Marlins Snarkbox: Free agent fantasies
By Michael Jong
Joe Frisaro has his latest inbox up over at the Marlins official website, and so it’s time for me to address some of the concerns that Marlins fans are most interested in. Here comes yet another Snarkbox!
"Is there a good possibility that the Marlins will try to go after left-hander C.J. Wilson in free agency? If so, how much money would the Marlins be willing to spend on him?— Jonathan V., Pembroke Pines, Fla."
Now here’s a fan that’s thinking smart! I’ve yet to reveal my offseason plan for the Marlins, but C.J. Wilson figures to be in the cards. Aside from C.C. Sabathia, who appears to be opting out of his deal with the New York Yankees, Wilson looks to be significantly more affordable and could allow the Marlins to pursue two free agents this year instead of going for one big fish. Since becoming a starter in 2010, Wilson has done some pretty impressive things for the Texas Rangers.
Those are good numbers for two years of pitching. In addition to that, Wilson accomplishes his pitching goals in my preferred method; he gets a decent amount of strikeouts (21.3 percent strikeout rate since 2010) and keeps the ball on the ground (career 50.7 percent ground ball rate and no season under 49.0 percent). Finally, Wilson is lefty, which fits perfectly with the team’s need for a lefty to contend against the top lefty hitters in the division. As for money, Wilson will demand a hefty salary, but his age (31 years old in 2012) and sudden status as second-class starter in the free agent market precludes him from receiving top dollar, so Frisaro’s four-year, $60 million estimate is not out of reach. Great pickup for the team, though you already heard that before here.
"Would you give us an update on the role of Brett Hayes for next season. He could be an unsung hero because he does a fine job on the few occasions he gets to start or pinch-hit. Will John Baker take his place, causing him to him to be traded? Thanks.— Melinda R., Fleming Island, Fla."
Apparently Jack McKeon categorized Hayes in the same breath as Matt Treanor, which should tell you exactly how valuable he is to a big-league squad. After a few seasons of play, it’s very clear Hayes is a backup catcher who will one day be known for his game-calling despite having never consistently played in the majors. As far as the Marlins are concerned, he is of no importance. Sorry Brett.
"Who do you think might be a better fit for the Marlins, Pujols or Fielder? I know Pujols is from the Dominican Republic, and the Latin community here would love seeing him. But I think he may command more money than Fielder. Plus, Fielder would add a lefty power hitter. What’s your thought?— Frank C., Miami."
If money were no object, it’s clear Pujols would be the better fit, as he is clearly the better player. Having said that, even with money one has to lean towards Pujols simply because Fielder will probably command more than he is worth. I’ve already discussed this point last week, but suffice to say that I’d rather have Pujols at $30 million rather than Fielder at $20 million. That and the Latin American ties (particularly the Dominican Republic tie with Hanley Ramirez) and Pujols is the easy winner.
"What is your take on the new Marlins logo and uniform that was leaked? My opinion is that it’s pretty terrible — I prefer a classic look for baseball uniforms. Do you think the leaked logo is for real, and if it is, is there any chance the front office would reconsider, based on the overwhelmingly negative reaction it seems to be getting?— Mike B., Pittsburgh."
I never gave my opinion on the logo, but there have been numerous opinions on the subject, so I don’t really feel the need to talk about it. Needless to say, it isn’t as cool as our original logo, but years from now no one will care when we either switch to something else or win a couple World Series. Plus, it fits our delightfully colorful motif quite well (sob).
"The Marlins need a solid left-handed pitcher, and Oakland’s Gio Gonzalez is from South Florida. He ended his season with a 16-12 record. Is there any chance that the Marlins will try to get this quality left-hander, when still affordable?— Angel N., Miami Lakes."
Just because someone is from south Florida doesn’t mean he’s available for a trade. The Oakland Athletics have no reason to deal Gonzalez, and the Marlins have limited resources with which to acquire him. But hey, I can throw lefty and I’m from south Florida! Make my day!