By Chuck Richter - Senior Editor Angelswin.com
According to a Marlins source, Florida wants what the Angels have in a catcher (Jeff Mathis) who they're high on and a centerfielder (Reggie Willits). Even though he could still be a part of a packaged deal to Florida, it's worth noting that this source did not mention Howie Kendrick's name, but that they would be more interested in a young arm or two coming back in the package, or perhaps a third baseman, possibly Dallas McPherson? It's highly unlikely that the Angels would send Brandon Wood in this deal, especially if they're asked to part with a young pitcher along with Mathis & Willits such as Adenhart or Saunders.
The Marlins position prospects are a ways off but they're loaded with starting pitching prospects, 1 year or less away from the big leagues. The source said that while they want position players coming back in a Miguel Cabrera deal, they'll require at least one young arm in any deal for Miguel Cabrera.
Catcher Jeff Mathis who they covet, they'll get a good defensive catcher with some offensive upside that can work with the Marlins young up and coming arms.
In Miguel Cabrera's absence, Hanley Ramirez would move to the 3rd spot in the lineup counting on a good lead-off hitter who they currently don't have to get on base to potential create runs from the meat of their order in Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez, Jeremy Hermida and Mike Jacobs. Reggie Willits had a .390 on-base pct. and takes a lot of pitches, with the ability to steal 30-45 bases easily in a full season.
It's also worth noting that of all of the teams interested in Miguel Cabrera, none of them have both a young catcher & centerfielder that can start in 2008 to offer in the same deal.
Another thing according to this source, the Marlins would like to get a Cabrera trade done before Monday's winter meetings in Nashville as they would like to use that time to focus on other team needs. With owner Arte Moreno, Tony Reagins, Mike Scioscia and Preston Gomez in the Dominican Republic right now, just a short 2 hour plane ride south to Venezuela where Miguel Cabrera & Johan Santana reside in the offseason, there could be something to this.
As always, stay tuned....