The Marlins have been looking for relief help all season, going so far as to sign Armando Benitez to a minor league deal, but MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says to keep an eye for Leo Nunez in future trade talk.
There's no denying that Nunez has been outstanding this season (3.12 ERA, 9.1 K/9, 18-for-23 in save opportunities), but a team may be willing to overpay for the Marlins' closer in a trade given the dearth of quality relievers on the market. As Frisaro notes, the goal isn't just to improve this year, but in 2011 and beyond.
Money, unsurprisingly, would be a driving force behind any Nunez deal. The 26-year-old will earn a total of $2MM this season, his first time eligible for arbitration. He might be able to double that salary the second time through next year, and the Marlins traditionally don't pay their bullpen workers more than $2.5MM per season.
Considering the number of contenders looking for relief help – the Red Sox, Phillies, and Tigers, just to name a few – the Marlins would have no trouble finding a suitor for the hard throwing, high strikeout Nunez. It's just a question of whether or not Florida will make their closer available in a trade.