NL East Links: Cishek, Byrd, Ausmus, Phillies

The Marlins were featured as part of MLBTR's Arbitration Eligibles series two days ago, and according to Matt Swartz's projection model, Steve Cishek is set to earn $3.2MM in his first year of eligibility.  MLB.com's Joe Frisaro wonders if such a number could make Cishek a trade candidate, as "the organization is probably asking itself if it needs a $3.2MM closer at this point."  Cishek will get more expensive in the future, as he will receive an extra arb year as a Super Two player.  Still, Miami has shown that it wants to keep Cishek, as the club turned down all trade offers for the stopper last summer before the deadline.

Here are some more items from around the NL East…

  • Marlon Byrd would love to return to the Mets this winter, the Pirates outfielder tells Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News.  After Byrd was traded to the Buccos in August, Byrd talked to Mets GM Sandy Alderson and told him "thank you for the opportunity at the beginning of the year and thank you for the opportunity to play for a winner.  I told him, ‘If you want me back, I would love to come back.’ ”  Byrd credits the Mets for giving him an opportunity to revive his career after serving a 50-game PED suspension last year.
  • Brad Ausmus has been mentioned as a candidate for the Nationals' manager job, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports.  The Nats haven't yet asked the Padres for permission to interview Ausmus, who is an assistant to baseball operations in San Diego.  Kilgore notes that the Nationals still seem to be in the early stages of their search, as bench coach Randy Knorr and Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams have yet to be contacted about interviews. 
  • The Phillies under Ruben Amaro have been known for making big offseason splashes but thanks to the team's existing large payroll commitments, "this will be the offseason of the value play," writes David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News.  Murphy lists five key elements to the Phils' winter plans, including noting that the club "can't have any untouchables."
  • In other Phillies news from earlier today, they outrighted four players off their 40-man roster and MLBTR's Tim Dierkes looked at Philadelphia's arbitration-eligible players,


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