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Florida Marlins trade Mike Jacobs to K.C.

As you, undoubtedly, know by now the Florida Marlins made a trade sending Mike Jacobs to the Royals for relief pitcher Leo Nunez.

The Florida Marlins traded power-hitting first baseman Mike Jacobs on Thursday to the Kansas City Royals for relief pitcher Leo Nunez. The Marlins were shopping Jacobs because he was due a big raise in arbitration, and have plenty of options at first base. In exchange, they got a right-hander who throws in the mid-90s.

"We are trading from an area of depth to an area we wanted to create more depth in," said Larry Beinfest, Marlins president of baseball operations.

Nunez, a native of the Dominican Republic, was 4-1 last year with a 2.98 ERA in 45 relief appearances. He has a 9-7 lifetime record in the majors.

Happy Birthday Mike!  Nothing like being traded on your birthday.

First off, I'm not sure it was just strictly a salary dump.  The Marlins could've afforded Jacobs if it was warranted -- it wasn't. Jacobs was blocking the way of possibly letting Gaby Sanchez man first, assuming it is his time.  Or it is possible that the club sees Cantu as their everyday first basemen for next season, with someone else holding down third.  Whatever the case, be it Gaby or Cantu at first, the defense will improve along with the OBP.  Granted, the Marlins don't play small ball, but having someone on base when the home runs are hit does help the cause.  

Maybe Jacobs can help the Royals organization, and I hope he can, but I doubt it will happen in the first half of the season.  Generally, when a player changes leagues it takes him about half a season to adjust to the new pitchers.  I'm not going to try to explain the Royals' rationale for trading for Jacobs.  Mainly because, I'm not sure I understand it.  It would be one thing if the team was weak at first and needed some power, but the Royals really don't fit both of the criteria.  Yes, they don't hit many home runs, but the Royals are apparently stockpiling corner infielders the way we are stockpiling pitchers.

Maybe it is just a go with what you know mentality.

Now let's take a look at the young Mr. Nunez.  From what I can find he throws his fast ball in the lower to mid nineties.  The interesting thing is that he is listed at 6' 1" and weighs 160 pounds.  In other words, there ain't no way he is going to make the Marlins pitchers basketball team.

Given his diminutive stature I'm guessing he is a drop and drive type pitcher.  But I really don't know since I have never seen him pitch.  For the sake of argument let's say he is one, those type of pitchers are prone to injury.  Not necessarily arm injury but they tend to tweak other parts of their bodies with some regularity, i.e. obliques, groins, knees, etc.

The other thing is that he doesn't strikeout many hitters and therefore relies on help from his friends.  Which isn't always the best approach given the Marlins defense has your back.

To recap: Jacobs was probably going to be traded, even if the Fish had a $100 million dollar payroll.  He is just too one-dimensional for a NL club.

Nunez has some upside and we will have to see how it goes.

At this point: not a great trade but not a bad one either.  From a Marlins standpoint it was one that needed to be made to clear some room.

Leo Nunez's stats