With the MLB amateur draft now behind us, it's time for the trade-rumor mill to start back up and eventually go into full force. The Miami Marlins got things started last week by putting starter Ricky Nolasco on the trading block, and now it is believed that the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles are at the forefront of those interested in the right-hander, reports Jayson Stark of ESPN.com.
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While his win-loss record certainly does not indicate it, the 30-year-old Nolasco is in the midst of what may be his best season in years. Through his first 14 starts, the right-hander owns a 3.80 ERA and 3.27 strikeout-to-walk ratio, marking the first time his earned-run average has been under 4.00 since 2008.
Nolasco is not a top-of-the-rotation starter, but he is paid like one, so Miami may not get much return for him as a result. His $11.5 million salary is far and away the biggest on the Marlins' payroll, so the club may just be happy to have someone eat most of the remaining money rather than try getting a prospect of any real value in return.
Of the Joe Blanton mold of starters -- i.e. solid K/BB rate but ultimately very hittable -- Nolasco is not going to bolster a pitching staff like Anibal Sanchez did last year, but he should be a solid addition to the back of a rotation for a club in need of depth.