omar Infante? I'm not a fan. In his last five seasons with Detroit and then Atlanta, he has averaged 88.8 games played per season. Forget his ridiculous all-star selection last season -- this guy is simply a career backup infielder (8 years worth of being one, too) who has played well recently -- although his defense is extremely suspect. In 29 games as a third baseman (the position he projects to play in Florida), he committed 30 errors last season. Yeah -- that's more than one error PER GAME.

Dunn offers the Marlins some much-needed bullpen help; however, did they not just trade away their prospect center fielder for two relief pitchers?

It has been a fast start to the hot stove season for the Marlins. Not only have they made two pretty awful trades, but they also spent $18 million for three years on a middle-of-the-road catcher, John Buck, who probably could have been signed for half that amount. Sure, Buck hit 20 homers last season for the Blue Jays -- but guess what, he isn't going to do that next year in spacious Dolphin Stadium...although I suppose the new ballpark would be more suitable to his power.

The Silver Lining
Everything above has been undoubtedly bad for the Marlins so far. Some people on the message boards are calling for an official intervention! However, there is some good news....

First, assuming Infante is placed at third base, Chris Coghlan will move to his natural position of second base for next season. This is great news for his fantasy owners, because Cogs' production was middling at best for an OF, but should be above average production for a second baseman.

Right now, Florida does not have a center fielder (unless you count the god-awful Emilio Bonifacio).........is it even remotely possible that the Marlins are clearing some payroll and roster space to make a run at Carl Crawford? This is total speculation on may part, but it kind of makes sense. If you are going to trade your power-hitting second baseman to a division rival and dump your center fielder for some bullpen help in the same week....it may be just a setup for a huge maneuver.

Then again, this IS the Marlins I'm talking about.

As of today, here is my projected Marlins lineup (assuming they make the humongous signing):
1 - Carl Crawford (CF)
2- Chris Coghlan (2B)
3- Hanley Ramirez (SS)
4- Mike Stanton (RF)
5- Gaby Sanchez (1B)
6- Logan Morrison (LF)
7- John Buck (C)
8- Omar Infante (3B)

They are definitely depending A LOT on Stanton in this lineup. But once again, the Marlins would have a very young, competitive squad that is just not quite good enough to compete with the Phillies and Braves. --Pauly
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Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 11:50:00 AM EST  

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