Marlins Caught Up In Stadium Fiasco, Paying The Price
[November 21st] -- You know, this whole "stadium thing" that the Nationals are going through could be worse. A lot worse.
The Florida Marlins, whose problems with the city of Miami over a their new stadium makes ours pale by comparison, may be ready to trade away many of their star players in an attempt to restock the team for a pennant run if and when they either move the team or get their new park.
Team officials are trying to work out a trade that would send 3rd baseman Mike Lowell and pitcher Josh Beckett to the Texas Rangers for infielder Hank Blalock and a pitching prospect. The teams are still haggling over which prospect will be included in the deal [possibily John Danks], but it is expected that the deal will get done soon. UPDATE: It seems that the deal with the Rangers is dead. Several websites are reporting at 8:00pm that Lowell and Beckett are headed to the Red Sox for shortstop Henley Ramirez, pitcher Anibal Sanchez and a third minor leaguer. This is a surprising development -- Blalock is great player to build around and none of the players the Marlins will receive from the Sox have any significant major league experience.
With the exception of Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrerra, pretty much the entire team is available. Unlike the post-World Series sell off of 1997, this time the team is attempting to restock the team with young talent and have a plan to return to respectibility quickly.
If Florida follows through on their plans, The Nationals will be helped in the short-term. With a depleted Marlins team in the National League East, Washington should be all but guaranteed of finishing out of the cellar and winning 4-5 more games in 2006 [assuming all else is equal]. The long-term picture isn't as clear; it all depends on how fast their new playes get to the major leagues, and how well they play once they get there.
Hopefully, the Nationals and Major League Baseball get their stadium deal done and move on. We don't want a Marlins sell-off here in Washington anytime soon.