The Miami Marlins made it known that the team was interested in trading Yunel Escobar yesterday, and already there have been a number of teams biting on the former Toronto Blue Jays shortstop. The Marlins have received interest in Escobar from four teams already, including the Oakland Athletics. The A's are apparently in negotiations with the Marlins, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
By Monday evening, Oakland already was in action and exploring a potential deal for Miami shortstop Yunel Escobar, a player about whom the team had inquired at the trade deadline, when Escobar was in Toronto. Talks are "ongoing," according to major-league sources, and are not believed to be centered on anyone on Oakland's big-league roster.
It should come as no surprise that the Marlins and A's are discussing no one on the A's major league roster. For the A's, the team is looking for a pure upgrade on a team that miraculously won the AL West and is looking to repeat as champions in 2013. Any additions they make are likely to not see other, important members of their major league roster head in the other direction.
For the Marlins, it should be obvious because the Fish are currently looking to avoid paying any salary following a massive fire sale that culminated in the Marlins shedding almost $160 million in future salary obligations in one trade. The Fish are looking now for cost-controlled talent, and that sort of talent on the Oakland roster would be unavailable for trade. Thus, expect the Marlins to take on minor leaguers in return for Escobar's services.
What kind of a return could the Marlins get from the A's for Escobar? It is difficult to tell just what the opinion of Escobar is in Miami. If the team is properly evaluating him, two prospects rated as "B" or "B+" by Minor League Ball's John Sickels should do the trick, but it is very possible the Marlins do not think that highly of him. If the team can get one B-ranked or higher prospect and some extra minor league depth, that may be a trade the team would consider. Look at names like Brad Peacock, Sonny Gray, or Michael Taylor to be involved in the deal.
Other teams that have been involved with the Escobar discussions include the New York Yankees, who could be looking for a shortstop or third baseman after injuries to Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have taken their left side of the infield out for a portion of 2013, the Chicago Cubs, and the Tampa Bay Rays. In a Twitter discussion last night with members of the SB Nation Rays blog DRaysBay, I came to a tentative conclusion along with Bradley Ankrom, R.J. Anderson, Jake Larsen, Steve Kinsella, and Tommy Rancel that Alex Torres, Cole Figueroa, and another player to be named later may be enough to entice the Marlins.
This fits the general profile of a B-level prospect and some minor league depth, and it particularly helps a major league roster that is bereft of talent and could use some major league-ready players. The Marlins would likely be interested in such a trade.
Keep your eyes open for the Marlins' potential moves as the winter meetings continue, and stay tuned here at Fish Stripes for all of your winter meetings coverage.