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With Marlins selling, is Josh Johnson long for Miami?

Jul 23, 2012, 7:09 PM EDT

Josh Johnson Getty Images

There’s no real reason for the Marlins to stop with Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante. With Ozzie Guillen’s team deciding to sell, there should be several more attractive players available:

RHP Josh Johnson: Miami’s ace has stayed healthy this year, but he hasn’t pitched like a top-of-the-rotation starter with his 4.35 ERA in 19 starts. At the same time, his peripherals aren’t bad: he has a 96/35 K/BB ratio and he’s allowed just seven homers in 113 2/3 innings. He’s due $13.5 million next year before he becomes a free agent, so some of the fringe contenders also looking ahead to 2013 should be interested.

RHP Carlos Zambrano: Zambrano seems happy in Miami, and he’s been effective enough that the Marlins could look to sign him to a modest extension before trading him. If he’s not interested, then send him away, too. He’s a free agent at season’s end, and he’s not going to bring back draft pick compensation. He probably won’t fetch more than a couple of lesser prospects.

RHP Ricky Nolasco: Nolasco appears to be well on his way to posting an ERA in the mid-4.00s for the third straight year, and the Marlins should be able to do better for his $11.5 million salary in 2013. Like Zambrano, he probably wouldn’t net much of a return. Still, the fact that he’s durable and can eat innings would make him an upgrade for a few teams.

3B/SS Hanley Ramirez: If the Marlins decide it’s worth blowing things up, then Ramirez is the logical place to start. He’ll make $31.5 million between 2013-14, and while he has the potential to be a bargain even that steep price, he hasn’t produced like a $15 million-per-year player the last two seasons. A change of scenery might be best for all concerned.

Role players: 1B Carlos Lee, OF Austin Kearns, INF/OF Greg Dobbs, OF Chris Coghlan, RP Edward Mujica, RP Randy Choate. All should be available. One wonders if Lee would have gone to the Dodgers if he had it to do all over again.

  1. dondada10 - Jul 23, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    Did Buehrle get a no-trade?

    • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2012 at 10:01 PM

      Yeah – it’s buried in the salary line in his contract.

  2. baseballisboring - Jul 23, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    It’s hard to see exactly where this team is going right now. It didn’t look like a rebuild situation to me before the Sanchez trade. I don’t know how the Marlins are gonna be able to sell a rebuild to the fans 4 months after they built a new stadium. I don’t think they needed to, either. This reeks of Jeffrey Loria being cheap, because Sanchez is a solid, 28 year old pitcher. Sure, Turner’s a hot prospect and everything, but they already had a sure thing in Sanchez, along with a respectable core of Johnson, Buehrle, Reyes, Hanley and Morrison. It seems to me like all they would’ve had to do next year to be competitive again is fill out the middle of their roster, whether it be via free agency or trade, and get their stars producing again, which didn’t seem far-fetched. Their problem all year has been that they’ve top-heavy, and the stars haven’t produced. Does trading Sanchez for an unproven prospect do anything to help that?

  3. xpensivewinos - Jul 23, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    But I thought Ozzie Guillen was a genius? Something doesn’t add up….

  4. rcali - Jul 23, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    What a failure of a ballclub. Maybe they need a new ballpark.

  5. proudlycanadian - Jul 23, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    Another interesting team is Boston. There was a suggestion that they were looking at both Sanchez and Johnson, yet a loss tonight would drop them below .500. Should they become sellers?

  6. exibitsman - Jul 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    I live about 45min from the new ballpark. never went there I just have a hard time trying to like this
    team. for some reason.

    • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM

      The ballpark is worth seeing on its own terms. Go say hello to Tommy.

  7. Old Gator - Jul 23, 2012 at 10:28 PM

    As I predicted in the wee hours of the morning in my response to today’s And That Happened, the Feesh reconstruction began in earnest this afternoon. After dropping two of three to the Grubs, what possible alternative did Scrooge McLoria, the Chihuahua and Beinfest actually have? I have no doubt that the Feesh are working hard to unload the Hanster and, one would hope, have finally gotten it into their skulls that .240 and fifteen to eighteen dingers a year, most of them solo, with a marked propensity to strand runners and kill rallies, is what you see what you get with Tweeter. As a matter of fact, we should be grateful that with the coming demolition of this chemically challenged herd of cats, we can stop hearing words like “underperforming” out of the front office and Slobbering Ozzie. This team didn’t “undeperform.” What we’ve been watching is merely how mediocre they actually are.

    The Feesh made it clear last orfseason when they didn’t even offer Anibal Sanchez an extension that he would be gone before the season was out unless he really mowed the lawn, but that didn’t happen, so today’s trade is no surprise. With Donovan Solano in the wings, the Feesh notochord trust figured Infante was expendable even though he’s been one of the more solid players so far. So, no surprise there either.

    Now of course the question is, having thrown in the dishrag anyway, what are the Feesh going to do with Black Hole Buck and Bombs Away Bell? Who’s going to take on either one of these guys with the way they’ve been performing and with those huge contracts? Bell’s owed about nine million dollars for the season and a half remaining on a contract that was an absurdity the day it was signed; no one is going to take more than the league minimum’s worth of that off the Rainbow Warriors’ hands when the guy sports a crash line that looks like a monthly casualty report from the Vietnam War; those aren’t really his stats, those are the numbers of dead, wounded and missing. To unload either or both, Scrooge McLoria is going to have to eat most of those deals. I’m sure he finds that about as appetizing as that odd, barbell-shaped chewy thing in the middle of his Bubbie’s fricassee when he was a kid.

    That leaves the problem of the Hanster. Mr. Puss Knuckle has been a bust and a half for two seasons now, starting his nosedive slowly with receipt of Scrooge McLoria’s accursed .342 talisman of which he has been trying to rid himself since he saw Frodo pitch the ring of power into the volcano. The Hanster too is sporting a whopping contract extension and a set of stats desperately in need of a big blue pill and a glass of water. No doubt someone will think he’s worthy of a reclamation project but that someone, with Omar Minaya no longer in a position to do anything that stupid, will drive an unpalatable bargain. If they take his contract over, they probably won’t send back anything above Single-A or walking without prosthetics.

    So far I haven’t seen any information on who’s going to be brought up to take the places of Anibal and Omar, but one figures we’ll see Gabby and maybe Peterson or even Coghlan back as field ballast until while this already forgettable season aches to grow more distant in the side view mirror than that eye in the Far Side cartoon. Unless they find a nice home for Tweeter – preferably, with a hip young couple with room for several in their hot tub, and no praying mantises in their yard – at least Peterson will have some kinky company without needing to pay for the overpriced mojitos at the Clevelander.

    So really, the Feesh need to be taking the long view of things, and should look to beef up with one or two midgrade hitters, preferably moneyball types with some situational moxie, on the free agent market this weenter. It’s an ugly prognosis for the next two seasons at least.

    • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2012 at 10:33 PM

      Buck who’s owed nine million….

      Edit function!
      Edit function!

  8. randygnyc - Jul 24, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Gator- I’ve been watching baseball for over 40 years too, but I have to admit, that on paper, the Marlins looked good to me before the season started. What I am trying to say is that if those players perform up to the numbers on the back of their cards, they’d be a formidable team. In that respect, they are underperforming. If any MLB team needed a competitive season this year it was the marlins. Between a usually apathetic fan base and a new stadium looking to establish a precedent, success was key in order to compel ownership to maintain an exciting team going forward. Now I see the marlins doing what they always do, field a team on the cheap and hope the area residents don’t notice.

    • Old Gator - Jul 24, 2012 at 5:51 AM

      Well, let’s see if that proves to be the case. Residents as cynical by now as Macondoans don’t need to “notice” and I doubt if even Scrooge McLoria thinks the local spawrts press won’t be counting up the payroll and pointing it out to us. All the big ticket guys are still with the team but let’s face it, you don’t hang on to guys who are making a ton of money and who aren’t hitting or pitching their weights. If the Feesh can jettison the Hanster, Buck and Bell they ought to do it at this point. They spent the money; they just didn’t spend it well. Now, there won’t be much point in overpaying for players to populate a team so flawed that those players won’t make a difference in the standings. Any Borg fan should remember all the accusations about “buying championships” when the core of the team was pretty much home grown or acquired through canny trades.

      Another thing: the stats on the back of their cards show totals but aren’t great for trends. Tweeter and Coghlan had flash-in-the-pan moments that look good in a column but had been declining for at least a full season each and the Hanster had been sliding for two.

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