The Marlins continued to "remodel" their team today by trading arbitration eligible RP Kevin Gregg to the Cubs for relief prospect Jose Ceda. The move will save the Marlins about $4 million bucks next season to go along with the roughly $10 million bucks the Marlins have saved already by trading away Josh Willingham, Scott Olson, and Mike Jacobs. As I have said before, I understand why fans would be upset that the Marlins are trading away guys only because of payroll concerns, but again, they are NOT rebuilding. And this trade further expresses why.
Kevin Gregg is a good player. He was a very productive closer for the Marlins in both 2007 and 2008 and probably saved his career in the process. With that said, Gregg is far from dominant and was injured and ineffective for most of the second half of the season. In the process, the Marlins watched other guys step up like Matt Lindstrom, Joe Nelson, and Logan Kensing. In addition, the Marlins recently acquired RP Leo Nunez, who had a 2.98 ERA last season for the Royals. There are multiple guys who can fill Gregg's role, which made him very expendable.
So in conclusion, it would be foolish for the Marlins, who will probably have only a $30 million dollar payroll next season, to spend $4 million of it on a mediocre relief pitcher. the Marlins are not having a fire sale because while each of their trades so far has been payroll based, each one of the trades can actually make the Marlins better next season: faster, younger, quicker, and more athletic. The Marlins are NOT starting from scratch; in contrast, I think that Marlins are merely building a group of cheap, quality, young players around a solid core group of guys (Hanley Ramirez, Chris Volstad, Jorge Cantu, Cameron Maybin, Josh Johnson, and Andrew Miller). I fully expect the Marlins to shock the baseball world next season by competing for the NL East crown. As a Met fan, these guys scare the daylights out of me.