Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins have succeeded in their quest to alienate fans and eliminate payroll, but they still have a rather large opening at third base that hasn’t been filled and the baseball winter meetings are about to conclude.
The Marlins went to the winter meetings looking to deal at least Yunel Escobar, which they did on Tuesday. But, dealing Escobar meant the Marlins have no true third baseman on the roster.
The Marlins only remaining trade bait on the roster is pitcher Ricky Nolasco, who wants out of Miami, and slugger Giancarlo Stanton. The Fish have said they are not trading either player, so Miami will have to pay to get a free agent third baseman.
According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Marlins had interest in Jeff Keppinger, but he signed with the White Sox. The Marlins also looked at Eric Chavez, but he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
Miami faces an additional hurdle with most free agents now. Last year, they promised not to trade the free agents they signed and just a few weeks ago, unloaded all of the players onto other teams via trade.
If players can’t trust the ownership, getting any star players to sign long-term in Miami may be next to impossible. That means the Marlins will have to go after second and third tier players in free agency instead of the stars.