NL East Notes: Johnson, Tino, Phillies, Greinke, Nats

Here's the latest from around the NL East…

  • The Marlins are less likely to deal Josh Johnson this offseason than they are to deal him in the weeks leading up to the July trade deadline, a source tells Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald (Twitter link). 
  • Also on Johnson, there is "not much traction" between the Marlins and Red Sox about a possible trade for the Miami ace, tweets's Rob Bradford.
  • The Marlins have hired Tino Martinez as their hitting coach, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN New York (via Twitter).  The Red Sox were reportedly also considering Martinez as a candidate to become their new hitting coach. 
  • Martinez will be the Marlins' only hitting coach, as Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Beach Sun-Sentinel reports, though some other teams carry two hitting coaches on staff. 
  • Phillies GM Ruben Amaro tells Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he'd "rather pay for the player than trade for the player" in order to hold onto the Phils' minor leaguers.  "I'd rather spend money but it's not an unlimited pool to work with," Amaro said.  "We have some flexibility. I guess I would anticipate our payroll being similar to last year."
  • The Phillies aren't planning to trade high-priced talent like Cliff Lee in an attempt to save payroll dollars, Amaro tells Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal.  "There's a reason why they're high-priced — it's because they're good. I feel like we have a much better chance of winning with them than without them," Amaro said.
  • Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post wonders if the Nationals and Zack Greinke could be a match this winter, given that the Nats almost acquired Greinke from the Royals two years ago.
  • "What's not to like?" Nats GM Mike Rizzo rhetorically asked about Greinke today, tweets Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.  Rizzo also said there are "five or six really intriguing starters" on the free agent market, tying into Comak's report from earlier today about the Nationals' "open-minded" search for pitching.
  • Also from Comak (Twitter link), Rizzo said the Nationals want to add at least one left-handed reliever.  The team has talked to both Sean Burnett and Mike Gonzalez and they'd like to bring both southpaws back in 2013.  Burnett declined his mutual option last week but said he's like to stay in Washington, while Gonzalez is also open to returning, though up to 10 teams are reportedly interested in him.

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