Marlins intend to keep Ricky Nolasco… or, so they say
While the Tigers and Giants were resting up for the World Series, the Marlins were busy preparing for the offseason, and on Oct. 23, President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest told fans, “Our hope is that a new manager, along with roster improvements, will restore a winning culture.” He delivered on the promise of a new manager, hiring Mike Redmond to replace Ozzie Guillen, but then—perhaps under a directive to cut payroll—blew up the roster he had promised to improve. The lesson, for those who had not already learned it: don’t always take the Marlins at their word.
On Thursday, President David Samson said during a radio appearance with Dan LeBatard that the team intends to keep Nolasco in Miami, where he would provide a veteran presence to an otherwise youthful rotation. The 29-year-old is owed $11.5 million, set to hit free agency after next year, and showing signs of decline. He is exactly the sort of player you would expect the now-rebuilding Marlins to unload.
Time to invoke an overused adage: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” In hindsight, considering that a public-relations disaster was the only obstacle preventing Beinfest from shedding heavily backloaded contracts after a 69-93 season, the 12-player shocker currently on Bud Selig’s desk should not have been all that shocking. Now, with Nolasco accounting for roughly half of owner Jeffrey Loria’s remaining player payroll, and the team’s reputation already in the doldrums, the only thing standing between Beinfest and a deal involving Nolasco is a search for a willing taker.
And the only things standing between Beinfest and a willing taker are the data in this table: