In order to try and jumpstart the offense last year, the Marlins traded away their top 3B prospect, Matt Dominguez, to the Astros for Carlos Lee. “El Caballo” was expected to help create more run production for the Marlins, who were also facing a lot of time without Giancarlo Stanton, to try and get the team out of cardiac arrest.
A few weeks later, the Marlins ended up trading Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers. The rest is (bad) history for the Marlins as they began their project of jettisoning their heavy payroll for a fresh start.
Now the Marlins are in a serious bind. They are without a 3B for the immediate and foreseeable future. There is no clear vision at the position and in their desperation, the Marlins have been trying to hammer out some sort of a plan.
Before settling for Polanco, the Marlins were reportedly kicking the tires on several other teams’ young 3B options. They talked to the Rangers about Mike Olt, the Tigers about Nick Castellanos, and the Padres about Jedd Gyorko. They also tried to pry Mark Trumbo from the Angels, but that fizzled. Details about these discussions are not available, but it could be assumed that Ricky Nolasco was tossed in there as a possible scenario.
This is troubling because it shows a front office that panicked and ended up gambling away from a position of severe weakness to broker its future. It also perhaps shows the naivete that this front office may possess in trying to pry away top prospects from other organizations without having much to offer in return. A deal for Olt would make sense if the Rangers believed in Nolasco enough, but that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case. At any rate, the Marlins are settling for a short term fix and with Zack Cox and Derek Dietrich in the system, it remains to be seen what the long term vision will be.