The Miami Marlins are apparently shopping Yunel Escobar, but the team may also have to ship away Ricky Nolasco as well. According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, Nolasco's agent Matt Sosnick reports that his client would like to be traded from the Marlins.
"Ricky and I have spoken a lot since the end of the season," Sosnick said. "Just watching the way the offseason has transpired for the Marlins and the moves they've made, he and I agree that he would probably be better served playing somewhere else. If he had his druthers, he would pitch for somebody other than the Marlins in 2013 and beyond."
Sosnick declined to comment on whether Nolasco made an official request to the Marlins to be traded.
Unlike the push to deal Escobar, I think it would be the correct decision to trade Ricky Nolasco at this stage. Nolasco has only one season remaining in his three-year extension signed before 2011, and at $11.5 million, he is an expensive pitcher who is no longer very effective. For years now, Nolasco teased the Fish with great peripherals, and even though he has 3.74 FIP over the last three seasons, his ERA has hovered around 4.50 each year with no sign of improvement despite what seemed like a change in approach in 2011.
At this rate, there is a high probability that Nolasco will not improve on his poor track record from the last four years. The Marlins would be wise to get out from underneath his salary and pick up pieces to add to either their minor league depth or immediately assist them at the major league level. Provided the team does not send any of Nolasco's remaining salary, the club should be happy with any menial return.
The problem is the precedence it continues to send within the organization, especially if the team will not opt to spend the savings elsewhere. If the Marlins send all of Nolasco's salary away, the team's financial commitments in 2013 will total $25 million, and that is without trading Escobar. The team could go as low as $20 million before pre-arbitration and Ryan Webb push that up to about $30 million, and that includes $10 million that was sent to cover players heading to Toronto. It would also leave the Marlins with a fairly empty roster that is somehow worse than the current one, leaving the on-field product even more barren. None of this can help with the fence-mending with Giancarlo Stanton.
Yes, the Marlins should trade Ricky Nolasco. But the terrible precedence the team has already set and its effect on the club's best player will only get worse if the Marlins decide to not add any salary.