The Marlins positioned themselves as sellers earlier today when they traded Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to the Tigers for a package of prospects highlighted by Jacob Turner, and it doesn't sound like they're stopping there. In talking to teams around the league, Scott Miller of CBS Sports hears that the Marlins have "never been more open" to the idea of trading long-time franchise cornerstone Hanley Ramirez.
As Miller notes, the Fish don't feel they're far from contending, they simply have soured on a mix of players that has underperformed. Ramirez's most recent antics, in which he punched a cooling fan in the dugout, now have him unavailable to play. Ramirez stopped taking medication for the cut he sustained, which has led to an infection in his hand.
Ramirez is signed through 2014 and will make $15.5MM in 2013 and $16MM in 2014. The former MVP candidate is batting just .246/.322/.430 with 14 homers and 14 steals.
Miller was told by a source familiar with the Marlins' thinking that they are likely to hang onto right-hander Josh Johnson, who was scouted heavily tonight. Unlike Sanchez, Johnson has one year of team control left, which is why the Marlins preferred to move Sanchez. Johnson will earn $13.75MM in 2013 — the final year of a four-year, $39MM pact he signed prior to the 2010 season.
Randy Choate, who is finishing up a two-year contract, is also expected to be traded prior to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, according to Miller. The 34-year-old lefty slayer has pitched to a 2.19 ERA in 24 2/3 innings and held same-handed hitters to a minuscule .136/.188/.169 triple slash line. Choate signed a two-year, $2.5MM deal in December of 2010.