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Willis and Cabrera Speculation

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As Dan brought up in the comments last night, though indirectly, Willis and/or Cabrera could be on the table.  But that isn't really anything new.

Barry Jackson speculates:

The Marlins, who are very open to making a major trade, have made pitching their clear-cut No. 1 priority but also will try to sign a veteran free agent catcher who works well with a young staff.

Funny, that wasn't a goal in 2006 or 2007.  While I don't disagree that having a veteran catcher could be a very good thing, especially one that understands pitching.  But it may be more important that the new pitching coach has a working relationship with the manager so that the starters aren't overworked.

Now onto the Willis and Cabrera part of the article.

Unless payroll rises much beyond $30 million -- nothing's set but the Marlins have given no reason to expect that -- it will be difficult to keep both Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera, instead of one -- and upgrade elsewhere. They figure to combine for nearly $20 million in arbitration, with Cabrera projected for $11 million.

With the Marlins planning to keep payroll low until a proposed new stadium opens, both likely will be gone by free agency in November '09.

Let's say that the arbitration numbers are true.  It has always been known that the Marlins would peel off the high price talent until a stadium deal is reached.  Or God forbid, move.

Last season Dontrelle and Miguel made a combined, roughly, $14 million.  So the club is looking at an increase of $6 million for the two.

Also according to Mr. Jackson, besides what they could get in a trade for one or both is a veteran catcher on the free agency market.

There's sentiment internally toward pursuing a reunion with Mets free agent catcher Paul Lo Duca. But Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria would need to authorize that kind of expenditure. The Marlins -- who want to drop Miguel Olivo but keep Matt Treanor -- also are expected to explore free agents Yorvit Torrealba (Colorado) and Michael Barrett (San Diego), with the Cubs' Jason Kendall and Mets backup and ex-Marlin Ramon Castro among other options.

I won't go into baseball skills for now, but trust me, there a lot of problems there.  We will just stick to money since money seems to be the deciding factor.

Lo Duca was payed $6.25 million this year.  Torrealba made $1.075 million.  Barrett collected a cool $4.6 million.  While Kendell took home $13 million and Castro  made $850,000.

Lo Duca and Kendall would more than likely be definitely out of the Marlins price range.  However, Torrealba, who will probably re-sign with the Rockies, and Castro could be.

But neither Torrealbe or Castro is what I would consider to be a veteran catcher who is good at handling a pitching staff.  Not that couldn't be in the future, but they aren't there yet.

Three of the options listed are pretty high priced, in Marlins terms, for just a one year deal and the other two aren't really an improvement.

I just don't see it.

Maybe the way to go is to let Treanor get most of the starts while working Baker or even Hoover into the mix.

The team could use some more veteran leadership, I won't deny that fact.  But if that is the goal, re-sign Boone and forget about a high price retread catcher.