Here’s a rumor I missed from Jayson Stark’s column on Friday. Stark notes:
"Despite talk of the Marlins and Devil Rays reviving their long-rumored deal involving Rocco Baldelli, Florida actually appears to be more focused on the younger (and cheaper) B.J. Upton and Elijah Dukes as center field possibilities."
That makes sense, but what would Florida give up at this point? Scott Olsen has to be off-limits. Josh Johnson is hurting. Anibal Sanchez’s shoulder inflammation has died down, but he’s still a risk. Ricky Nolasco might be reasonable, though it would chip away at the team’s strength. Nolasco for Dukes seems fair. Nolasco has maybe a 20% chance at becoming a star, while Dukes hovers around 40-50% (based on BP’s Stars and Scrubs charts). Dukes’s off the field stuff would even out the trade.
Meanwhile, Peter Gammons wrote on February 28th:
"[The Marlins] are not trading any of their good young pitchers to fill center field. They know every good team has flaws, and it’s a lot more difficult to get by with a pitching hole than with a center fielder like Eric Reed who, at worst, runs down balls."
John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus mentions another lower-cost possibility for Florida – Cory Sullivan of Colorado.