Results tagged ‘ Royals ’

Would pursuing Greinke make sense?

Speculation at the Winter Meetings had the Marlins expressing trade interest in Royals’ ace Zack Greinke. There was little substance to the rumors, and the story faded as fast as it surfaced.

But now that the Phillies have assembled their dream rotation by adding Cliff Lee, should the Marlins counter and make a run at Greinke? Such a move would create a formidable one-two punch with Josh Johnson and Greinke. It certainly would stack up with Philadelphia’s duo of Roy Halladay and Lee.

South Florida already has the “Big Three” with Wade, LeBron and Bosh in basketball. So the possibility of having Greinke in the Marlins’ rotation would clearly stir plenty of excitement in a big-event market. For Internet sites, newspapers, blogs and talk radio, this would give the fans and the media plenty to talk and write about.

But at what cost could making a “dream rotation” happen? This is the sticking point, and the major reason why it is highly doubtful that Zack Greinke will  become a Marlin in 2011.

To even get the Royals seriously to engage in trade talks for Greinke, the Marlins would have to be willing to part with Mike Stanton. Foremost, the now 21-year-old slugger would be the centerpiece. The asking price may also include Logan Morrison. Then, the Marlins would likely have to be prepared to include Ricky Nolasco as well a prospect or two. In all, it would take about four or five players, including major parts of the current club, to land the former Cy Young award winning right-hander.

Some have speculated that Nolasco and Leo Nunez could get the deal going. It wouldn’t even pique Kansas City’s interest.

Considering the Marlins already have a formidable rotation with Johnson, Nolasco, Javier Vazquez, Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad, there isn’t the urgency to acquire Greinke. At least not at the price of trading perhaps the best young power hitter in the game, who is under club control through 2016.

As the Marlins front office has repeatedly stated, the price of quality starting pitching is extremely high. It is either costly in terms of contracts (Lee will make $120 million over five years), or players offered to obtain a true ace. Grooming your own starting pitching — like the Giants have done — remains the most effective way to build a rotation.

When you look at the possible return for someone like Greinke, it also shows why the Marlins have no intentions of trading Johnson to the Yankees or anywhere else.

With Lee going to the Phillies, it didn’t take long for reports out of New York to suggest the Yankees inquire about JJ. For the record, the Marlins’ ace is not on the market. But if he were, Florida wouldn’t narrow its trade partner to exclusively the Yankees. A player like Johnson would generate wide appeal, and even the best package the Yankees may be able to offer might not stand up to other clubs.

The bottom line for the Marlins on the Greinke front is — is it worth overpaying for a right-hander they’d have under contract for two years?

– Joe Frisaro

Gload heading to Phillies

Add left-handed bat off the bench to the Marlins’ needs.

Late Tuesday night, veteran Ross Gload agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Phillies.

A free agent, the 33-year-old first baseman was an effective pinch-hitter and spot starter in his lone season with the Marlins. Gload had 21 pinch-hits and 15 pinch-hit RBIs, both Marlins records for a season.

The left-handed hitting Gload was also a strong defensive first baseman, and he can also play both corner outfield spots.

In 125 games, Gload batted .261 with six home runs and 30 RBIs. He even was an emergency pitcher on May 22, tossing one scoreless inning against Tampa Bay.

The Marlins acquired Gload and cash from the Royals on April 1 for a player to be named, who became right-hand prospect Eric Basurto.

Gload broke in with the Cubs in 2000, and he also played for the Rockies and White Sox.

In Philadelphia, the likely will fill the pinch-hit role that Matt Stairs held.

The Marlins had a two-year, $1.9 million offer on the table for Gload, who also attracted interest from the Braves.

In early November, the Marlins turned down a $2.6 million club option on Gload, making him a free agent.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins home attendance increase

A story in USA Today on Wednesday outlined how Major League Baseball overall is experiencing a 6.5 percent drop in attendance, based on numbers obtained through Baseball-reference.com.

The Marlins, however, enjoyed a 9.7 percent increase, averaging 18,075 in 78 dates at Land Shark Stadium. Instead of 81 dates, that number was down three due to three doubleheaders, two caused by rainouts.

The Marlins wrapped up their home schedule on Sunday against the Mets, and the team drew more than 30,000 in its final four home dates.

“Our attendance is up,” Marlins president David Samson said in a recent interview.

If not for rain delays, the team feels the crowds would have been bigger. In all, the Marlins attracted more than 1.4 million fans.

“There is no question, I think it would have been closer to 1.8 [million],” Samson said if not for the weather. “We [were] in the race until the final week. The definition of in the race is when there is no ‘x’ next to our name.”

That Marlins were officially eliminated on Tuesday night.

Other teams to see a dramatic increase in attendance are the Royals (13.9 percent) and Rangers (10.8 percent).

Teams on the decline are the Nationals (22.8 percent), Blue Jays (21.8) and Padres (21.6).

Overall, however, the league projects more than 75.2 million fans, the fourth most in baseball history, according to USA Today.

“Given that we are in the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, it’s stunning,” commissioner Bud Selig told USA Today of still attracting more than 75 million people. “This year is a great testament to the huge popularity of our sport.”

– Joe Frisaro

 

Gload deal finalized

When the Marlins acquired Ross Gload from the Royals late in Spring Training, the deal was made for a player to be named.

On Wednesday, that player indeed was named. The Marlins announced right-hander Eric Basurto will be headed to Kansas City to complete the trade.

Basurto was a 33rd round pick in 2006.

– Joe Frisaro

Marlins inside the numbers

Courtesy of the Marlins PR department, here’s some interesting facts about the 9-1 start.

At 9-1, Florida has the best start in franchise history through 10 games.

The 1997 Marlins were 8-2. The franchise’s best record thru 11 games was 8-3 (1997, 2004).

The 9-1 start is the Majors’ best start through 10 games since the Yankees and Royals each started 9-1 in 2003. The Yankees lost their 11th game, while the Royals improved to 11-1 before losing their second game.

The Marlins won four-straight to open the season, a franchise-best winning streak to open a season. The current five-game win streak is the team’s longest since winning nine straight Sept. 9-19, 2008. The team has won 12 of their last 14 games, including 10 of the last 11, dating back to last season.

– Joe Frisaro

Marlins acquire Gload

The Marlins addressed their need for a lefty bat off the bench by acquiring first baseman Ross Gload from the Royals for a player to be named, according to an MLB source.

Gload broke in with the Cubs in 2000, and he been with the Royals from 2007-08.

With the Royals last year, Gload hit .273 with three homers and 37 RBIs in 122 games.

Gload was in line to back up Mike Jacobs in Kansas City.

– Joe Frisaro

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