Doug, Detroit is on line 1…Florida, line 2. With the deal the Tigers struck to acquire third baseman Miguel Cabrera and starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis, the Tigers now are interested in moving third baseman Brandon Inge or outfielder Marcus Thames, according to the Detroit Free Press (and Evan). Waait a second…the Brewers are looking for a third baseman or an outfielder! The most logical move would be to acquire Thames and leave Braun at his current position, third base. But Thames, turns 31 in March, and doesn’t meet the criteria of “high OBP” with a .278 OBP in ’07. Inge, then, might be worth looking at–but his .312 OBP in ’07 could hardly be called “high” either. Plus Inge turns 31 in May. Oh, and now the Tigers have pretty much everything they need to battle the Indians, Red Sox, and Yankees for the AL pennant next year, with Cabrera joining Magglio Ordoñez and former Brewer Gary Sheffield in a potent line-up, with Willis joining Justin Verlander, Jeremy Bonderman and Kenny Rogers to form a potent rotation. The Tigers could always use a solid reliever…but, alas, the Brewers need those, too…unless Matt Wise might be of interest to Detroit. But the move leaves the Marlins’ full of prospects and lacking in names…particularly on the pitcher’s mound. Dave Bush, Chris Capuano, and Claudio Vargas may be of interest to the Marlins…except Capuano and Vargas will both make more than $3 million in ’08, something the Marlins could afford…but likely not be too interested in spending for a “rent-a-player.” With the addition of Cameron Maybin–who has a good chance at being the Marlins’ opening day starting centerfielder–the Marlins have some extra outfielders worth considering:
- Cody Ross…the soon-to-be 27 year-old had a .411 OBP in 66 games with the Marlins, including 12 HR’s in 173 AB’s and is projected as a backup for the Marlins, behind Josh Willingham and Jeremy Hermida. The right-handed hitter would be a perfect compliment to the left-handed hitting Tony Gwynn, Jr. or Gabe Gross.
- Jai Miller…a prospect, and listed as the #3 CF before Maybin was added. Miller is a high school draftee from the 2003 class it appears, so he might get bumped off the 40-man and be eligible for Rule 5 later in the week.
Bush would seem to be the logical choice, as he is much more affordable and would become a steady veteran in the Marlins’ rotation sorely needed by Florida, given the injuries to Josh Johnson and Anibel Sanchez last year, not to mention the “emotional issues” of now #1 starter Scott Olsen. But Ross may be arbitration eligible (according to ESPN.com, he has 3 years of service), so keeping him might cost the Marlins $1.5 million or more; the incremental cost, then, of them dealing Ross for Chris Capuano may be palatable. If Melvin can’t find a deal, he can wait…as this trade might trigger another, and another…and something might surface.