Friday, July 31, 2009

MLB Trade Deadline: Marlins Get a Free Nick Johnson

The MLB trade deadline came and went, this afternoon. Players got traded, some big names, and some no-names. I'm not going to go into detail about the myriad of transactions that went down today, but I will talk to you about the trade that the Florida Marlins made this afternoon just before the 4 PM deadline.

The Marlins traded for now-former Nationals first-baseman Nick Johnson, and all it cost the franchise was a minor league pitching prospect who has a 5-9 record, an ERA over 4 and is currently injured. Oh, I forgot to mention, the Nationals are also picking up the $1.8 million remaining on Johnson's contract this season.

That's right, the Marlins got a solid veteran first-baseman, who can hit for power and has a .400 OBP, for an average (if that) pitching prospect named Aaron Thompson.

Not only did the Marlins add Johnson, but the transaction, in all likelihood, means that we as Marlins fans won't have to watch Emilio Bonifacio at third base and in the starting lineup on a regular basis. With Johnson coming in to play first, Jorge Cantu can move back to third, where he played before this season. That would put Bonifacio on the bench, where the Marlins could use him as a situational player, and he could pinch-run late in games (because he's good at being fast!).

Now adding Johnson is a solid move for the Marlins, who are in the hunt for the NL Wild Card. They managed to add a solid bat and defensive first-baseman while not selling off any of the organization's top prospects. While it was possible that they could have added Adrian Gonzalez and/or Heath Bell (which would have solidified the team even more), or even Josh Willingham, the Marlins stuck to their guns and didn't give up Mike Stanton, Sean West, Andrew Miller or Cameron Maybin.

Today, the Marlins let the fans know that they're trying to compete for a playoff berth this season, and we have to appreciate that. They also let us know that they are invested in the future of this franchise by refusing to deal the top prospects, and are not willing to mortgage the future off for a couple of years from rental players, at least not with a new stadium coming their way. But most importantly (ha!), the team also let us know that they, too, don't believe Bonifacio should be an everyday third-baseman for this franchise.

1 comment:

  1. I agree completely, something for nothing.