Marlins sign Josh Johnson… should make it easier to trade him

The Players Union got on the Marlins for not exactly pumping money into the franchise… and the Marlins acted like anyone caught doing something wrong: They quickly made a gesture to show they turned a new leaf… kind of like a cheating husband buying flowers and a diamond to his betrothed.

They signed Josh Johnson to a 4 year deal. SEE! We’re spending money!

And as sure as I am sitting here typing this, they will deal him in a year. A top flight starter with 3 years left on his contract… heck they could get 2 or 3 impact players for him.

And so it goes for the Florida Marlins, the strangest team in all of sports. They have no big fan support, a low payroll and are poster children for salary cap chirpers.

Except for the fact they have won as many World Series since 1993 as the Cubs have and the Indians have and the Phillies have in over a century… and as many as the big spending Mets.

And despite cleaning house they constantly put a decent product on the field. In 5 of the last 7 seasons they’ve had a winning record (including a World Series winner.) And one of those two losing seasons they competed for the Wild Card deep enough into the season to make Joe Girardi manager of the year.

It isn’t always how much you spend but HOW your spend.

Florida’s payroll was under $36 million in 2009… in other words it was lower than what the Cubs paid for Kosuke Fukudome, Alfonso Soriano and Milton Bradley last year.

And while they play in a division with the only no doubt about it playoff team (the Phillies) the Marlins have as good a chance as anyone to win the Wild Card. Heck they won 87 games last year. One more win a month and they would have been in the dance!

And if things don’t work out this year, Johnson is as good as gone and EVERYONE knows it (along with Hanley.)

The Marlins will deal him off to some team and get future All Stars in return. It’s how they work!

I must say I hope the new ballpark helps build a fanbase for this surreal franchise.

They have an ace and an MVP candidate locked up for beyond the opening of Margaritaville Stadium (I just assume it will be named after a Jimmy Buffett song.)

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Giants fans should be in a Huff

Earlier this month, I pleaded with the Giants to sign Johnny Damon.

It made so much sense that I couldn’t comprehend a reason why they wouldn’t… especially with the Yankees evidently moving on, the Red Sox not biting and all of the usual suspects of big spenders passing.

Damon would be the spark plug on the top of the order. (Who exactly is the leadoff man now? Aaron Rowand? Emmanuel Burriss?)

He’s an exciting winner… he’s a marquee player who the fans in San Francisco would love… he has gap to gap power and would probably hit a crap load of doubles and triples… and would give the lineup a huge jolt without being a power hitter angry that his numbers are dropping in the Bay Area.

So naturally they didn’t go for him.
Of course they went for Aubrey Huff… a classic “home run hitter who padded his stats in band box parks.”

He’s not a bad player, but he’s not the spark this Giants team needs. Huff was a 25-30 home run guy calling places like the Trop, Enron Field (or whatever it is called now) and Camden Yards his home. Not exactly challenging home run parks. And now he is going to see a lot of fly balls dying at the warning track.

Chosing Huff and sticking him at first makes no sense to me.

They already signed DeRosa and along with Freddy Sanchez, Juan Uribe, and Eugenio Velez, they had a deep infield (and could move Pablo Sandoval to first base where he belongs.)

Damon in the lead off spot with DeRosa batting behind him and Sandoval driving them home would be a decent start to improving a team that won 88 games last year (and 90 wins probably means the Wild Card.)

Instead you have Sandoval at third instead of first, Huff instead of Damon as the new face and DeRosa showing his ability to play anywhere on the infield by being the starting left fielder.

And all the while Damon wanders the free agent landscape looking for a home.

Why don’t GMs listen to me?

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