12/04/12 12:54 AM ET
Marlins trying to trade recently acquired Escobar
Infielder could be dealt at Winter Meetings; Nolasco wants out of Miami?
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
According to an MLB source, Miami is actively shopping the 30-year-old infielder. At least two teams have been in contact with the Marlins, with one believed to be the A's. Talks are active, and a trade could be consummated before the Winter Meetings conclude on Thursday.
Escobar, a career .282 hitter with a .353 on-base percentage, was acquired by the Marlins on Nov. 19 as part of a 12-player deal with the Blue Jays.
A natural shortstop, Escobar was projected to play third base in Miami. The Marlins are planning on playing Adeiny Hechavarria, also part of the Toronto trade, at shortstop. Escobar is signed for $5 million in 2013, and his contract includes club options of $5 million for '14 and '15.
Miami isn't expected to make many major trades during the Winter Meetings, but the club would consider dealing right-hander Ricky Nolasco for the right offer.
Nolasco, the team's highest-paid player at $11.5 million, is eligible to be a free agent after the 2013 season. Nolasco is the Marlins' all-time wins leader, and even if he opens the season in Miami, he could end up being traded by the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"Ricky and I have spoken a lot since the end of the season," Matt Sosnick, Nolasco's agent, told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. "Just watching the way the offseason has transpired for the Marlins and the moves they've made, he and I agree that he would probably be better served playing somewhere else. If he had his druthers, he would pitch for somebody other than the Marlins in 2013 and beyond."
Although there are reports that Giancarlo Stanton remains unhappy, the Marlins have no interest in trading their All-Star right fielder. They're also in the market for center-field depth.
Moving Escobar may wind up being the major order of business for the Marlins at the Winter Meetings. For Toronto in 2012, he batted .253 with nine home runs and 51 RBIs.
If Escobar is dealt, the Marlins would be looking for third-base depth. Greg Dobbs is a candidate to man the hot corner, but the veteran is best suited as a left-handed bat off the bench. Zack Cox, acquired from the Cardinals on July 31 for Edward Mujica, is the other third baseman on the 40-man roster. Kevin Kouzmanoff signed a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
The fact the Marlins would be willing to shop Escobar has been speculated since he was obtained from the Blue Jays.
Escobar was part of the biggest trade in Marlins history. On Nov. 19, Miami sent Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck to the Blue Jays for Escobar, Hechavarria, Justin Nicolino, Jake Marisnick, Henderson Alvarez, Anthony DeSclafani and Jeff Mathis.