By Scott Barzilla

The Miami Marlins turned a pair of deals before the deadline to continue sending veterans out the door. Ed Mujica goes to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Zack Cox. Mujica has been solid in middle relief and has even taken a turn or two at closer this season. Adding a solid middle reliever is almost an annual affair for the Cardinals as they stand a good chance of grabbing one of the two available wild card slots.

Zack Cox was a 2010 first round pick and was thought to be the Cardinals third baseman of the future. Instead, he struggled some in AAA this season and David Freese went a long way to solidifying the third base slot for himself. As for the Marlins, they dealt presumptive third baseman of the future Matt Dominguez to the Houston Astros when they acquired Carlos Lee. Cox replaces Dominguez as the logical replacement for Hanley Ramirez. He at least gives the Marlins a viable option going into 2013.

In a bit of a surprise, the Marlins then turned around and traded former starting first baseman Gaby Sanchez to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Gorkys Hernandez and a compensatory pick in next year’s draft. Hernandez has played sparingly at the big league level, but has been productive in the minors as a table setter and could wind up competing for an outfield slot in Miami.

The Marlins apparently have given up on Gaby Sanchez as a first baseman. That would allow Logan Morrison to move back to his natural position at first base. Then, Hernandez and/or anyone could compete to play in center or left field. The obvious benefit is a huge improvement defensively when you talk about moving Morrison out of left field and Hanley Ramirez out of third base.

The interesting element is the compensatory draft pick. This is the first time a compensatory pick has been traded without another pick coming in return. It will be interesting to see in the future what kind of value that these compensatory picks can have. Those picks are equivalent to the picks that teams got for free agents that were offered arbitration. So, you are normally talking about a pretty good prospect.

Supposedly, the club is also interested in dealing Carlos Lee less than a month after acquiring him from the Astros. The Astros are picking up the majority of his salary, so he actually should be pretty easy to move for the Marlins. Rumors have been out there that the Rays are interested in picking him up and considering the lack of money involved, he would seem to be a nice fit for a team starved for offense.

 

Scott Barzilla

Scott Barzilla is the editor in chief at hardballchat.com. He is also the author of four books, including The Hall of Fame Index. The Hall of Fame Index was nominated for the Sporting News Award for statistical innovation in 2011.

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