A six-pack of Marlins notes on a Saturday:
• Even after trading Adeiny Hechavarria, David Phelps and A.J. Ramos, the Marlins remain active in trade discussions with Monday night’s trade deadline looming.
According to my colleague Clark Spencer, the Yankees, Brewers, Rockies and Royals have shown interest in pitcher Dan Straily, who’s available.
And as Clark and others have noted, the Cubs have inquired about Marlins backup catcher A.J. Ellis.
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• Martin Prado’s knee surgery essentially eliminates his chance of being moved, but ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick said: “The Marlins are extremely open to discussing Dee Gordon, who has a .694 OPS and is guaranteed $38M after this season [over the next four years]. Not much traffic there.”
• The Marlins believe they got very good value in the Ramos trade, particularly with right-handed pitcher Merandy Gonzalez, who was rated the Mets’ ninth-best prospect. He’s 29-13 with a 2.58 ERA in five minor league seasons, with 286 hits allowed and 300 strikeouts in 342 innings.
Per MLBtraderumors.com, “MLB.com’s Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo write that his fastball sits around 93 mph but can reach 96-97 mph when needed, and the young righty also has an above-average curveball with an improving changeup. Gonzalez is listed at 6’0″ and 216 pounds, so he’s a bit short for a starter, though that frame is hardly any sort of clear indicator that he’s better suited for a relief role.”
In left-handed hitting Ricardo Cespedes, the Marlins have a prospect with pretty good potential but modest production: .271 average, with two homers, 63 RBI and 22 for 38 in steals in 184 minor league games over four seasons. Cespedes, who was rated the Mets’ No. 22 overall prospect, is only 19.
MLBtraderumors.com says Cespedes “has been facing much older competition across short-season Class-A and full-season Class-A ball this year, but he hasn’t fared well at the plate against his more experienced opponents. Through 108 plate appearances — he’s spent a fair bit of time on the minor league DL — Cespedes has batted .255/.283/.294. Ugly numbers aside, Cespedes was inked for a fairly sizable $725K bonus out of the Dominican Republic as a 16-year-old and draws praise from Callis and Mayo for his yet untapped tools.
“MLB.com’s report notes that while he’ll need a lot to go right to reach his ceiling, the upside for Cespedes is a five-tool right fielder. He’s playing center field right now but has the arm for right along with bat speed, occasional pop and at least average speed.”
• Remember how the Marlins thought they would have a super bullpen? Every member of that pen ended up having a higher ERA or higher batting average allowed - or in many cases, both - than a year ago. Kyle Barraclough could close when he comes off the disabled list, but Brad Ziegler and Drew Steckenrider are options for now.
• Fox’s Charles Gasparino had this update on Derek Jeter’s seemingly never-ending pursuit to raise enough financing to buy the Marlins:
“Now we have another player, Michael Dell. The family office of Michael Dell has made a significant investment in Derek Jeter’s bid. From what we understand from what sources are telling the Fox Business Network and we have confirmed that something called MSD Partners, Michael S. Dell partners- it’s an advisory firm that’s related to his family office which manages his net worth of $20 billion, basically gave $175 million to Jeter in the form of a preferred stock. So what this does is this: it moves Jeter closer to his $1.3 billion deal with another $175 million, but it is preferred stock. And what’s interesting about this the coupon from what I can understand is something like 10 percent on this deal- that’s pretty significant.
“Preferred stock works like debt and here’s the rub: will the Major League Baseball will they allow an investment like this in a bid because they don’t like debt generally and preferred stock, I know I said stock but preferred works as debt. You get guaranteed quarterly or maybe monthly but usually quarterly dividends like a bond would pay a coupon to somebody. You also on the pecking order just in case of bankruptcy or some issue you’re up there with the bond holders on the capital structure so you get paid, preferred stock holders and bond holders get paid off first in the event of a liquidation before the common shareholders. So that’s the one sort of negative here.
“The positive here is clearly Jeter is chipping away at the $1.3 billion. We know he’s got something like $300 million from a money manager named Bruce Sherman, Florida based guy who’s been running money for years. He’s got money from him, he’s got some other cash, and now he’s got close to $200 million from Michael Dell.”
• Former MLB commissioner Fay Vincent told me that the only way the Marlins are worth $1.3 billion or close to that is if gambling is legalized nationally, which he believes would create a lot more revenue. He believes it’s likely to happen.
While MLB commissioner Rob Manfred expressed some level of concern about the prospect, NBA commissioner Adam Silver – at a roundtable discussion in Manhattan this month – said “My sense is that the law will change in the next few years in the United States…. Ultimately, as the owners of the intellectual property, we’re going to embrace it.”
Please click here for my Dolphins post today on DeVante Parker saying he can’t be covered and lots of Dolphins personnel nuggets. Please click here for my Dolphins post today on the impressive steps Jakeem Grant has taken to improve. And please check back tonight for a Heat blog.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz