The Florida Marlins might be at it again, this time with a possible trade of Ricky Nolasco and Leo Nunez

According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the Marlins are “gauging interest” in starting pitcher Nolasco and closer Leo Nunez.

For months on end, the team has been trying to get extend Nolasco to a deal that would buy out two arbitration years and one year of free agency.

However, such talks have stalled because the two sides are far apart on a salary figures.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to gauge the interest of both pitchers in a pitcher-thin market.

The high market teams such as the New York Yankees, Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels have targeted Cliff Lee with no significant ground made in talks and the loser of those talks could want to trade for a top of the rotation pitcher like Nolasco. 

Such trade could yield a better return now when teams are most desperate to land an arm, but the Marlins aren’t committed to trading either pitcher if they don’t find the right deal.

Essentially, if talks don’t work out, it won’t become a Dan Uggla situation all over again. 

However, because both pitchers are arbitration-eligible this winter (Nolasco is under club control for 2011 and 2012 and Nunez is under club control for 2011 only), dealing them both in a package deal would make sense if it can fulfill a need such as centerfield while also giving the ballclub more money to spend, anywhere from $6 to $10 million.



Nolasco had a 14-9 record, 4.51 ERA, and 147 strikeouts with the Marlins, but unless the Marlins can get a significant return, he more than likely will return to the team in 2011. 

Nunez, on the other hand, struggled with the closers role last season and could garner some interest on the trade market.

He had a 4-3 record with 30 saves (in 38 opportunities) with 3.46 ERA and lost the job to Clay Hensley down the stretch.

He might be more of a salary dump which could allow the team to patch other areas of need (i.e. bench and bullpen) with about $4 million to spend.

Chances are he is likely to be traded to a team who might try him as the closer or setup man (i.e. Kevin Gregg to the Cubs and Matt Lindstrom to the Astros) for their club next season.

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