Monday, November 21, 2005

MARLINS ALL SET TO UNLOAD THEIR HIGH-PRICED PLAYERS

The Marlins are trying to retool their team by trading their increasingly expensive players for younger and cheaper players. Following the A's plan from last off-season, the Marlins have already started discussing the trades for right-hander Josh Beckett, first baseman Carlos Delgado and center fielder Juan Pierre. The Marlins know that they need to reduce payroll. The Marlins are aware of the fact that Beckett is better than any pitcher on the free-agent market and that Delgado is better than any hitter, and thus, they could make multiple blockbusters in exchange, capitalizing on the Marlins assets.

The dealing of Beckett and third baseman Mike Lowell to the Rangers for third baseman Hank Blalock and top left-handed pitching prospect John Danks would save the Marlins about $14 million. Low-revenue teams like the Marlins usually have a choice when trading their expensive players. Last season the Marlins failed in their attempt to put together Lowell with right-hander A.J. Burnett and this season Lowell is the price for getting Beckett. Beckett potentially could be the best starter in Rangers history and Lowell, who recently won his first Gold Glove, could easily perk up at hitter-friendly Ameriquest Field under the guidance of Rangers hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. But still the Marlins are not at loss. The finances earned by them would heavily favor them because now they would be able to get Danks, who could develop into an affordable champion. Of course, Danks might never reach the level of Beckett. The Marlins' next step would be to land another top pitching prospect for Delgado, but making a killer trade for Delgado might be difficult. Undoubtedly Delgado trade will increase Marlins chances of acquiring top prospects. But if all of the team’s trades come together, they could recover the way they did after collapsing in their 1997 world-championship club.

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