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Marlins looking to trade closer Leo Nunez

Jul 14, 2011, 10:15 AM EST

Leo Nunez celebrates

In previewing what awaits the Marlins in the second half Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel writes that there’s “a good chance” closer Leo Nunez “is dealt before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.”

Rodriguez notes that Nunez has one more season of arbitration eligibility, but “it’s doubtful the Marlins will absorb his expected salary hike” from this year’s $3.65 million salary.

What he doesn’t write is that in addition to not wanting to pay Nunez upward of $5 million in 2012 the Marlins would also be smart to cash in a thoroughly mediocre closer for good value if they can.

In three seasons as Florida’s closer Nunez has saved 81 games in 99 chances with a 3.71 ERA and 169/63 K/BB ratio in 175 innings. He’s basically a solid setup man who’s been thrust into the closer role and has converted saves at an 82 percent rate, which is at the low end of acceptable for a closer.

If they can get a solid prospect for him because some other team focuses on his save totals they should jump at the opportunity and spend the second half figuring out which other reliever is capable of stepping into ninth-inning duties with similarly mediocre results. Closers are made, not born, and Nunez is a prime example.

  1. Old Gator - Jul 14, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    The answer to the question of who (already in the system) can replace Nunez with similar results is: no one. It’s probably a reasonable question to ask of a team that has actual plans to compete but, unfortunately, it’s irrelevant in Macondo. With the season already pervaded by the Coriolis effect Scrooge McLoria and the Chihuahua don’t really give a rat’s patootie whether the team finds a “closer” or not. Saving the rest of Nunez’ salary, and avoiding the hike he’s due is all that matters – especially after their incomprehensible $18MM splurge on John (.220) Buck, and the hefty raises they gave Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson, have all pretty well blown up in their faces like a bunch of trick cohibas.

    There have been rumors circulating on Macondo tawk raydeeo that Ricky Nolasco and even Anibal Sanchez may be up for trade (though one hopes they’d have to do better than a glorified utility infielder and a bunch of top junior high school pitching prospects in any trade for Anibal). We know that no one else will be as clueless as Scrooge and the Chihuahua in taking Buck off their hands, so, grotesque as it may be, the Feesh are busy trying to clear room on the payroll to carry Buck’s dead weight by unloading useful players. That’s magico realismo beisbol style for ye.

    So, it’s beginning to look like the Feesh plan to go leemping into their gleaming new giant Cuisinart next season with another K-Mart payroll and an opportunity to contend for third place in the NL East. So it goes.

    • thekcubrats - Jul 14, 2011 at 11:45 AM

      I’m trying to type, “what about Jose Ceda?” but magico realismo keeps getting in the way

      • Old Gator - Jul 14, 2011 at 11:57 AM

        Ceda might well be the one they…uh..test. I think Mujica will get the call first, though. Neither one strikes me as “closer” material – good set up guys, maybe, but that’s it.

    • chomsky66 - Jul 14, 2011 at 11:47 AM

      100 Years of Frauditude?

      Love in the Time of Loria?

      • Old Gator - Jul 14, 2011 at 11:55 AM

        Nobody Writes to the Manager.

        The Very Old Manager with Enormous Cigars.

        Bullshit Storm.

        The Jackal’s Smile.

        The Autumn of Watching the Playoffs on TV Again.

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