Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins moved several players by the non-waiver trade deadline Tuesday at 4 p.m., but they never let go of the biggest fish on the board.
The Marlins did move local favorite Gaby Sanchez and minor leaguer Kyle Kaminska to the Pittsburgh Pirates for outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, according to mlb.com. The Marlins also dealt reliever Edward Mujica to the St. Louis Cardinals for minor league third baseman Zack Cox.
The Marlins top trade piece, pitching ace Josh Johnson, was not moved by the deadline. The team was commanding a high-price for Johnson. Texas was rumored to be interested but Miami wanted the Rangers’ up-and-coming third baseman Mike Olt, which Texas wasn’t willing to deal.
Gorkys will report to the Marlins and Cox will report to Double-A Jacksonville, according to mlb.com.
Hernandez was hitting .257 at Triple-A Indianapolis this year before being called up to the Pirates. In 25 games with the Pirates he was hitting .083 with just two hits in 24 at-bats. The move followed the Pirates calling up top prospect Starling Marte to the main club.
Cox was the 25th overall pick in the 2010 draft and hit .254 with nine home runs and 30 RBI’s at Triple-A Memphis. In the minors, Cox has hit .289 with 22 home runs and 99 RBI’s. He could become the Marlins future third baseman if he improves down the stretch in the minors this year.
With all of the moves done, the Marlins didn’t move Johnson, and also weren’t able to find takers for catcher Joe Buck, who is on his way out and bumbling closer Heath Bell.
The Marlins sent Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen Monday and brought Wade LeBlanc in to fill his position. LeBlanc was 17-21 with a 4.47 ERA in 52 career starts with San Diego.
Next year, the Marlins will have Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Mark Buehrle, and have added right-hander Jacob Turner and Nathan Eovaldi to the fold thanks to the trades of Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez.
The Marlins will likely continue shopping Johnson during the offseason winter meetings as the pitching options for other teams is likely to be very small.
All of it will help the Marlins shed millions of dollars in salary, which has been a goal for 2013 for owner Jeffrey Loria according to several published reports; despite his proclamations to spend what it took to put a contender on the field when taxpayers agreed to finance his new stadium.