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Marlins Snarkbox: Michael Young and Third Base

Another week, another Joe Frisaro mailbag, and with that comes another Snarkbox from yours truly. Let’s see if there are any questions to be answered with heavy snark in this week’s bunch. And rest assured, no matter what I say, snarky or otherwise, this impostor of mine will not approve, and he’ll not approve in a real sarcastic fashion.

What are the chances of the Marlins trying to acquire Michael Young from the Rangers?
– Jorge H., Washington

I talked about this on Twitter with a few fans earlier this week, when Michael Young‘s public griping about his situation began. It would be an almost impossible situation for the Marlins to acquire Young. He has an obscene amount of money owed to him over the next few seasons, on the order of $16M per year for three more years. Did you know that Michael Young will be 34 years old and is already considered a defensive liability at third base after years of being a defensive liability at shortstop? Did you also know that we’d be acquiring his age 35 to 37 seasons at $16M a year after he has been outperformed by about three wins in the past three years by Dan Uggla? Check out this comparison chart:

Essentially, the two were pretty even performers at their respective age 26 to 30 seasons, and the Marlins did not want to commit more than $13M to Uggla for his age 31 to 35 years. What makes you think the team would be interested in committing to the older Young for more money?

Even if the Marlins got money back for the deal, they would still have to trade something of value for Young, and the team’s minor league system is essentially shot after promotions of its top talent. Who else can the Marlins trade for the right to overpay Young? No, I’ll pass on the guy; he’s a serviceable ballplayer, but he makes way more than what he is worth.

Obviously, the Marlins are very tight with their wallets, but could you see them making a move for Albert Pujols if he becomes a free agent? It has been reported that his contract negotiations aren’t going well with the Cardinals.
– Ryan S., Miami

No, no, no, no, and no. And in case you forgot, see this answer to the exact same question.

Will the Marlins try to upgrade their rotation by signing a free-agent pitcher like Kevin Millwood or Jarrod Washburn?
– Drew W., Edmond, Okla.

How much better do you think Kevin Millwood or Jarrod Washburn are compared to Chris Volstad? My money is on “little to no better.” But I’ll back that up. Here are the numbers for the three individuals I just named since 2008:

Player IP ERA FIP xFIP
Chris Volstad 418.33 4.47 4.60 4.50
Kevin Millwood 558 4.58 4.58 4.56
Jarrod Washburn 329.67 4.20 4.65 4.86

I don’t know about you, but to me, that looks like three guys who are essentially the same pitcher. Added bonus for Volstad, as he is younger and more of a ground ball pitcher. I think we’re fine with our fifth starter. There are certainly other proverbial fish to fry (puntastic!). Speaking of which…

If Dominguez isn’t big league ready in Spring Training, what are the Marlins’ backup plans for third base?
– Cesar P., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Cross your fingers and hope Emilio Bonifacio and Wes Helms don’t suck the life out of the offense. I’m serious. The team has no backup options for any of their major question marks. It wasn’t the best of plans to be laid. Despite that, I would say that Ruben Gotay and Donnie Murphy may get looks as well, and as I’ll mention in the upcoming third base preview (due out next Monday after my hellacious test), those might not be bad options after all.

Ozzie Martinez showed promise last year while filling in for Hanley Ramirez. Will he be given a chance to win an everyday job in 2011?
– Sam M., Orlando, Fla.

The Marlins don’t really have a spot for Osvaldo Martinez at the moment, and he certainly could use some seasoning in Triple-A this season. Keep in mind that Martinez was pretty bad right up until last year, and I’d like to see some extended success before I’m ready to hand him the second base job that he’s undoubtedly lined up for. Bonus point: Martinez might not necessarily be blocked at shortstop if and when the Marlins move Ramirez off of the position. It seems unthinkable at the moment, but another few seasons of struggles at shortstop and the Fish might not have a choice.

Topics: Chris Volstad, Donnie Murphy, Jarrod Washburn, Kevin Millwood, Mailbag, Matt Dominguez, Miami Marlins, Michael Young, Osvaldo Martinez, Ruben Gotay

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  • mtn.mike

    At 3rd base, use Chris Coghlan……CF,
    Scott Cousins….strong arm & speed

    • Michael Jong

      mtn.mike,

      That would be preferable, except for two problems:

      1) The Marlins seem to have no desire to play Coghlan in the infield unless it is absolutely necessary.

      2) Coghlan would have to play second base to avoid developing at third and blocking Matt Dominguez in the future. That’s not too bad, as the team has the luxury of the flexible Omar Infante.