The Ricky Nolasco rumors are flying around even as the Miami Marlins are winning ballgames in a surprising June. After the Marlins' 14th win of the month, the most talked-about subject remains Nolasco and his imminent trade. That is not any different here at Fish Stripes, as we have discussed trades with three separate teams in the past week.
The latest rumor has the Los Angeles Dodgers taking the lead and being "deep into trade talks" with the Marlins for Nolasco, according to Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.
"There have been interesting discussions. Hard to know if anything's close right now," the source said.
The Dodgers remain a good trade partner for the Miami Marlins, since they can easily absorb Nolasco's remaining $6 million in salary without blinking and could still give the Fish something of passable value. If the Fish ask for a B- or even C-ranked prospect, someone who might be named on a top-20 organizational list, they would happily ship away half a season of Nolsaco's remaining services.
The only potential pitfall is whether the Dodgers would be truly interested in renting a rather blase player like Nolasco, one who would have a perceivable but not dramatic effect on a weak NL West race, when the team is so far back in said race. The Dodgers are seven games under .500 and six games back of the division. These are not necessarily dire straits, especially for a team that has had some health issues during the season, but the prospects of a last-place team still acquiring talent for a run seems odd. Then again, you can never count out the Dodgers in making trades, as general manager Ned Colleti does not exactly have a strong reputation for intelligence in the trade market.
Meanwhile, the Marlins are telling their Nolasco suitors that the team has offers from teams that would allow them to shed Nolasco's prorated salary, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.
The Marlins have told other teams they have clubs willing to take on all of Nolasco's salary -- prorated portion of $11.5 million salary.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) June 26, 2013
Meanwhile, Jim Bowden of ESPN mentions that the Fish are still willing to eat part of his salary if the prospect return is significantly better.
Mia surprisingly open to eating some of Nolasco's contract but only if prospect return significantly better than alternative deals— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) June 27, 2013
This situation Bowden describes is far more likely if teams like the San Diego Padres or the Colorado Rockies end up winning the Nolasco sweepstakes. The Marlins should be willing to eat salary from Nolacso's contract, because the alternative is to essentially get nothing in return for a player who is not worth his salary. Again, with the Dodgers in the picture, however, anything is possible.
Finally, the Baltimore Orioles are also expressing interest, meaning that the market is flooded currently with teams looking for starting pitching in a weak market. The Marlins are getting ahead of everyone else and trying to set the price, which could help them and other teams with equal or better pitchers to send away as we get closer to the trade deadline. Here at Fish Stripes, we will be carefully tracking the Nolasco situation as well as all the other Marlins trade rumors this deadline season, so stay tuned!