With the signing of Josh Hamilton, there are rumors the Angels are looking to move some outfielders. It only makes sense that the Marlins explore this option. Ricky Nolasco wants out, so they should put together a package for Mark Trumbo. He is a young power bat that fits our needs. He plays first base, third base and corner outfield. Plus, he is cheap and under club control for a few years. Imagine Trumbo batting behind Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlins could even make a push for a package of Trumbo and Peter Bourjos. This move wouldn't cost them a lot of money and would have an impact on the Marlins' "winning philosophy."
-- Travis B., West Palm Beach, Fla.
Adding a power bat has been atop Miami's offseason wish list. Certainly, Trumbo would fill the void.
There is speculation that the Marlins have been in contact with the Angels for Trumbo, and it is true. Miami definitely has interest. The big question is whether the Angels can be tempted to move the young slugger. Trumbo may end up starting in right field for Los Angeles.
But if the Marlins did pull off a deal, matching Trumbo with Stanton would give them a formidable middle of the lineup.
Nolasco's name has come up in a possible scenario for Trumbo. Most likely it would take more than just Nolasco.
What's working in the Marlins' favor now with any possible trade scenario is the fact their farm system is considerably stronger with the recent trades the team has made. There is more pitching depth now, and perhaps a young arm could be dangled to complete a deal.
Why did the Marlins do a blockbuster trade with Toronto without thinking about the effects that would follow, such as an unhappy Stanton and making it difficult to sign free agents?
-- Jonathan A., Orlando, Fla.
The team has acknowledged it knew it would create a public backlash, as well as cause some discontent within the clubhouse. Perhaps, the Marlins underestimated how upset the fans and some of the players would be. But it is easy to see why the trade made so many people so emotional. Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck were all immensely popular among their teammates.
Popular or not, ownership felt the team greatly underperformed, and with the mounting losses came reduced crowds. So with revenue not what was projected, coupled with a 93-loss team, the trade was made with the Blue Jays.
The Marlins could show the fans of Miami that they indeed are trying to build a championship-caliber team if they were to lock up Stanton to a long-term contract. That would prove to the fans that they recognize talent and are willing to make wise investments. If they believe the spending spree last year was a mistake, they still would make many fans happy if they made sure that Stanton will be here.
-- J.C. G., Miami
You are absolutely correct that signing Stanton to a multiyear deal would be a huge public relations boost. But the reality of the situation is it takes two sides to get a deal done. Right now, there is no chance of that happening. The Marlins have Stanton under club control for four more seasons before he reaches free agency after the 2016 season. In the meantime, Stanton won't reach arbitration until '14, so he will be among the biggest bargains in the game in '13, making slightly more than the league minimum.
It's not about recognizing talent. The Marlins certainly know the talent they have in Stanton. It comes down to business. Are they willing to spend what it will take to lock the 23-year-old up for a long time? And does he want to stay?
Another factor is the Marlins' policy of not including no-trade clauses in contracts. Stanton likely wouldn't sign without no-trade protection.
The bottom line is emotions are too high right now for a deal to get done.
Is Adeiny Hechavarria a lock to be on the Opening Day roster?
-- Kaitlyn C., St. Peters, Mo.
Barring an injury or something unforeseen, Hechavarria is expected to be the starting shortstop. The Cuban native is regarded as an above-average defensive player who must show improvement at the plate. The front office believes he can be a quality offensive player.
Hechavarria's style of play reminds some evaluators of Edgar Renteria.
When the Marlins completed the trade with Toronto, they made it pretty clear that Hechavarria would be playing shortstop, instead of Yunel Escobar. Obviously, they've since traded Escobar to Tampa Bay, another indication that Hechavarria will play short.
The payroll decrease is confusing. When the budget does increase, will it be based on performance next season, assuming the club has a better overall record?
-- Melinda R., Fleming Island, Fla.
Indeed it has baffled many because the team moved into a new ballpark. With the additional revenues coming from advertising, concessions, parking, etc., the Marlins were projecting to rank in the middle of the pack in terms of payroll. Yet, the team didn't meet projections last year in terms of attendance and revenues. So rather than invest in the core of players that were assembled, they opted to dramatically scale back.
The hope was more fans would attend the first season in a flashy new ballpark. But when the losses mounted, the trades in July followed, and attendance slipped as well.
All those factors contributed to the reduced payroll.
Most likely, it is going to take a few years to gain the trust to add some marquee free agents. Personally, I think the next long-term contracts could be to prospects like Jose Fernandez and/or Christian Yelich. I think the Marlins would consider doing with these two what the Rays did with Evan Longoria and Matt Moore.
Once Yelich and Fernandez show promise at the big league level, I personally think the Marlins will consider signing them to multiyear deals right away. It's something they probably should have done with Stanton in 2010.