Florida fire sale?
- From: "Met-in-PR" <orb@xxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2005 11:22:32 -0500
The Mets talking about Castillo? I'm wondering if Delgado still feels the
Marlins were the better choice last year?
Sources: Marlins close to fire sale
By Joe Capozzi
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 20, 2005
As the Marlins and Rangers continued talking Saturday about Florida sending
Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Texas, multiple baseball sources said more
of their Marlins teammates could soon leave the team, too.
"They may take it all the way down, like we saw in '98," an American League
source said, referring to the dismantling of the Marlins' 1997 championship
Marlins President David Samson would not comment Saturday. But sources said
Florida's front office has been telling teams that, except for pitcher
Dontrelle Willis and third baseman Miguel Cabrera, everyone is available
because of orders to cut payroll from the club-record $65 million spent on
last season's team.
One source said Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, who is frustrated over stalled
talks for a new stadium, is prepared to go with a 2006 payroll as low as $40
million, which could be the lowest in the major leagues.
By trimming payroll, the Marlins could give themselves enough flexibility to
offer long-term contracts to their two youngest stars - Willis, the
runner-up in the NL Cy Young voting, and Cabrera, who led the team in
hitting (.323), home runs (33) and RBI (116).
The Marlins have not made any trades yet, but they have been actively
shopping their players for the past two weeks, starting with first baseman
Carlos Delgado (owed $48 million over the next three years), who has
received attention from the Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets and New York
Florida and the Mets have had extensive talks over the past two weeks about
Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo.
The Chicago Cubs and White Sox are interested in center fielder Juan Pierre.
The Colorado Rockies like catcher Paul Lo Duca.
The Marlins have talked to six teams about Beckett, including the Boston Red
Sox, but they are demanding that Lowell (owed $18 million over the next two
years) be included in any deal.
Florida is closest to a trade with Texas. Under a proposal that was first
discussed two weeks ago by Marlins General Manager Larry Beinfest and
Rangers GM Jon Daniels at the general managers' meetings in California,
Beckett would go with Lowell to the Rangers for two-time All-Star third
baseman Hank Blalock.
Loria and Rangers owner Tom Hicks, who is said to desperately want a No. 1
starting pitcher, continued discussions this past week during the owners'
meetings in Milwaukee.
The original proposal also called for Texas to send Florida one of two
pitching prospects - John Danks or Thomas Diamond, both first-round draft
picks. But the Rangers' front office has balked at losing either pitcher and
is now trying to find a way to finish the deal. One option is for Texas to
dangle first baseman Adrian Gonzalez as trade bait to a third team for
pitchers to flip to Florida.
The Rangers and Marlins also have discussed scenarios that include Pierre in
Gonzalez, Florida's first round pick in the 2000 draft, was traded to Texas
on July 11, 2003, in a deal that brought reliever Ugueth Urbina to Florida.
Gonzalez made his major-league debut with Texas in 2004 and batted.227 with
six home runs and 17 RBI in 43 games in 2005.
If the Beckett trade is completed, there's a chance the Marlins will trade
Blalock to another team. Blalock might not fit into Florida's long-term
plans because he is owed $3 million in 2006, $4.75 million in 2007 and $5.95
million in 2008.
Beckett, the MVP of the 2003 World Series, made $2.4 million in 2005 and
could make at least $4 million in arbitration this winter. A native of
Spring, Texas, he is eligible for free agency after the 2007 season.
"It's kind of a shock to me, almost surreal," Beckett said Saturday about
the possible trade. "I've been with the Marlins all the time. I guess it
happens to everybody. They say everybody gets traded at least once. I guess
the first time for me is kind of weird."
In their talks with the Red Sox, the Marlins want shortstop Hanley Ramirez
and pitcher Anibel Sanchez, who was floated by Boston last summer in a
proposal for Marlins pitcher A.J. Burnett.
Let's Go Mets!!!
Now we will understand what he has meant to this club: The Mets without
Piazza are like a pastrami sandwich without the pastrami.....Mark Herrman
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