At some point, these 11 Marlins could be dealt if a decent prospect is exchanged in return.
The Marlins might trade these 11 players because they might not fit the team's long-term plans, might make a sizable salary in 2014 or could be found wanted by other organizations who need help for a playoff push.
- Chad Qualls, Jon Rauch and/or Ryan Webb
Of the three, Rauch could be the most sought after player if a team needs a set-up man or a closer for the stretch run. Since 2006, Rauch's ERA has hovered between 3.12 and 4.14 in six of the last seven seasons. Furthermore, Rauch has accumulated 62 saves during this stretch.
As for Qualls, who is 34 years old like Rauch, he's been a durable arm out of the bullpen, appearing in at least 70 games in six of the last eight seasons. In fact, Qualls has had the most appearances since 2005 with 572 games. However, Qualls' ERA has been over 4.00 in two of the last three years (7.32 in 2010 and 5.33 in 2012)
Webb is the youngest reliever of the three, but he might be the most costly in the long run. Rauch ($1 million) and Qualls ($1.15 million) are free agents after the season, but Webb will be in his second year or arbitration after the season. He's earning $975,000 this season, but if he has a superb year, he might be too costly to keep for next season or another team might be willing to acquire him as another valuable arm for the playoffs.
- Greg Dobbs and/or Casey Kotchman
Dobbs or Kotchman will probably get traded, but that will depend on first baseman Logan Morrison's return to health. Morrison was placed on the 60-day disabled list as he's slow to recover from right knee surgery (patella tendon) back in September.
Teams looking to trade for Dobbs will get a quality left-handed bat off the bench (career .257 pinch-hitter) while Kotchman provides value with his defense.
Morrison told the Miami Herald last week he's up to 90 percent on the anti-gravity treadmill, has yet to take batting practice, but is expected to start throwing and fielding ground balls sometime next week. Morrison added he hopes to be in "big league games by early [to] middle of May."
- Jeff Mathis and/or Miguel Olivo
Currently, Mathis is on the 15-day disabled list because of a broken collarbone. Mathis suffered the injury Feb. 23 when he was hit by a foul tip in the first Grapefruit League game.
Throughout spring training, the Marlins had Kyle Skipworth and, later, Koyie Hill battle for the right to fill Mathis' spot. Then, Olivo became available when he was released by the Cincinnati Reds and signed for $800,000.
“To have two young guys like that is not an ideal situation,” first-year manager Mike Redmond told the Palm Beach Post. “I feel comfortable with Skippy but at the same time, too, I’m nervous about two young guys back there. We’ll have to see how that one plays out.”
If the Marlins decide to stick with Olivo once Mathis is healthy again, then the Marlins will pay Mathis $1.5 million to toil in the minors. If the Marlins stick to the original plan, which is Mathis as the backup catcher, then Olivo might not even be around as his contract states he can refuse a minor-league assignment if the team opts to designate him for assignment within the first 45 days of the regular season.
- Chris Coghlan and/or Justin Ruggiano
Since no one played well enough to claim the center field job, Redmond decided that the position will be shared between Coghlan and Ruggiano.
“Those guys, we’ll probably platoon them for now and see who steps up,” Redmond told the Miami Herald. “If one of them takes off, they’re going to get the bulk of the playing time."
This just means the loser could be expendable.
- Juan Pierre
He's no spring chicken, but Pierre still has some decent wheels at 35 years old. Last season, as a fourth outfielder with the Philadephia Phillies, Pierre hit .307 and stole 37 bases in 130 games.
- Placido Polanco
Like Pierre, Polanco is on the wrong side of 30. But like Pierre, he can still contribute, provided the 37-year-old infielder can stay healthy.
Last season, Polanco missed 72 games last season with the Philadelphia Phillies because of back, knee, ankle and wrist injuries. He hit .294 in the first two months, but batted just .198, with five extra-base hits, in 130 plate appearances after June 4. He started only two games after July 22 because of lower-back inflammation. This year, Polanco has missed parts of spring training because of back spasms and a strained oblique, according to the Miami Herald.
However, Redmond values Polanco's ability to handle the bat, which is why Polanco is batting clean-up behind Giancarlo Stanton.
"I like Polanco there,” Redmond said about two weeks ago. “He gives you a veteran bat, a guy who puts the ball in play, he can hit behind runners, he can hit-and-run."