RE: Fishin’ the FA market for Marlins

Santo Caruso

TO: David Montgomery ([email protected]), Pat Gillick ([email protected]), Philadelphia Fans ([email protected])

FROM: Santo “The Scout (not the crappy Brendan Fraser movie, the type that recognizes talent)” Caruso ([email protected])

RE: Marlin Fishin’

Hey guys, haven’t come back from Florida yet, and by the 5-7 start it looks like you’re still at spring training too. But like Jimmy Buffet says, “weather is here, wish you were beautiful.”

With that said, I got a chance to catch the best minor league team around and boy are they loaded with talent. A shortstop with five tool skills that could make him the next Derek Jeter, a third basemen who looks like a poor man’s Albert Pujols and a lefty starter that has Cy Young potential and he’s only 24!

They’re struggling a bit this year because two of their best pitchers got the call up to the big club during the offseason, but I don’t think we want to forget about the scraps that remain. That third basemen only has a year left on his contract and will be a hot commodity on the free agent market this summer. I expect, with some major league coaching and talent surrounding him, he can become a triple crown threat.

Still, if you want to make a splash in your first year as GM (this means you Pat) you go deep to catch the big ones. And considering our chiropractors’ dream of a third basemen will be heading out to pasture after this year, I think this guy is a perfect replacement. Considering the old guy can’t bend down to pick up a hundred dollar bill (and lord knows with the contract Ed Wade gave him, he doesn’t need the money), this guy is practically Mike Schmidt. Or Scott Rolen.

Ooh, sorry. Sensitive subject.

Further, with A-Rod firmly entrenched at third for the Yankees, the Red Sox already paying almost 10 million dollars for their hot corner and the Mets set for the distant future with David Wright, three of the top spenders are out of the market. Drop five years, $45 million (back loaded) on this poor Hispanic kid from Venezuela (he and Bobby Abreu are supposedly friends) and he’ll jump right onto the boat.

But this lefty, his stuff is electric. A high leg kick like Juan Marichal and a fastball that jumps out of his hand like Pedro, minus the Jeri-Curl. And he only had to defect from California where he went to the same high school as … Jimmy Rollins. He’d lift his bony leg six feet in the air and jump on a four year, $40 million contract with the chance to sing the Encinal High School Alma Mater with his shortstop. Plus, he has an ERA so thin, it must excuse itself to the bathroom after every meal. You know, to freshen up.

Admittedly, the market for the D-train will be a little more bear than bull, but for a rotation that currently features zero lefties, and is headed by Jon “I wish I was still on the Yankees so I could get 15 runs in support” Lieber, he’s priceless. You put him at the top followed by Brett Myers, then Randy Wolf, who you sign on the cheap after his Tommy John Surgery, then Gavin Floyd and Ryan Madson and all of the sudden you have a great rotation with Wolf as the older statesmen at 30 and the rest under 26.

With Miggy at the corner, and resigning Chase Utley and Ryan Howard for approximately $15 million total, you also are sporting the best infield in the league with an average age of 26 and a half years. That is barely old enough to date the Olsen twins.

I can already feel your glare through the screen Dave, but I promise I’ve got you’re tight wallet in mind as well. Admittedly, I’m asking you to add approximately $35 million in four players, but you’re cutting $12 million with Bell and Liberthal, and if you make the smart move and trade Jon Lieber to some pitching desperate contender when we’re out of the playoff hunt, or when Randy Wolf comes back, there is another eight.

Thirty-two million dollars is locked up in 2007 for Pat the Bat, Bobby Abreu, Flash Gordon and J-Roll. Add the $35 million I am asking you to spend on Chase, Howard, Cabrera and Willis and we are at 67 million. Another five or six million for Brett Myers, two for Ryan Madson, $750,000 for Gavin Floyd and, depending on how big a cut Wolf will take, five million for Randy Wolf. The total for your corner outfielders, infield (minus a catcher) and five starters is 80 million dollars, still 15 million under the amount spent the Thome year. Use that to pick up a decent catcher (I think Tito Molena is still available), a centerfielder and fill out your bullpen and you have yourself a bonafide World Series contender for the next eight years.

If that is still a little high, trade Pat Burrell, whose salary takes a big jump next year, or Bobby Abreu for some cheaper prospects, bring up Cole Hamels to either supplant Madson or start as a long reliever and hustle Michael Bourn, a decent centerfield prospect, along.

When you bought the team Dave, it cost you $30 million. Their estimated worth now? Thirty-two million dollars and that is with a brand new park and good lease. All these moves I’m asking you to make will not only raise this number (with hopes you’ll eventually sell, please, pretty please?) but bring the fans back to Citizens Bank Park to marvel at the ever changing logos and cheer on the most exciting team in the NL for years to come.

Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to steal from the Marlins like every other team in the league, the trophy case will be full for a lifetime. And so will the seats.