I'm really not sure what to hope for the Marlins to do as the trade deadline draws near.
In some respects I hope that the Marlins start to build for 2006. This 2005 club is nice and all, but I don't think they're World Series caliber. Looking ahead, there are a number of potential dates with free agency looming (Burnett, Gonzalez, Encarnacion, Conine, and Pierre), so the core of this club could look a lot different next April. In that respect, I'd like to see the Fish move some of those guys (if they're not going to be resigned), so that they get more than future draft picks in return for them.
On the other hand, and this probably overrides the preceding paragraph, the Marlins are close, still in the hunt, and fairly widely regarded as having underachieved in the first half (giving hope that things will be better in the second half). Will it happen? No one really knows. But if you trade away big parts of your ballclub, you're pretty much certain to never know.
What are the Fish to do? For once, I really don't know. I guess I'm just reserving my right to complain about whatever course of action they take.
Seriously though, it sounds like there's a lot of interest in Burnett. Allegedly, six teams (Blue Jays, White Sox, Padres, Orioles, Angels, and Dodgers) may be interested and up to three may be seriously interested (the White Sox, Blue Jays, and O's).
Apparently A.J. would like to end up in Toronto. Not because of the high taxes or the astro-turf, but because he wants to be reunited with former Marlins' pitching coach Brad Arnsberg. You remember Arnsberg, don't you? He's the guy who took the fall for overworking his young pitchers (most notably Burnett) and had a stormy exit when he was notified that his services were no longer desired by the club (to say the least - "...he got the word in an ugly late-night confrontation at his apartment complex. The Marlins would not let Arnsberg return to Pro Player Stadium to pack his belongings.").
The Sun-Sentinel (in case you missed it the first time) indicates that Gustavo Chacin could be included in a Burnett deal with the Marlins. Think what you will of this from a baseball perspective, but teaming Chacin with Willis would certainly give the Marlins a tandem of entertaining lefties.
Have you seen Chacin? His glasses are so dorky that they're cool. His windup and delivery are as funky as the D-Train's (but completely different). If the Fish acquire Chacin, the marketing possibilities are endless. I can see a whole ad campaign revolving around Chacin and Willis rolling around town.
In conclusion, I'm not sure what to hope for or what deals the Marlins should make. I just hope that we're left with hope - for this year and/or next - when it's all said and done.