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Beinfest at the Trade

If the Marlins do trade one or both of the marquee players, it probably won't happen at the GM meetings which end today, but it could happen at the winter meetings or then again not.

Should a trade take place, Beinfest will do it his usual way.

Some general managers approach trade discussions with all the caution of an explosives expert. They tiptoe around the issue, poke gently at its outer edges and pray they don't get hurt in the process.

Others come racing out of the starting gate, building hopes and expectations, only to run out of steam on the backstretch.

Then there are the brave souls who bust through the front door, take the stairs two at a time and meet the challenge head-on.

That's Beinfest.

He doesn't talk things through so much as he sets parameters and stands by them. He doesn't brainstorm in the presence of his counterparts, doesn't waste people's time.

With the help of his talented lieutenants -- Michael Hill, Jim Fleming, Dan Jennings, Orrin Freeman and Stan Meek among them -- he shows up prepared and adamant.

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Unlike most teams, the Marlins aren't afraid to come right out and say what they want from the outset. Before they even pick up the phone they sketch out the framework of potential deals with a dozen or more trade partners, ranking them in terms of desirability.

Then they work their way down the list until someone meets their asking price, which is usually ambitious yet realistic.

In that respect, Beinfest is sort of like the car shopper who sits in the salesman's office and refuses to go one penny higher for that smooth-looking sedan on the showroom floor. Not even a visit from the floor manager can get him to budge.

He isn't afraid to walk out and drive down the block to another dealership.

"Larry is fair, blunt, knows what he wants," Hendry said. "If he feels he can get it from somebody else and he doesn't want to do it, that's OK. He'll tell you. That way works best with me."

If history is any indicator, should the Marlins make a trade in the offseason, at least we can be pretty well assured that Beinfest and company will make a good deal.  We may not like losing the player but we should get something pretty decent in return.