Nearly half-way through the season, the Marlins sit only a game-and-a-half out of first place in the National League East and squarely in the hunt for a possible Wild Card spot as well.

The funny thing is, I don’t think anyone who watches this team on a daily basis would tell you it’s played anything close to its best baseball yet. The offense has cooled after a hot start. The rotation is still looking for a couple of pitchers to step up consistently following the loss of Jose Fernandez. The bullpen has been largely inconsistent in front of closer Steve Cishek, who’s having an All-Star caliber year. And the defense hasn’t been nearly as crisp as you know Perry Hill would like.

But here’s the thing: There’s clearly not a perfect team out there. Not in the NL East. Not in the rest of the National League. And probably not over in the other league either.

With the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline now less than 6 weeks away, scouts from all 30 clubs have fanned out across baseball to look for matches. Some teams will be buyers. Others will be sellers. With races across baseball as tight as they are, there’ll probably fewer sellers than you think, and that drives prices way up.

The Marlins have been aggressive so far this year. They’ve jettisoned some under-performing players, and they’ve already gotten ahead of the game by adding 2 pieces to their bullpen in trade pick-up Bryan Morris and free agent Kevin Gregg.

So here’s the question: What else would you do if you were the General Manager of this club?

Would you stand pat, thinking that either 1) What’s already in place is good enough to win, or that 2) Few expected us to be in this spot in 2014, and anything that happens the rest of the way is gravy since I had my eyes on winning in 2015 and beyond with our young nucleus anyway.

Would you be a seller? Are you convinced that the Nats or Braves will go on a run, and this team has no realistic shot at the playoffs this year, but if I dealt a piece or two, I could get some valuable players in return who could help the Marlins win in 2015 and beyond.

Or would you be a buyer? If yes, what would you add? Offense? Starting pitching? Bullpen arms? And if you’re buying, would you do whatever it takes to win this year, saying the heck with the long-term? Or would you fine-tune around the edges for 2014, improving the club marginally in the short term while not dealing away key pieces that can help down the road?

These aren’t easy decisions. They’re complicated by contractual ramifications that you must take into consideration. How much does a player make? Do you control him beyond this season? How much should I give up to get half a season of this guy? Do I give up more for that guy because he’s mine for next year too?

Finally, to make matters even worse, these decisions are also complicated by the fact that you’ll probably have 20 or more other teams looking to add players they hope will put them over the top. And many teams will be looking to fill the same holes you have. When competition for a limited supply of available players is intense, the cost of doing business skyrockets.

So this is what I’m looking for:

In the comment section below, I want 1) your general thoughts on what the Marlins philosophical approach should be at the deadline and 2) if you think they should be buyers, I want your REALISTIC proposals as to what you think the Marlins should AND REALISTICALLY could do between now and the July 31 deadline.

Don’t tell me to send an A-ball second baseman and a Double-A utility guy to the Cubs for Jeff Samardzija, who’s widely reported to be available at the deadline. That’s not realistic. 10 or more teams will make serious proposals to in an effort to acquire Samardzija between now and the deadline and any deal the Marlins would make would probably have to start with a certain left-handed pitcher I wouldn’t think you’re willing to part with. You don’t want Theo to hang up on you, do you? Serious inquiries only please.

Do you trade valuable and desirable pieces off of your current major league roster, filling one hole but potentially creating another?

Do you part with top prospects for a player who you only control contractually for the remainder of this season? (Are you old enough to remember the Red Sox sending a kid named Jeff Bagwell to the Astros because they had to have Larry Andersen? Do you remember the Tigers dealing a kid named John Smoltz to the Braves because they really needed Doyle Alexander?) If you’re going to part with top young talent, you’d better be pretty sure this player puts you over the top.

I’m not sure how many of you will take my challenge here, but I’d love to hear some thoughtful and reasoned suggestions.

I’ll do the best I can to offer my 10-cent critique of as many of the serious ones as I can. And who knows, maybe I’ll even run a couple of ideas past Michael Hill and Dan Jennings.

No generalities. Be specific. Make concrete proposals.

You think you have the smarts to be a big league GM? Let’s go. What’s your plan for the course the Marlins should take between now and the deadline?

Show us what you’ve got in the comments section below.

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My suggestion is very simple. Bring back Derek Dietrich & eat the $3.5M we spent on Furcal. Offense went down the tubes the minute they sent Dietrich down. Dietrich is hitting homers every day.

I’ll play devil’s advocate and say that, while Dietrich was sent down to work on his defense, he hit .221 with 2 homers over the last 5 weeks he was in the big leagues. And if you look at the 2 games the Marlins have won on this homestand, since Furcal was activated, his offensive contributions were critical in both wins. Sunday vs. PIT, down 2-0 in the 8th, his single put the tying men on and, 3 batters later, McGehee hit a game-tying double. Then, in the 10th, he led off with a single and the guy who ran for him (Lucas) scored the winning run. Tuesday against the Cubs, down 3-1 in the 4th (after he’d singled and scored in the first), his 2-run single tied the game in the 4th, and the Marlins went on to win 6-5.

I’m one of the guys who’s “just happy that the fish are where they are” And there is no way I’m trading Heaney, Nicolino, or Dietrich at the deadline. The only moves I would make would be to get the best vet arm that I could for Flynn, Conley, and Zach Cox. Hopefully that could get Masterson or an Alex Cobb. But I only want a SP who we could resign for a couple more years. He’ll serve as the ace and father of the rotation while Jose is out. I also would then go out and try to get another bat (think Justin Ruggiano type guy) as a change of pace. Reed Johnson has been great but not as a starter. And Jeff Baker is a bum. Finally, I’d call up Dietrich and keep him for the remainder of the year. Maybe even put furcal in a bundle and get an arm for him from a top contender

Hate to rain on your parade, but it’s what I’ve got to do here. You’re grossly underestimating what it would cost to get Cobb especially. And the Rays have no reason to trade him to begin with. Their down season this year is no reason to give up an elite young arm who is making basically the major league minimum and controlled for several seasons still. That’s the kind of player they build their next run around. That would be like suggesting the Marlins trade Jose Fernandez last year because they were on their way to a 100-loss season. Masterson is a free agent after this season and is in the midst of a career-worst year, including leading the league in walks. When you say get another bat, where would you play that bat? That’s where you’ve got to be specific? Who are you taking out of the lineup, and what are you offering for a specific player? Fun stuff to think about, huh? It’s a lot harder than it seems.

I will make a comment to my own comment. We who want Dietrich back also realize that the Marlins won’t cut Furcal and his $3.5 million salary. He will be given a fair amount of time to become a solid offensive contributor (and to stay healthy) before they even consider bringing back Dietrich. Many of us are certain, however, that Dietrich is the better offensive player, especially given the pop in his bat.

Dietrich is definitely the better offensive player. I’d play Dietrich with his struggling defense than Furcal any day.

This will be my last Dietrich comment–I absolutely loved his patient at bats & seemed he was always on base some how or another. And I just like having some pop in the lineup. We need more than Stanton. Last night one swing one the game for the Mets. By the way, it was AWESOME being at Heaney’s first start. Marlins have such a brilliant future but we aren’t doing too badly this year either! It’s been a lot of fun!

TRADE: Jake Marisnick (OF) and prospect for David Price (SP).

I put our window to contend at three seasons (including this one). In three seasons, we will have to make our first big decision: re-sign Stanton (at a high cost) or let him walk. Meanwhile, the rest of our young, talented core will still be affordable and under team control. Thus, three seasons.
(I’m not saying we won’t continue to contend after three seasons, but this period will contain our current core and is more predictable)

Why David Price?

In pitching categories, the Marlins are currently ranked 11th in ERA, 13th in BAA, and 13th in OBP for all NL categories.

In comparison, the NL playoff teams last season ranked in ERA (ATL 1st; STL 5th; LAD 2nd; PIT 3rd; CIN 4th), in BAA (ATL 4th; STL 6th; LAD 3rd; PIT 2nd; CIN 1st), and in OBP (ATL 2nd; STL 6th; LAD 4th; PIT 5th; CIN 1st) for all NL categories.

It’s clear (if not inherently evident) that strong pitching is a necessity to make that playoff push. Obviously the loss of Jose is noticeable, but I still believe we need to supplement him with another SP to push the Marlins to the top of these categories.

Why Jake Marisnick?

We currently have four serviceable OF’s in Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, Giancarlo Stanton, and Jake Marisnick. It’s a nice surplus to have, especially when injuries occur, but an unnecessary surplus if we plan to contend.

In batting categories, the Marlins are currently ranked 5th in AVG, 4th in OBP, and 4th in RBIs for all NL categories.

In comparison, the NL playoff teams last season ranked in AVG (ATL 9th; STL 2nd; LAD 3rd; PIT 11th; CIN 8th), in OBP (ATL 6th; STL 1st; LAD 3rd; PIT 8th; CIN 2nd), and in RBIs (ATL 4th; STL 1st; LAD 7th; PIT 9th; CIN 3rd) for all NL categories.

I think this shows that the Marlins problem isn’t on offense. They currently rank near the top in the respective categories and even ahead in some categories of teams that made the playoffs last season (while without the contribution of Marisnick).


Our payroll is projected to be in the ~$50 million range next season (then add Price who will command ~$14 million). While this is a large amount for one player, it will not matter since the rest of the team will still be affordable and it still leaves us with the 2nd lowest payroll in the league. This leaves us with a former Cy Young winner in the 2 of our 3 seasons of contention (then we receive a draft pick if he, more than likely, walks). Especially with the loss of Jose until midway next season, I believe the Marlins need to make a big move for a SP now.

*I know the trade is incomplete as I left the prospect unnamed, but I’d have to analyze the Rays needs more in-depth*

You’ve obviously put a lot of thought into this, and that’s awesome, but you can start with Marisnick and add the lefty who made his ML debut last night to the package, and you’re not getting David Price for that. You’ve got to consider the value that Price has and the fact that other teams would be going hard for him too. Marisnick and a prospect doesn’t realistically get your voice mail returned in St. Pete.

I figured Price would probably be a long shot. Instead, I would try Marisnick/Heaney for Jeff Samardzija. I believe Samardzija would be cheaper than Price and it comes down to this:

1. The Marlins just drafted Tyler Kolek with the 2nd overall pick. While there is never a guarantee in baseball, we would have another strong, developing arm in the system to replace Heaney.

2. Giancarlo Stanton. I think a big reason that stanton will weigh on whether to re-sign (besides $$$) is how aggressive the Marlins are in trying to contend. This could be the move that convinces him.

It may not be the perfect trade for the Cubs to outright accept, but I definitely think it would peak the Cubs interest.

So you’d take a year and a half of Samardzija at something like $10 million for this year and next over 6 years of control over Heaney? AND give up Marisnick PLUS more high-level pitching that it would take to get that deal done? You’re saying Samardzija puts this team over the top in the next two seasons by doing that. Personally, I wouldn’t make that deal. I can see Heaney winning more game over the next season and a half than Samardzija while literally making pennies on the dollar compared to Samardzija, leaving you with money to spend on someone else on top of having Heaney. Samardzija’s never even won 10 games in a season. I’d be very reluctant to subtract from my major league pitching nucleus to add another pitcher who is not a sure thing.

I am going to take the road of buyer. You need at least 2 solid starters to go deep in the playoffs and Brad Penny is a nice could be down the stretch maybe Sept add but i am looking at James Shields and Jeff Samardzija. To KC I would send Justin Nicolino and Derek Dietrich for big game James. He will be a free agent at the end of the year and if the team keeps winning you hope that it will mean Loria will open the wallet a bit more and if not Shields walks and you still have guys like Heaney, and Descafanini to be there. And you can find a stop gap until a guy like Avery Romero is ready.

For Samardzija you might have to get creative and add one more like a Jacob Turner, Justin Nicolino, and Derek Dietrich and PTBNL for Samardzija and maybe Olt who has fallen out of favor. With the Cubs you get a guy that you have some control over and a guy that can give you back up at 1st base and 3rd base giving Jones and McGehee a break.

I like the time and thought you put into this, but, like most of the other suggestions, you are GROSSLY underestimating what it would take to acquire the guys you’re throwing out there. And I think you’re grossly overestimating what other teams may think certain players you’d part with are worth.

Beyond that, the Royals are in first place right now. Why would they trade James Shields? They paid a king’s ransom to bring him in to try to win with him.

One of the points of this exercise is to make the point that it’s a lot harder to make a trade than the average fan thinks. And it’s far harder still to acquire a premium talent in a market in which the demand is significantly higher than the supply. People may get frustrated by me saying this won’t work, and that won’t work, but that’s the reality.

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I’m probably going to be in the minority but I think the Marlins should be thrilled where they are. That being said, I turn seller. Casey McGehee is the first to go. He’s 31 and a free agent at the end of the year. His .367 BABIP will normalize as will the .390 average with men in scoring position. The Angels are getting nothing from David Freese and Scoscia has destroyed Ernesto Frieri’s confidence. I’d trade McGehee for Frieri as his home run tendencies will be neutralized a bit by the home ball park in Miami. I read all these people talking about Smardzjia and Shields and Price and none of them are needed in Miami. All of them are expensive and if not on the downside of their careers, are awfully close to beginning that descent. Long term contracts to arms like these are bad idea. Fernandez, Heaney, Eovaldi, Alvarez and Koehler is a very good starting 5 all under team control for many years. Even if not sold, Max Scherzer will be a free agent at the end of the season, won’t require trading any prospects and would dominate in the NL. Continue to mold Heaney, DeScalfini and Marisnick and stay the course. Follow the example of the A’s and fill in the blanks with pieces that fit the puzzle and don’t shove round peg into a square hole. With the right small moves, this team can be a World Series contender in 2016. If Fernandez recovers a bit quicker than expected then maybe there’s a run at the end of 2015.

Interesting thoughts all. One thing to re-think though: McGehee IS NOT a free agent at the end of this season. He remains under club control as an arbitration-eligible player for another year.

You’re opening up a big hole in your lineup behind Stanton if you were to move him right now. Much of Stanton’s success this season has to be attributed to having Casey behind him. You deal Casey, and that’s a big-time blow to Stanton.

I’ll play devil’s advocate a little further. If you’re hanging in the race right now and you sell, what message does that send to Giancarlo, who you’re likely going to want to try to get to agree to a long-term extension after this season? You’ve just traded away the best protection he’s had in his 5 seasons here. I can’t imagine that would make him very happy. And a happy Stanton is a productive Stanton…and potentially a Marlin for a long time.

How long are you willing to kick the can down the road? At some point this team needs to win. You’re suggesting maybe a run at the end of next year under a best-case scenario with Jose. I don’t think many would agree that maybe contending next year is an ideal scenario.

As for Scherzer, did you see what he’s already turned down in Detroit? I can’t see the Marlins–or virtually anyone else–going close to $200 million for Scherzer. Especially here where you’ve got players like Stanton and Jose you’re going to have to pay big time before too long with others like Ozuna, Yelich and friends staring at raises in the years ahead.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. But this is another demonstration of how hard it is. A lot to consider in any moves.

If I am the Marlins GM, I am definitely in buy mode. Looking at selling, yes the team has Stanton, Jose, and Heaney (the 3 untouchables). They could conceivably sell anyone else on the team, but there are not a lot of pieces that it would make sense to trade, either because of team control or having little value (yes McGehee has had a great season, but no one will give anything up for him on his expiring contract).

I believe the team needs a starting arm in order to contend later in the season. David Price, Jeff Samardzija, are unattractive for their price alone. Cole Hamels is unattractive because of the price tag his long contract still commands. Ideally, there must be a serviceable pitcher with a somewhat favorable contract that a team is willing to give up in sell mode. Enter Ian Kennedy.

Kennedy is now a legit major league veteran after spending his early career in the purgatory of the Yankees and their inability to know how to treat a young arm. His best season may be behind him (winning 21 games in 2011 with an ERA under 3) but he is still a quality arm that is just 29 this season. In addition, after moving to Petco Park his ERA has dropped back into respectability. On the season he has an ERA right around 3.9 and is owning a career high in K/9 at 9.6. His walk rate is down as well. In short, Kennedy is the perfect pitcher to succeed in Miami with a year and a half of team control still ahead of him.

So who does Miami need to give up in order to secure his services? Pitcher for a pitcher plus 1 if you ask me. In order to get Kennedy, the Marlins should look to move Brian Flynn and Austin Dean. Yes, Flynn is one of the team’s top prospects, but you cannot get a major league arm without giving back as well. Kennedy does not command Nicolino kind of price tag, but Flynn just may do it. Adding in Dean does not hurt the Marlins terribly, we the outfield is full and will be for the immediate future. Colin Moran is the future plug at 3B so Dean may be blocked there as well. He has a lot of upside, which is what the Padres would want for giving up Kennedy.

This deal won’t take over Sportcenter if it happens, but it’s a move that the Marlins would benefit from immediately without ruining it’s core. Both sides win here.

Correction on McGehee’s contract. One more year with arb, but I still would not move him.

This is the most realistic proposal I’ve seen from anyone so far. An incremental improvement of the big league club without giving up anything from the big league roster to create another hole, dealing from a position of minor league strength (starting pitching) for a player who can fill what is a current need at the ML level (an established starter with a decent track record). The biggest snag I see to this (not having any first-hand knowledge of what the Padres’ thoughts might be on Flynn…they may not have any interest in him for reasons of their own) is that if the Padres are unloading players, their most pressing need is not to replace a pitcher with a less-accomplished pitcher but to replace a pitcher with a bat. They’re desperate for offense. They seem to have a decent amount of pitching. They’re going to be looking for bats that can help very soon (if not immediately). Someone else may offer them a bat for Kennedy that they’d find more desirable than another arm. That said, I like your thinking here. That’s a legit trade proposal that a GM could call another GM with and not get laughed at.

That’s a very valid point. I appreciate the feedback.

TRADE: Andrew Heaney (LHP) and Justin Nicolino (LHP) for David Price (LHP)

Why Tampa Trade Away David Price?

The Tampa Bay Rays are in dead last of the entire league (who would’ve thought?!), which means the time is now to trade David Price. Price has essentially made it clear that he doesn’t desire to finish his career in a Ray’s uniform (whether he gets traded or ultimately walks).

Why Miami Trade for David Price?

In an earlier post, I made the point that playoff teams have strong pitching. Currently, the Marlins are ranking at the bottom of the NL in the main pitching categories, which makes it necessary to make a move for a pitcher. The Marlins should make this trade for three reasons:

1) After the trade, the 5 of our top 10 prospects (not including Kolek) are pitchers.
2) We still have the option to either, depending on the situation, trade Price away at next years deadline for prospects or receive draft pick compensation when he walks.
3) Price will most likely command around ~$14 million next season, which still leaves us with the second most affordable payroll in baseball next year.

Why It Makes Sense.

Marc Topkin, the Rays beat writer for the Tampa Bay Times, suggested some possible packages that might interest the Rays for David Price (listed below). I made a formula to assess each of these package. I compiled the ranking for each prospect in each deal, in the last 2 seasons, from the three most known prospect analysis sites (Baseball America,, and FanGraphs). I then averaged the value for each year (from each site), which I used to compute a final trade value that accounts for the past two years from each site. In order to have the best package, you want the LOWEST value (I assigned the value 101 to NL, which is arbitrary). These are the results:

Angels: C.J. Cron (1B) / Alex Yarbrough (2B)
2013 (BA): NL / NL
2013 (FG): NL / NL
2013 (MLB): NL / NL
2014 (BA): NL / NL
2014 (FG): NL / NL
2014 (MLB): NL / NL
Trade Value = 101

Blue Jays: Aaron Sanchez (RHP) / Alberto Tirado (RHP)
2013 (BA): 65 / NL
2013 (FG): 23 / NL
2013 (MLB): 21 / NL
2014 (BA): 32 / NL
2014 (FG): 22 / NL
2014 (MLB): 19 / NL
Trade Value = 65.6667

Braves: Alex Wood (LHP) / Lucas Sims (RHP) / Additional Prospect
2013 (BA): NL / NL / ?
2013 (FG): NL / NL / ?
2013 (MLB): NL / 93 / ?
2014 (BA): NL / 57 / ?
2014 (FG): NL / 53 / ?
2014 (MLB): NL / 49 / ?
Trade Value = 92.55

Marlins: Andrew Heaney (LHP) / Justin Nicolino (LHP)
2013 (BA): 43 / 86
2013 (FG): 72 / 79
2013 (MLB): NL / 59
2014 (BA): 30 / NL
2014 (FG): 31 / 63
2014 (MLB): 25 / 64
Trade Value = 62.8333

White Sox: Micah Johnson (2B) / Erik Johnson (RHP) / Chris Beck (RHP)
2013 (BA): NL / NL / NL
2013 (FG): NL / NL / NL
2013 (MLB): NL / NL / NL
2014 (BA): NL / 63 / NL
2014 (FG): NL / 99 / NL
2014 (MLB): 99 / NL / NL
Trade Value = 98.6

Yankees: Gary Sanchez (C) / Luis Severino (RHP) / Peter O’Brien (C)
2013 (BA): 57 / NL / NL
2013 (FG): 42 / NL / NL
2013 (MLB): 27 / NL / NL
2014 (BA): 35 / NL / NL
2014 (FG): 44 / NL / NL
2014 (MLB): 39 / NL / NL
Trade Value = 80.8667

According to this analysis, the best deals would be: 1. Marlins, 2. Blue Jays, 3. Yankees, 4. Braves, and 5. White Sox, and 6. Angels. Obviously there are other factors that play into this, but I believe this gives an idea of the value. For the purposes of David Price, I believe the most similar trade to compare it to would be the Cliff Lee trade. That trade analysis is as follows (using only available information):

Phillies: Carlos Carrasco (RHP) / Jason Donald (SS) / Lou Marson (C) / Jason Knapp (RHP)
2007 (BA): 41 / NL / NL / NL
2008 (BA): 54 / NL / NL / NL
2008 (MLB): 28 / NL / 43 / NL
Trade Value = 60.5

Personally, here are SO many factors to account for. I think the price for David Price is lower than normal due to the amount of arms available at the deadline, the urgency for the Rays to move price, and the off year for Price (not a huge factor, but still). I would hate to lose Andrew Heaney and Justin Nicolino, but the Marlins can win now and have a deep farm system that I believe can facilitate such a trade and still be intact at the cost of such a trade.

Why not try to make it a constant thing in Miami in making it to the postseason. We will be contenders next year and many to come with our young prospects. What I think we need that’s important right now? SP and SS. Many say 2B but I really like Dietrich and we have many to fill that role in a year to come. I like Avery Romero and Anderson at the position for the future. As for shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria has been struggling. Although he has shown signs of success is rather have him in a SS/2B utility rule. Who would I get? It is a little difficult. If I were the marlins I would look into bringing Hanley back to miami. He is a free agent I think after next year. I think that move could really boost the ball-club. Now into pitching. I would be all the way in with either Jeff Samardija or David Price. However, I would not give up Heaney for it. Won’t do it if Heaney is in the deal. I would trade Jake Marisnick in a deal though. I like LF Ozuna CF Yelich and RF Stanton much better. If not get those big names then why not a Justin Masterson or Jon Lester. Both can become free agents next year. If marlins get ramirez what about this lineup.

LF- Yelich
SS- Ramirez
RF- Stanton
1B- McGehee
C- Saltalamacchia
LF- Ozuna
1B- Jones
2B- Dietrich

Rotation (2014)

*With Fernandez next year this could be best rotation in the MLB.

DeSclafini to bullpen for turner. Turner could be a trade chip.

If not Price or Samaridja why not Cole Hamels. I don’t like Ian Kennedy. I do like trading Brian Flynn I know someone said that above. I think a Cole Hamels or a Jason Hammel would be great when Yelich comes back I would not mind in trading Marisnick to get a “big guy”

How about bring a miami guy to play with the right team. Manny Machado. He used to play short, great defense, hitting and power.

What chance do you think there is that the Orioles would deal their young franchise player? Not a very realistic possibility. They’re trying to win too, and he’s the emerging face of their franchise. Again, the idea is to propose something that is appealing to both teams. It’s not just as easy as saying, “Let’s get this guy.”

In my opinion, Machado has a lot of growing up to do before I’d want him in a Miami uniform.

Until the other day, had really liked idea of angling for a swap with the Cubs involving Jason Hammel and potentially Bonifacio. However, as Billy Beane has nixed that….

Suppose I should start by saying Miami needs to buy. While an opportunity was certainly lost in a brutal June-with so many home games and so many non elite opponents- the Marlins are still alive. That said, Washington has just added Bryce Harper, and two of the best three available pitchers are now gone. To realistically compete, the Marlins must get healthy- and make some tweaks. Partly, this is playing to Stanton and the fans- fans are seeing a happy and productive Stanton, and the team should make an effort to keep him convinced we are aiming to be competitive- to change the perceived culture. Selling would be disastrous to this aim, as what has made Stanton the happiest this year has been our best asset to sell- Casey McGehee. So at the worst- stand pat.

Needs: Second base, starting pitching. Second base has been a revolving door, be it through injury, slumps, playing the hot hand or match up, etc. The ability to have stability here- to have a player just lock down the position and own it- would be of immense benefit. Starting pitching wise, the addition of any hurler in the 3rd to 5th starter range is a must. In terms of pitching, ideally the SP in question would be retainable for next year- Fernandez will miss one to two months of next season too after all.

With all of the above in mind, 5 ideas heading forward into July:

1.) See if Alfonso Soriano flicks a switch and can suddenly hold down second base….long as it isn’t in a trade.

2.) Pending another week or two of throwing without pain and a physical- move Flynn, Conley and a 3rd pitcher (either Nicolino or Turner depending on what it would take) for Aaron Hill and Bronson Arroyo.

3.) Trading Flynn, Conley, and Nicolino for Wade Miley.

4.) Flynn and Conley for AJ Burnett. I won’t waste the time suggesting Utley- seems more and more like he’s just not available.

5.) Flynn, Conley, and Nicolino for Darwin Barney and Arriata.

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