Mike Dunn Rumors

Marlins Getting Calls On Cishek, Webb, Dunn, Qualls

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that the Marlins are receiving quite a bit of interest in their bullpen, with left-hander Mike Dunn and righties Steve Cishek, Ryan Webb and Chad Qualls all drawing interest.

While the Fish have hardly enjoyed a successful season, their bullpen has been reasonably effective, ranking 17th with a 3.73 ERA and 16th with a 3.68 FIP. The veteran Qualls is a free agent at season's end, but the rest of the Marlins relievers figure to have higher costs due to the extra team control that they have.

The 28-year-old Dunn is controlled through 2016 and will be arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season. Cishek, 27, is controlled through 2017 and is also arb-eligible for the first time this offseason. Webb is controlled through the 2015 season and is eligible for arbitration a second time this winter. He is making $975K this season.

The Marlins have been said to be open to dealing Webb, but their preference is to hang onto Dunn and Cishek. Of course, Ricky Nolasco has been the Marlins' hottest trade chip, with three teams currently rumored to be in heavy pursuit of the 30-year-old right-hander.

Marlins Open To Dealing Nolasco, Webb; Not Cishek, Dunn

The Marlins are open to trading Ricky Nolasco and could also move right-hander Ryan Webb for the right offer, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports.  Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn are not on the market, however, as the Fish had told clubs that the two relievers aren't for sale.

Nolasco's name has come up in rumors at each of the last two July trade deadlines and the buzz continued this past winter during the Marlins' fire sale.  Matt Sosnick, Nolasco's agent, said in December that his client would have preferred to be traded elsewhere though Nolasco never officially asked to be dealt.  Nolasco is currently enjoying one of the best seasons of his eight-year career, as the right-hander has a 3.61 ERA, 3.35 K/BB ratio and 7.3 K/9 through 13 starts. 

A source tells Frisaro that the Marlins would receive a mid-level prospect in return for Nolasco, a fair return given that Nolasco is due to hit free agency this winter.  Nolasco is hitting the open market a little later than most (he'll be 31 years old on Opening Day 2014) but he could get a lot of attention this winter given how many injury questions surround most of the other top free agent arms.

Webb, 27, has a 3.30 ERA in 30 innings out of Miami's bullpen this season despite some unimpressive (6.00 K/9, 4.8 BB/9) peripheral numbers.  Webb has a 3.43 ERA in 225 2/3 career innings and has been tough on right-handed hitters, holding righty bats to a .248/.307/.286 line over his career.  Webb is eligible for arbitration for the second time after this season and came to the Marlins (along with Edward Mujica) from the Padres in November 2010 in the deal that sent Cameron Maybin to San Diego. 

Cishek and Dunn will both be arbitration-eligible for the first time this offseason.  Cishek has had a few shaky outings en route to a 4.50 ERA in 24 innings, though he has held onto the closer's role and recorded five saves.  Cishek drew a lot of interest from other teams in March and would probably be ticketed for a non-closing job with a new team.  Dunn, a southpaw, has a 3.08 ERA, 8.5 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in 26 1/3 IP this season, all slightly down from his career averages of 3.68 ERA, 9.9 K/9 and 5.5 BB/9.

Rosenthal On Cubs, Brewers, Marlins

Ken Rosenthal's new video for FOX Sports offers a variety of trade tidbits on the Cubs, Brewers and Marlins.

  • Matt Garza of the Cubs makes an intriguing trade candidate, but Rosenthal says that one can't rule out the possibility that the Cubs will keep Garza and extend him a qualifying offer at the end of the season, hoping to collect draft-pick compensation. Scott Feldman might also be traded, but Rosenthal notes that his peripherals indicate he has been lucky so far.
  • Alfonso Soriano has only one year left on his eight-year, $136MM contract, which could make him a more attractive trade target than in years past, Rosenthal notes, but Soriano also has a no-trade clause, allowing him to control his destination.
  • The Brewers, meanwhile, have fewer trade options, Rosenthal argues. Corey Hart is hurt, Rickie Weeks is in the midst of a poor season, and Aramis Ramirez is owed $16MM in 2014 and has a $4MM buyout on his mutual option the following season. The Brewers will be "reluctant" to trade Yovani Gallardo, whose contract carries him through next season and gives the Brewers an option on his services in 2015.
  • The Marlins have received calls on relievers Steve Cishek, Ryan Webb and Mike Dunn, Rosenthal reports.

Braves Acquire Dan Uggla

The Braves landed one of baseball's most powerful second basemen today, acquiring Dan Uggla from the division rival Marlins for utility man Omar Infante and lefty reliever Mike Dunn

Uggla, 31 in March, had another fine season in 2010 with a .287/.369/.508 line in 674 plate appearances.  Uggla is one season away from free agency, and extension talks with the Marlins broke off after he rejected a four-year, $48MM offer.  Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports feels that the Braves will attempt to sign him long-term.  Martin Prado will step in at third base as Chipper Jones recovers from knee surgery or log innings in left field if necessary, tweets Rosenthal.  Uggla should be happy to remain at second base.

Infante, a super-utility type, hit .321/.359/.416 in 506 plate appearances for the Braves this year.  He's under contract through 2011 at $2.5MM with another possible $1MM in plate appearance incentives.  The loss may put the Braves in the market for a utility player, writes MLB.com's Mark Bowman.  Dunn, 26 in May, is a hard-throwing left-handed reliever who came to Atlanta from the Yankees a year ago in the Javier Vazquez deal.  Dunn racked up big-time strikeout and walk numbers this year between Triple-A and the Majors.  The intra-division asking price for Uggla was expected to be large, but this is a disappointing return for the Marlins.  They have succeeded in revamping their bullpen for the long-term, adding Ryan Webb, Edward Mujica, Dustin Richardson, and Dunn in recent trades.

The Cardinals, Blue Jays, Nationals, and Tigers were other reported suitors for Uggla.

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick broke news of the agreement on Twitter, and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and Mark Bowman of MLB.com provided updates as the story developed.

Braves Close To Nearing Deal For Dan Uggla

The Braves "appear to be very close to nearing a deal" for Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, tweets MLB.com's Mark BowmanKen Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted minutes ago that the division rivals are discussing a deal that would send Uggla to Atlanta for utility man Omar Infante and lefty reliever Mike Dunn.

Infante, a super-utility type, hit .321/.359/.416 in 506 plate appearances for the Braves this year.  He's under contract through 2011.  Dunn, 26 in May, is a hard-throwing left-handed reliever who came to Atlanta from the Yankees a year ago in the Javier Vazquez deal.  Dunn racked up big-time strikeout and walk numbers this year between Triple-A and the Majors.  The intra-division asking price for Uggla was said to be large, but this return would be OK at best.

Yankees Acquire Vazquez; Melky To Braves

The Yankees and Braves agreed to a trade that solidifies New York's rotation and gives Atlanta enough payroll flexibility to pursue a bat. The Yankees acquire Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan in exchange for Melky Cabrera, cash (according to ESPN.com) and prospects Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino. We first heard of the trade talks from Buster Olney, Joel Sherman confirmed that the Yanks were after Vazquez and Jon Heyman provided the details. Check out an in-depth chronology of the trade here.

The Yankees re-acquire one of the better, more durable strikeout pitchers in the game. Vazquez has pitched 198 innings or more every year of this decade and he's struck out at least 150 batters in every one of those seasons. You can make the argument that he was one of the best pitchers in the NL last season, whether you like advanced stats (6.6 WAR) or simple ones (2.87 ERA, 238 Ks).

The Yanks also obtain Logan, a 25-year-old lefty who has been hittable so far in his major league career, and the chance for compensation picks after 2010. If Vazquez becomes a Type A free agent (he would have been one this year) and turns down the team's offer of arbitration to sign elsewhere, the Yankees would get two top picks.

As Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says, the Braves obtain a decent outfielder who's getting paid less than what he's worth and a prospect with significant upside (Vizcaino), all while saving $8MM or more (I'm guessing Melky makes $2.5-3MM next season). The Braves dealt from strength and the pitchers they obtained have lots of potential, if you ask MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.