I asked some Marlin Maniac readers this following question on Twitter:
"Would you like to see me answer Joe Frisaro’s mailbag q’s, and if so, should I answer them in a snarky fashion?"
The (three) responses have been fairly positive, so I figure I can take on this little project on a weekly basis. I can’t promise you that everything will be funny, snarky, or particularly informative. I can promise you that every time a Joe Frisaro inbox comes out, I will answer those questions in a way only a college student with sabermetric knowledge, a bit of an uppity attitude, and no money can. Let’s dig into last week’s mailbag to start off.
"If there are any bullpen spots open, I was wondering if the Marlins would consider Trevor Hoffman? Since he already has his 600th save, he doesn’t need to be a closer anymore, so maybe he could be a setup man or just a regular reliever. At 43, he can’t be demanding a lot of cash, especially since there aren’t many teams giving him a second glance. Maybe a Marlins reunion?— Luis S., Miami"
Did you see Trevor Hoffman‘s line last season?
If this is the man you want setting up for Leo Nunez in 2011, then you must enjoy losing late-game leads. It isn’t that Hoffman doesn’t want to close anymore, but rather that no MLB team wants him to close anymore. He’s been skating by with a well-below average fastball and his legendary changeup for years and it finally got to him last season. Hoffman would be better served resting on his laurels and retiring; a return to the Marlins would be a disaster for the team.
"It seems that Matt Dominguez has already won the job at third base. Why haven’t guys like Ozzie Martinez or Donnie Murphy been considered? Their offensive stats are much better, and their defense doesn’t look too far off.— Jared D., Miami Beach, Fla."
Ozzie Martinez is definitely not ready to be a major leaguer. Donnie Murphy may be, but he’d be a fringe major leaguer at best. While Martinez’ defense at third is probably pretty good, Matt Dominguez‘ has been hailed ever since he was drafted. He sounds like a future Gold Glover at the position, but the bat has always been the problem.
Personally, I’d choose “none of the above” and go with someone like Joe Crede. There’s a good chance Murphy is a Quad-A player; he has all the classic signs, such as a mediocre plate approach and power at the (offensively-inflating) Triple-A level. Martinez is as young as Dominguez and, aside from 2010, has not even been close to the same hitter. And Dominguez is not ready.
"What would it cost in prospects to acquire Joakim Soria? If Soria could be landed for either Chris Coghlan or Logan Morrison in tandem with a lesser name or two (Leo Nunez), it seems that it would be well worth it as long as the player would be a Marlin for two years. It would be in line with the return to pitching and defense, and it would be the best counter we could make to the Phillies adding Cliff Lee.— Sean M., Miami Beach, Fla."
If there is a “closer” that I would be willing to part with important pieces to acquire, it would be Soria, who is still young and is lights-out as a reliever. But there’s almost no chance that giving up Logan Morrison for Soria would be worth it for the Marlins. And there is certainly no chance that acquiring Soria would be a “counter” to the Philadelphia Phillies acquiring a top-line starter like Cliff Lee. Great relievers are nice, but top-notch 200+ IP starters are much, much better. We’d have to counter with at least two more Soria-caliber guys to match up with Lee’s production.
"What do you think is going to happen when John Baker is ready to catch? Who do you think will be the starter, Baker or John Buck?— Al F., Delray Beach, Fla."
Since when have you known the Marlins to throw $6M a season at backups? John Baker is cool and an awesome guy, but John Buck is the unquestioned starter. Starting Baker primarily after the Buck signing would be like signing Javier Vazquez for $7M this season and starting the year with him as the long reliever.