The Winter Meetings are not expected to be anything like 2011 for the Miami Marlins. Last season, Miami stole the show by storming into the meetings and leaving with over a hundred million dollars in contracts committed. The Marlins also tried to land a couple of more big ticket players but missed out. This year it’s all about moving more pieces and maybe signing a few small additions.
On Monday, news started to circulate that Ricky Nolasco has requested a trade from Miami due to his displeasure with the team’s recent blockbuster deal. Nolasco who has one year left on his deal should have his wishes met if Miami is able to find a suitor willing to take on the remaining money. In recent weeks, the Marlins have been outspoken about retaining Nolasco as he would lead the 2013 rotation but the veteran right-hander is looking for a new atmosphere and a fresh start elsewhere. One of his friends on the team, Giancarlo Stanton has openly spoke out against the trade as well. Stanton who some reports also said requested a trade would be very difficult for Miami to move. While it is likely all 29 teams would have interest, the simple fact is the Marlins would have a lot of difficulty finding equal value. The slugging outfielder is due to make the league minimum in 2013 and is under team control for four more seasons. It is the kind of piece every team wishes they had and the kind of player Miami needs to have while rebuilding. Still, if Stanton becomes adamant about being dealt — the Marlins may have no choice but to find a suitable partner and get the deal done.
Also on Monday, it was reported by several outlets that Yunel Escobar is available and could be on the move within days. Miami is talking a few teams including the Tampa Bay Rays who view Escobar as a potential everyday starter at shortstop. With a relatively inexpensive contract, the Marlins should be able unload the temperamental veteran shortstop. At that point, Miami would need to think of who will man third base for them to start 2013 as Escobar is penciled in there at this time.
A lot of things can change but it is becoming more and more likely that Nolasco and Escobar will be gone before Spring Training rolls around. As of now, it remains a good possibility that Stanton continues to man right field for the Marlins — at least for one more season.