A baseball great once said "If we score 11 runs and our pitchers give up 12, we lose". The Florida Marlins right now may indeed be too focused on the players giving away the games, rather then the ones saving them. We learned in the past week that it was going to be a very hectic offseason, and for the Marlins the offseason started by naming Edwin Rodriguez the manager, and in the span of a few days has continued by trading away what at one time they considered their future.
The bullpen was obviously a concern last season, blowing a numerous number of games in the late innings. It was made clear by the front office that they were committed to shaping up the bullpen. They made it even more clear that spending a ton of money was not the solution to this issue. On Friday, the Marlins sent lefty Andrew Miller to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for lefty Dustin Richardson. At least two left handed relievers were on the offseason wish list, and acquiring this young lefty will narrow the search for another lefty down to one. That one could be Will Ohmen, who contributed some last season and has claimed he would like to stay in Florida.
Once Friday hit, we were informed of another trade that was being made. Center Fielder Cameron Maybin was being sent to the San Diego Padres for right handed relievers Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica. So, in a span of under 48 long hours, the Florida Marlins had given away two of the main components that they recieved in the Dontrelle Willis-Miguel Cabrera trade. Most will analyze this trade, and now say that besides Burke Badenhop, Detriot got the most out of it, since all of the other players the Marlins received were minor leaguers, and are still currently playing minor league baseball.
Trading away "The Center Fielder of the Future" will propose two different questions. Who will play CF for the Marlins in 2011, and why did the Fish trade away Cody Ross in the first place? The most obvious answer to who will play center field will be Scott Cousins. He is a left handed bat, and would be a perfect addition to a lineup with almost all right handed hitters. Cousins contributed some in 2010, delivering some huge walk-off hits. The Cody Ross situation is one that will most likely not be brought up again for a while. The Marlins claimed that he was not a part of their future, however they said the opposite about Maybin and he will be wearing gold next season. These two trades are probably the most sensable in years, considering the pieces they are getting in return. However, if speculation is correct, a trade is soon going to be made that could have Marlins fans furious.
Recently, Dan Uggla has been offered $48 million dollars over the course of four years. One thing is for sure, he rejected this offer. The reason why could be controversial. Some say that Uggla wanted a guaranteed fifth year, or at least an option for one. Others make the case that Uggla is one of the star second baseman in the game, and when comparing his contract with those of Robinson Cano and Chase Utley, he feels he should be making more. Uggla has every right to request a raise. He has been putting up historic numbers, has played above average defense, and has been a leader both on the field and in the clubhouse. We all know that the front office of the Marlins doesn't like to spend, and it is safe to conclude that if Uggla was playing for the Phillies, he would be making more than Chase Utley, and would have at least five years on his contract. Lately, discussions between the two sides have slowed down, and the chance of Dan getting traded has been growing rapidly.
"I want to make it clear, that I want to stay in Florida", Uggla said in a phone interview with MLB Tonight on Friday evening.
If Uggla really wants to stay in Florida, the contract is sitting on the table, and I'm sure the Marlins would be more than willing to add a fifth year to his contract. Trading away Uggla's good friend, Cody Ross, may contribute to Uggla's decision of whether to really stay a Marlin. While both sides have until the middle of February to work something out, it has been determined that the Marlins will listen to all offers, specifically those that will be presented at the General Managers meetings this upcoming week. Both sides are obviously not thrilled with each other right now, and Uggla, like Miller and Maybin, may be getting a new uniform come next week. If this trade is made, young pitching will most likely be the return product, with a young position player or two included.
If a trade is made, the opening day lineup card in 2011 will look very unfamiliar. Scott Cousins would most likely play center, Chris Coghlan would likely play second, and the team would have to decide in the spring if prospect Matt Dominguez is ready for the Bigs. If he isn't , the signing of a veteran player, such as Edgar Renteria who recently said he wouldn't mind finishing his career as a Marlin, could occur. Of course, all of this would only happen if Uggla was dealt, and as much as South Florida doesn't want to see him leave, he may indeed be on the move. A very young team may be taking the field on April 1st at Sun Life Stadium against the New York Mets.