MLB Trade Rumors: Are these the final days for Ricky Nolasco as a Marlin?

Marc Serota

The Miami Marlins are in rebuilding mode, and that could mean separating from long time veteran Ricky Nolasco. The Orioles, Giants and Yankees have shown interest in the right-hander.

Trade rumors have been swirling around for a good majority of the season, but it now appears that Miami Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco's days in Miami are numbered, according to numerous reports from Miami Herald and CBSSports.com. Since the historical and controversial offseason that changed the face of the team, it seemed inevitable that Ricky Nolasco would be taking the first flight out of Miami before the end of the 2013 season. Nolasco is one of the last of a dying breed of Marlins who remember playing at Sun Life Stadium as a Florida Marlin.

The Baltimore Orioles, San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees are the main teams that have shown interest in the services in the 30-year-old Ricky Nolasco. Despite a below average 3-7 record, Nolasco has been an extremely solid starter who has had to fight against a below-average team that has failed to give him any run support (the Marlins average a league-low 2.21 runs per game when Nolasco is on the mound). Nolasco has tried to fight through those challenges with his solid 1.20 WHIP and 3.44 FIP but is still trying to shake that monkey off his back that has been lingering with him all season.

That may be a possibility with the trio of teams that have shown interest in the veteran pitcher. While Nolasco is currently implemented as the "ace" of the Marlins staff, he'll probably be inserted as the third or fourth starter on a contending team. After being traded, Nolasco's main purpose on a team like Baltimore or San Francisco would be most likely as a reliable "innings eater" that would go out there and pitch six to seven solid innings which is one of his major strengths

While the Marlins are still looking into strengthening an already solid farm system, fans should not expect a breakout star to come to Miami if they do trade away Nolasco. For example, a trade to Baltimore would not expect to yield prospects like Dylan Bundy to acquire Nolasco, but perhaps Miami could bring back a mid-tier prospect similar to Derek Dietrich in the Yunel Escobar trade from the offseason.

It's difficult to see a veteran like Nolasco leave a team he's been with for seven seasons, but it's going to be a business deal for an organization that is looking towards the future. While Nolasco has had a solid run with the team, Miami is looking forward to the new era led by Jose Fernandez, Jacob Turner, Nathan Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez, and other prospects, so a deal is necessary as to move forward. The bond between both a veteran player and team is tough to break, but this would be the best move going forward for both Nolasco and the Miami Marlins.

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