Would Iwamura fit Marlins?

The Rays are shopping Akinori Iwamura.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Bay faces a deadline to avoid picking up a $4.85 million option for the 30-year-old second baseman.

The Times, citing an industry source, said the Rays are weighing trade options. But the potential suitor is not the Cubs or Dodgers, two teams that have reportedly been linked to Iwamura.

Would the Marlins have interest? Indications are, yes, but the team wouldn’t take on $4.85 million.

As part of Iwamura’s contract, the Rays have until one day after the World Series ends to pick up the option or pay a $550,000 buyout, which would make Iwamura a free agent.

Iwamura batted .290 in an injury-plagued 2009. A severe knee injury limited him to 69 games and 231 at-bats this year. Since coming over from Japan, Iwamura has a career batting average of .281 in three seasons.

The Times added that the Rays may be trying to pull off a sign-and-trade deal.

The upcoming general managers meetings promise to be interesting, because that’s when trade talks really heat up.

The Marlins are expected to deal Dan Uggla this offseason. If they could secure someone like Iwamura, it would increase the likelihood of Chris Coghlan staying in left field.

— Joe Frisaro

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