The Miami Marlins have wrapped up their second day at the winter meetings, and it seems trade talks are heating up between the Fish and a number of other teams. On one hand, the Marlins seem more than interested in fielding offers for one of their players earning some salary. On the other hand, the team is taking a completely different direction with its other trade asset, ironically the one that wants to be dealt.
Escobar Dealt to Rays
The Miami Marlins were engaged in multiple conversations regarding the future of third baseman (as of right now) Yunel Escobar, who has yet to suit up for the team. Up to four teams are in on Escobar, with the Oakland Athletics seemingly at the front of the line at the onset. The A's may be offering a package built around prospects Brad Peacock and / or Grant Green, both of whom were in the middle of the top ten in a deep A's prospect pool heading into last season.
However, last night discussions with the Tampa Bay Rays hastened, and the team was closed a deal that would send Escobar to the Rays for at least prospect Derek Dietrich. Dietrich is a shortstop with the Rays organization, but it seemed he was supposedly destined for second or third base. Still, he displayed a decent bat thus far in the minors and is a college product, so the Marlins may find the appeal in him being almost major league-ready.
The Marlins apparently were not willing to wait out Escobar for an increase in his trade value and saw an opportunity to acquire a prospect who could assist them in the near future in a position of need. It is difficult to blame the team for that direction, but the value of the deal seemed fairly low on first blush.
Nolasco Not To Be Dealt (Or So They Say)
Ricky Nolasco may have requested a trade, formally or not, by having his agent Matt Sosnick speak to the public, but it seems the team has no interest in trading the right-hander. According to ESPN's Jayson Stark, the Marlins are not interested in trading Nolasco regardless of what was said.
#Marlins are telling teams inquiring about Ricky Nolasco that they're not trading him, despite agent Matt Sosnick's remarks yesterday.— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 4, 2012
It seems rather silly for the Marlins to insist that Nolasco be kept when they were so willing to trade all of the other players making significant salary on the team. He is not a piece who will remain with the team beyond 2013. The Marlins clearly cannot be happy with the extension they gave him given his production. It is very possible that keeping him through 2013, even until the trade deadline, represents a misuse of an already poor asset. At this stage, it is a mystery why the Marlins would be so active in trying to trade Escobar but so adamant in keeping Nolasco, who has less team control and less upside.
Then again, the Marlins likely insisted they were not going to trade Jose Reyes and Mark Buerhrle, and that eventually happened anyway.
Interest in Reynolds
The Miami Marlins were one of the nine supposed teams that showed interest in free agent first baseman Mark Reynolds. Reynolds was mentioned in an earlier article regarding the team's desire to find power for the lineup, but he represents something of a small issue on the Marlins' roster. As of recent seasons, Reynolds still has his power, but he has also struggled on the defensive side of the ball. He is an incapable third baseman at this stage in his career (one could argue that he always was), but now he seems to be a below-average defender at first base as well.
This is a problem because the Marlins already are suffering from a lack of defensive prowess. The team was seemingly ready to move Logan Morrison back to first base where he belonged, but a Reynolds signing would either put Morrison back in the outfield or Reynolds at third base, and neither move is tenable on the defensive side. Given Reynolds's significant offensive problems, the team cannot afford to give up any extra runs by sacrificing defense in a signing.
This is the latest on the Miami Marlins from the second day of the winter meetings. Tune into Fish Stripes for all of your winter meetings coverage as the final day finishes up.