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Marlins “gauging interest” in Ricky Nolasco and Leo Nunez

Dec 8, 2010, 11:17 AM EDT

Ricky Nolasco

Ricky Nolasco and the Marlins have been trying to work out a long-term contract extension all year, so it’s not surprising to see Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald report that the team is “gauging interest” in Nolasco at the winter meetings.

According to Spencer they’re also taking calls on closer Leo Nunez, but “are not committed to trading either” and “would have to be overwhelmed by any offers.”

Nolasco is under team control for two more seasons, while Nunez is arbitration eligible for the final time and will hit the open market as a free agent next offseason. It makes sense to deal Nunez, because his save total overrates him in the arbitration process and could lead to a 2011 salary of $5 million or so. However, dealing Nolasco would be a mistake unless the Marlins can get a significant return.

Nolasco has a mediocre 4.45 ERA in 716 career innings, but his secondary numbers have consistently been much better and he’s still just 28 years old. Among all pitchers to make at least 75 starts in the past three seasons Nolasco ranks fourth in strikeout-to-walk ratio, eighth in strikeout rate, and 12th in wins. He’s very close to emerging as a top-of-the-rotation starter.

  1. Jeremiah Graves - Dec 8, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    I’d love for the Twinkies to get in the mix on Nolasco. I think he’s a guy who could seriously use a change of scenery to really live up to his abilities.

  2. Old Gator - Dec 8, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    I agree. Being frozen solid sure did wonders for Ted Williams on the downside of his career.

  3. hnirobert3 - Dec 8, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    The last time the Marlins needed to be “overwhelmed” by an offer they ended up letting Cody Ross go for nothing.

  4. sosascork - Dec 8, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    “He’s very close to emerging as a top-of-the-rotation starter.”
    They’ve been saying that about Ricky for the past 3 years…
    It’s almost as good as “He’s in the best shape of his life!”

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