Barry Jackson

Encouraging UM recruiting news; More Marlins trade fallout

adiaz@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of UM and Marlins nuggets on a Monday:

• The best recruiting news for UM this past weekend? That two UM targets de-committed from other schools.

In decommitting from West Virginia, four-star St. Thomas Aquinas receiver Mike Harley declined to say where’s he headed. Same with Plantation American Heritage offensive lineman Kai-Leon Herbert, who de-committed from Michigan.

But a UM source said that Miami has been very optimistic for weeks that Harley ultimately would end up with the Canes.

The 5-10 Harley is rated by Rivals as the No. 18 receiver and No. 123 overall player in this class.

Harley’s father told Canesport’s Matt Shodell that Harley will visit either UF or UCLA this weekend and that his son hasn’t told him where he ultimately will end up.

Remember, when UM played West Virginia in a bowl game in Orlando, Harley dubbed it the Harley Bowl.

UM isn’t quite as confident about Herbert but believes it has a real chance. Herbert is considering both UM and UF and will visit UF next weekend.

UF had been the perceived front-runner if he decommitted from Michigan.

His father told Canesport that he loved his UM visit but wasn’t ready to name finalists.

Rivals rates Herbert as the No. 25 offensive tackle and No. 250 overall prospect in this class.

Herald contributor Peter Ariz will have a lot more recruiting news in a column to be posted later today.

• Though UM loves 180-pound Ocala Vanguard quarterback N’Kosi Perry, a UM oral commitment who’s arriving on campus this summer, coaches believe he must put on weight and get stronger in order to withstand hits.

That’s why, as one UM insider said, it’s more likely that Perry would win the QB job during the 2017 season or before the 2018 season. That said, nobody is ruling out Perry winning the job in August because he’s super talented.

• The Marlins’ trade of three prospects to Cincinnati for right-hander Dan Straily (who allowed 31 home runs last season) is being panned by analysts who predict a regression in his numbers (14-8, 3.76 ERA, .220 batting average against).

ESPN’s Jim Bowden called it a “tremendous lopsided deal” and that Straily is a “back of rotation type starter” whose “peripherals say he won't repeat” his 2016 success. …

Reds GM Dick Williams told Cincinnati writers that the team “identified some of [the acquired prospects] as guys we were absolutely targeting,” and told Miami “that we wouldn’t go forward if we couldn’t get access to those guys.” When Miami initially declined, Williams said the Marlins steadily raised their offer over several months.

While the team wasn’t keen to give up Straily, Williams says it “just couldn’t pass on” the chance to add “impact talent” in right-handers Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfielder Isaiah White.

• Some baseball people believe Jeffrey Loria’s willingness to part with so many top prospects the past two years is another indication of his willingness to sell the team in the next year or two, something he has considered….

• The Marlins simply weren’t as high on Castillo as some other teams, one club source said. Remember, Miami dealt him in that San Diego trade last summer but got him back after Colin Rea left with elbow discomfort in his only Marlins start.

• Though the Marlins believe Straily will give up fewer homers because he’s going from a hitter friendly park (Cincinnati) to a pitcher friendly park, he allowed more on the road (18, 4.70 ERA) than at home (13, 2.90 ERA).

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