Major League Baseball is a sport built for Hollywood.
Each season features tantalizing story lines, Cinderella stories, and disputed calls. Recent years have produced the Manny Ramirez Saga, breaking of decades old curses, and the so-called "Steroids Era."
Today, the All-Star Game stands a mere 39 days away, signifying that the hot stove should be set to simmer. This year, however, is different, much thanks to the Atlanta Braves releasing of Tom Glavine and trade for Nate McLouth.
Standing pat at June 5, 2009, the hot stove is already on medium-heat, the perfect time to discuss the Florida Marlins 2009 trade options.
David Samson and Co. have never shamed away from the limelight, and I use the term "shame" lightly. The establishment known for winning the series one year and it's start players the next has a policy to listen to all proposals, and with that, comes many rumors, especially with players rapidly approaching higher salaries via arbitration.
So, who are you likely to hear about in the coming weeks?
The first player out of the gate in trade rumors is Dan Uggla. The All-Star caliber Second Baseman, mostly because of his bat, has had a slow start to the season (and end to last), but has the power that front offices drool over.
Dan has been linked to the San Francisco Giants for over a year now, but the Marlins continuously balk at a Jonathon Sanchez proposal; unless the Giants pony up and offer Matt Cain, it is hard to see Danny going west.
The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brew-Crew are two options, as the Cubs have recently considered moving Alfonso Soriano back to the infield and the Brewers have lost Rickie Weeks to injury for the remainder of the season.
It is hard to see either team make a sustainable run into the postseason without a more reliable fix. No trade rumors have surfaced from either club though.
Sticking to the National League, Tony La Russa has suggest the a trade is in the Cards for a power bat, but would he be willing to risk the transition from second to third for Uggla? Probably not. With San Diego in fire-sale mode, few other options exist on non-DH'ing teams.
The American League, however, offers a few options. A team like the Red Sox is eager to find power to replace David Ortiz's misplaced power, but is said to be unwilling to break up its plethora of young arms, which the Fish covet.
A reunion if Ozzie Guillen is not out of play in Chicago, with Alexei's versatility, and Asdrubal Cabrera's injury in Cleveland opens a door. A lineup featuring Sizemore, Martinez, and Uggla could be dirty.
Last but not least is Oakland, who could be ready for a little bit more youth as Mark Ellis plays his way out the door.
Cody Ross is another early name in trade rumors, and the Marlins are apparently willing to trade within the division. Cody is a plus defender with a powerful bat, and if he had it all together could hit in the high .200's with 30+ home runs. Who would want and affordable outfielder like that?
The Braves did, for starters.
Another team with outfield needs includes the Mets, though the emergence of Fernando Martinez has worked out well for them. Again, the Giants could emerge as a player for Ross as they lack a powerful team and he would command less than Dan Uggla, say, Jonathon Sanchez?
If Oakland gives up on Matt Holliday they may not shy away from a young bat like Cody, and with them shopping veterans, the Marlins could certainly use some leadership.
I would not be surprised if the Jays, if they are still contending, add a bat near the deadline for the middle of the order and Cody projects well as a five, six, or seven hitter. We'll stop here on Cody, however, because I don't see him going anywhere.
Jeremy Hermida was at the heart of the Hot Stove last July, in the middle the Pittsburgh-Boston Manny Ramirez swap. Once a top prospect who belted a Grand Salami in his first MLB at-bat, Hermida is posted a career best OBP this year and his eye at the plate has certainly developed.
He has a ton of power potential, but the key word is potential. Oh, and he's a lefty.
Nonetheless, his situation is the same as Cody's. The same teams, the same players, the same demands. Jeremy is younger, however, and is much more affordable. His potential is higher than Ross' and the Marlins would most likely cast a larger net.
The same teams are probable here, and it is much more likely that he will be shown the door than Ross. The few fans here in South Florida have seen enough of the man, and there would be much less backlash with his removal.
Let us not forget, the Marlins just were granted their 16 year wish of a new stadium and pledged no more fire sales. With the last possible cancellation date rapidly approaching, the team better not p.o. the local government.
Jorge Cantu projects to be in line for yet another raise in the offseason and could rapidly be getting out of the Marlins price range. With the team committed to "speed and defense" and Gaby Sanchez labelled the first baseman of the future, Cantu may not wear the teal much longer.
Emilio Bonifacio, for better or worse, has entrenched himself into third base, while slowly killing the Marlins batting order, so Cantu is less likely to shift back over. More importantly, his defense has been close to stellar at first, and his bat has been the driving force between the Marlins much of this season (well, at least April).
The Cardinals fit into this equation nicely, and Cantu could profile to play across the diamond from All-Star first baseman Albert Pujols extremely well should the Marlins make him available.
The Nationals could be a player should they trade Nick Johnson to the Red Sox, as rumored, as he could play first across from Ryan Zimmerman. And of course, the Red Sox, if interested in Johnson, would be interested in the cheaper, less injury prone Cantu.
You would have to look out for the Mets here, in an effort to replace Carlos Delgado if the David Murphy experiment fails, as it would certainly be a defensive upgrade and Cantu has hit extremely well in the new Citi Field.
The Giants could be a player for Cantu at first base, as could the Rangers if they become buys and want to add some pop to the lineup. Finally, with Brandon Inge having cooled off in Detroit, do not be surprised to see their name swirl around.
I would suggest that Matt Lindstrom be available, as Leo Nunez is most likely the closer of the future and profiles to get a few more save opportunities this year. Unfortunately, unless the Marlins receive a few relievers in other deals, Matt is here to stay.
Look for Henry Owens to rejoin the bullpen in about a month, with is 100mph stuff, making the back end of the bullpen slightly more impressive.
The Marlins do have a relatively well-stocked farm system, so don't be surprised if they did into that to make a move, should they become buyers. Mike Stanton, just promoted to Double-A yesterday, remains untouchable, as does Gaby Sanchez. With hundred of prospects, we will not look to deep here, but who could be added to the team?
Look for the Fish, again, if they become buyers, to add a starting pitcher due to injury. Tom Glavine would be a great Free Agent addition as he is familiar with the league and could be a great mentor to the youth-filled rotation. Other starters on other rosters are of course a possibility, with San Fran being the most likely source.
The team may also try to add a more proven, every day third baseman once they wake up from the Emilio Bonifacio nightmare, and outfield is always a source of contention in Land Shark Stadium, as Cameron Maybe tears up the minors but did not find a place in the Majors. The re-emergence of Alejandro De Aza as a possible player, and bargaining chip, should not be ignored though.
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