As we draw nearer to the trade deadline, the speculation about possible trades are only going to intensify. The Miami Marlins have had rumors on the web the past couple of days about potentially selling relievers Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn, as well as third baseman Casey McGehee.
The Marlins front office is still however holding out hope that the team can make an inspired (miraculous) run at the division or Wild Card this season. While the chances of that happening is a long shot, the Marlins have not ruled out being buyers at the deadline.
In fact, the team has had their eyes on Oakland Athletics’ reliever Jim Johnson for a while and he continues to be on their watch. According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald the team has even discussed a potential name going back to Oakland, making it a very real possibility that a trade could be brewing.
"Though they failed to pull the trigger on an earlier deal for A’s reliever Jim Johnson, it seems the the Marlins remain interested in Oakland’s struggling former closer, according to sources. One player the A’s have discussed with the Marlins as a possible trade return: Marlins minor league pitching prospect Adam Conley."
Conley has had a rough 2014 campaign, missing some time earlier in the season with elbow tendonitis. When he has been healthy, the results have not been there. Conley sports a 6.00 ERA in 12 appearances and 60 innings. His 4.16 FIP looks a lot better than the ERA number, but is still not a promising sign for a pitcher that the Marlins hold in high regard.
However, trading Conley, their second round pick in 2010, for a struggling closer like Jim Johnson makes little to no sense. Johnson owns a 6.25 ERA and a 5.30 FIP in 37 appearances and 40 1/3 innings of work. He has lost his closer role and the A’s have been actively been shopping him.
The Marlins kicked the tires on Johnson earlier this season, even coming close to completing a deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com. Before shipping the 39th pick in the Competitive Balance Lottery to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Marlins discussed sending the pick to Oakland for Johnson.
While the trade for Johnson has been a failure for A’s GM Billy Beane, the Marlins would be wise to avoid trading with the man. If he see’s the promise in Adam Conley that the Marlins don’t, he’ll jump on the deal and make the Marlins regret it for years to come.
Johnson is making $10 million this season and the A’s would likely eat a good portion of that salary for the remainder of the year. He is set to become a free agent after the season, which contradicts the Marlins plans to only trade their pitching prospects for guys they can control beyond this season.