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Florida Marlins expanding the payroll?

Jrsyeagle first linked to this in the comments and it is something of interest.  And when I say of interest, I mean extremely interesting.

ESPN's Buster Olney reported this in his blog.  (This is premium content, in other words, pay for view.)  Then again, if you are reading a Florida Marlins blog in the offseason you more than likely already have a subscription to ESPN the Insider.  I know I do.

The Florida Marlins finished the season as the team nobody in the National League wanted to face, because their young rotation had come together in a way that reminded you of the Rays' rotation and because Matt Lindstrom had settled in as closer, and because of the firepower of the offense. But because the Marlins have more than a dozen players eligible for arbitration, there is an expectation within the industry that Florida will look to unload a bunch of its players to contain its payroll.

However, the Marlins have been given the go-ahead by ownership to keep all of their arbitration-eligible players, if the front office deems that to be the direction it wants to go. Now, it's likely at least some of the arb-eligible guys will be traded because of the depth of the Florida organization. For example, first baseman Mike Jacobs mashed 32 homers and drove in 93, but with Gaby Sanchez prepared to step into the big leagues, the Marlins could move Jacobs if they get an offer they like.

But it appears very unlikely they will deal Dan Uggla and others, and they are poised to be the Rays of 2009.


This is extremely interesting, if true.

There are those who are a bit skeptical and think it is only a ploy to exact better prospects from the other teams when trading time comes.  Maybe that is so.

But I am of the opinion that the Marlins front office didn't have any trouble landing some of, what they thought were, the best prospects even when it became known the Marlins were conducting one of their patented fire sales.  So I'm not sure that a bluff strategy, especially given the circumstances, is warranted or even needed.  Last season the Marlins only traded two high profile players, when everyone knew they would, and received a bunch of respected prospects.  Now, that trade hasn't worked out just yet, but it still too earlier to call.  It may end up for the better.

Anyways, you can only do the bluff strategy once, and this doesn't seem like the time to employ it.

Mr. Olney is the only one reporting this information, at this time.  So it is possible he was filled with a bunch of useless information.  But I doubt it.  Or at least I hope not.

If the Marlins can keep the power laden, strikeout happy, no fielding, best young rotation in the game, team together, the Fish will be absolutely formidable next season.

Here's hoping.