That didn’t take long. Barely a few weeks into the season and the Marlins “faithful” is already turning on its “lone” star player – Giancarlo Stanton.
Stanton tweeted today about a “tradition” the Marlins have – they visit a local suit shop there in Cincinnati and buy suits. Ok, so some of the suits are a bit louder than others may like, but it is in good fun. Here is the tweet:
Now I must mention, it is a bit tame since I viewed the tweet around 6pm this afternoon. It looks like a lot of the messages about “hitting the cages” and hashtags with #OVERRATED have been removed. And why not? He’s only a 23 year old kid trying to have fun on Twitter and even he can’t escape the Marlins downward spiral as a team. All he did was show up to work.
There are many on Twitter now that are accusing Stanton of “tanking” it and being “disinterested” in playing. I would venture to say that is far from the truth if only for the cynical reason that if Stanton wants out, his trade value is tied to his production (along with his contract value). He has an interest in extending his career and even, if the doubters are right, trying to position himself to be on a better team immediately. Much like fellow teammate Ricky Nolasco is trying to do when he started the season – who’s, ironically, in this tweet hanging with Stanton.
The MLB “trade deadline” sets in today at 4pm. It is a looming thing because right now, you are looking at one of the better teams since the All Star Break in the Florida Marlins. They are 10-5 during that stretch, putting them up the charts a bit. The NL East standings haven’t changed too much – the Braves continue to marvel at the top while the Phillies made a big move to land Oswalt in their rotation. Still, the Marlins chip away and are winning games and remain within 7.5 games of that top spot held by the Braves, and 6.5 games in back of wild card leading San Francisco. At 52-51, they are over the hump and could make a climb that may push them into the postseason.
That is, if they keep Cody Ross. And that is coming straight from the horse’s mouth himself.
Cody Ross has stated that trading him away would be akin to waiving a white towel on the season. A recent article in the Miami Herald states his plea publicly. This is a great thing for a franchise that is perceived as being 2nd rate, it seems players actually like playing here and playing for this team.
Jorge Cantu, as classy a professional as they come, had a piece on FSN last night saying thank you and farewell to the fans of the Fish. He basically thanked everyone for their support and for sticking with him after Cincinnati gave up on him. He resurrected his career here in Miami, and now he is off to the Rangers to help them make a splash in the postseason. As his contract stood, he was not going to be retained by the Marlins after he became a free agent at the end of the season. No draft pick compensation and also, the Marlins had to make some room for their young studs, Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison. Morrison will remain in left field while the Marlins plan to move Chris Coghlan to 3B for the remainder of the season.
Cody Ross is different in that he is under team control through the 2011 season. Trading him would have to make sense and with Cameron Maybin working his way back from a shoulder injury on July 2nd, the Marlins center field options would be tenuous at best. Emilio Bonifacio could see time until Maybin is ready, but even when that happens the Marlins would have an extremely young and inexperienced outfiled with Mike Stanton in RF and Logan Morrison in LF.
Juan C. Rodriguez makes a great point for keeping Ross, a trade now would put pressure on the rookie outfield and a deal wouldn’t have to be made right now. They could always trade Ross later in the season if the Marlins don’t chase the playoffs, although it would be more difficult to do so. They could also wait until the offseason and get something else for Ross if they so chose.
As a fan, you would like to see your favorite players stay and Ross has become something of a cult hero here in Miami. At the same time, the Marlins have to do what is right for the franchise long term, and Ross is mostly just a stop-gap until Maybin proves ready to take the reigns and move the Fish into the new era with the new stadium on the horizon.
Looks like there are three teams out there vying for Brad Penny’s services to end the season. All three teams are trying to make a push for the postseason – but one of them is pretty much locked in there. The New York Yankees and the San Francisco Giants are elbowing with the Marlins for Penny.
The question is, what is Penny looking for?
If it is an assured appearance in the postseason, he definitely could get that with the Yankees, the team he helped defeat for the title back in 2003. Brad Penny is trying to get some exposure and getting into the postseason would help teams notice him. Also, the Red Sox released him and what better story line for him would there be than to pitch for his ex team’s rival?
Which also brings us to the Giants. Penny was a Dodger, but amid some rumblings about his work ethic and a supposed selfish approach to the game, Penny was out in LA and questions abound what direction his career would take. Which is why the Red Sox took a flyer on him. But playing for the Giants might be a way to get back at the Dodgers, not to mention that is a rivalry as well – just not one of note to the rest of the nation.
Finally, there is the familiar – home. The Marlins were Penny’s original team in the bigs. They helped shape him and got him his shot and he helped them win a title. He knows the ballpark. He knows the weather. He also knows that he would get a starting spot in the rotation right away as the Marlins are kind of struggling with their pitching at the moment. Perhaps the Fish have the least likely possibility of appearing in the postseason at this point, but with Penny’s help that could change quickly. And what better way to rejuvenate your career and get that big paycheck than to help a team get to the postseason. It worked for Pudge Rodriguez here back in 2003.
A decision will have to be made soon as Penny would have to be added to a roster before September 1st to be eligible for the postseason. Even more tantalizing is the cost – Penny would only cost a team roughly 89K for the rest of the year. That fits any team’s budget – especially the Marlins.
In order to make way for Billy Wagner, the Boston Red Sox released Brad Penny. Yes, I know – I was the guy who was rooting for the Marlins to real in Smoltz, too. Didn’t happen. But with the Marlins itching to find consistency in their rotation, and really on the brink of contention for the post season, Penny may be a good gamble. The Marlins are players – just the piece has to fit. Smoltz would have worked, but he decided to take a better deal by going to the Cardinals who have basically locked up a spot in the post season at this point.
In Penny, the Marlins would be reunited with one of the main forces behind their 2003 championship run. Brad Penny had been inconsistent all that season, but shined in the playoffs, adding a nice bookend to Josh Beckett’s dazzling performances.
It isn’t like the Marlins would have to commit to Penny beyond this season, either. He signed a one year $5M deal with the Red Sox this season. Rob Neyer doesn’t seem to think Penny is washed up – nor should the Marlins and the indications are several other teams are very interested. What Penny would do for the Marlins is solidify that rotation and give the Fish an old face that might help them turn it up a notch. A return to the NL would be welcomed by Penny, as would pitching in the expanse of Land Shark Stadium. We’ll have to wait and see. Penny got his wish – he got his release. The question is, will the Fish catch.
What a strange time we live in. I mean, John Smoltz a Marlin? That would be like a Republican supporting this new health care package being pushed by the Obama administration.
But seriously, really? Yes.
Joe Capozzi, of the Palm Beach Post, is reporting that the Marlins are one of the teams that is interested in giving Smoltz employment. The situation is this – the Red Sox demoted Smoltz who refused to accept his minor league assignment. In doing so, the Red Sox have until Sunday to make a deal – either trade Smoltz or release him. If they release him, the Red Sox are responsible for the $5.5M owed Smoltz for this season.
What is interesting is that the Marlins actually have an in with Smoltz. Fredi Gonzalez coached with the Braves and has a very good relationship with Smoltz. Even more interesting is the fact that the Marlins are in contention and grumbling internally about finding another starter that gives them a chance to win every 5th day. With all the injuries and inconsistencies, an addition like Smoltz could prove beneficial as well as serve as an influence for the young pitching staff.
The Marlins are in the mix. They are winning ball games and getting it done with a very dynamic approach every night. Adding a veteran like Smoltz would boost their depth as well as their experience and veteran leadership much in the same way that Wes Helms and Ross Gload have helped the offense. Could be a very intriguing addition that would help match the Phillies’ addition of Pedro Martinez as well.
It is falling upon us like the night sky only for the Marlins, there is some light here. The Fish are embroiled in several trade rumors, which indicates nothing other than the Malrins are actually buyers at this point in the year, which is a good indication that the brass feels good about getting to the postseason. As they should.
What deals are being looked at as the 4pm deadline looms?
Nick Johnson ($5.5M and a free agent at season’s end) for Ryan Tucker and/or Aaron Thompson. The Nats are shopping Johnson’s contract in the hopes of netting more young talent. They were rejected Jonathan Sanchez from the Giants in an offer for Johnson. The Marlins would only be responsible for $1.95M of his contract.
Marlins rejected a deal for Padres closer Heath Bell. Good thing, too because the Padres were asking for Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller. Um, right. Can anyone say overvalue? Besides, he is having a career year and what kind of an improvement would he really offer on the current bullpen? Better off staying away from that one.
Roy Halladay – yes, Halladay the ex-Cy Young winner – was a target. More like a heat check as the Marlins inquired but according to Juan C. Rodriguez, no deal unless the Marlins threw in Mike Stanton. That shows you just how highly valued Stanton is although the thought of adding Halladay to this staff gets you drooling.
Brian Bannister has also been rumored, but the Yankees are also interested. Bannister is 6-7 on the year with a 3.80 ERA – not bad in the AL and is also only due $1.74M.
There is also a possible reunion with Carl Pavano. The Marlins kicked the tires on Adrian Gonzalez, too – another ex-Marlin – but the Padres want what the Marlins don’t want to part with.
4pm deadline is today so keep your eye open and let’s see if the Fish can add a gun or two to their arsenal. Their playoff chances probably depend on it.