Taking advantage of a fire sale


It might not be a full-blown, tear it down and rebuild the whole thing kind of firesale, but it’s obvious the Florida Marlins are again moving higher priced players for younger, cheaper alternatives. While in previous years they moved megastars like Josh Beckett & Miguel Cabrera before they cashed in during free agency, this year they dealt Mike Jacobs, Josh Willingham & Scott Olsen before they received raises in arbitration, a somewhat disturbing development.

After Monday night’s move that sent the Marlins’ longest tenured hitter & pitcher north to DC, speculation mounted that the team’s remaining arbitration eligible players – namely Dan Uggla, Kevin Gregg and Jeremy Hermida – could be the next to go. Gregg is readily available and could be had by any team offering a decent return, but GM Larry Beinfest responded to the speculation surrounding Uggla & Hermida by saying that he’s prepared to go into 2009 with them in the lineup. Even so, I imagine he’d entertain offers for both players, and that’s where the Bombers come in.

The Yanks are desperate to get younger and more athletic, and Hermida offers both those attributes while bringing strong upside. Still just 24, he has over 1,270 big league at-bats under his belt, hitting .267-.342-.436 (103 OPS+) in the process. He’s flashed some of the potential that made him the 11th overall pick in 2002, hitting .350-.407-.574 during the final two months of 2007 (singlehandedly saving my fantasy team) before going .309-.351-.488 in the first month of 2008. Hermida was rumored to be heading to Pittsburgh during the Manny Ramirez Trade Deadline Saga, indicating that other clubs still like his potential.

Rated the fourth best prospect in the game by Baseball America prior to the 2006 season, Hermida made history by becoming only the second player (and first in 107 years) to hit a grand slam in his first big league plate appearance. Armed with a sweet lefthanded swing and military style plate disipline (he placed 12nd in the league last year with 4.11 P/PA), getting out of cavernous Dolphins Stadium (where he’s hit .248-.320-.404 in his career) and into lefty-friendly Yankee Stadium (he’s a career .284-.363-.467 hitter on the road) might just be the jump start he needs.

With just nine games of centerfield experience to his credit (all coming in the first half of 2006), Hermida wouldn’t be option for the Yanks at that spot. Despite this limitation, he still offers some flexibility because he can hold his own against lefties, play both outfield corners, and still has options left, meaning he could be sent to the minors as needed. And as far as that report by an anonymous scout saying he has “no passion for the game,” I’ll just defer to ex-Marlins’ manager Joe Girardi, and assume Cash will talk to him before attempting to acquire Hermida.

I’m not going to throw out trade ideas, because I have no idea what Florida is looking for. Keep in mind that while the Marlins’ last few trades were made for essentially pennies on the dollar, Jacobs is a limited player entering his age 28 season, Willingham has a bad back and is entering his age 30 season, and Olsen has a reputation as a punk. Their rotation is pretty much set with Ricky Nolasco, Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, Chris Volstad & Andrew Miller, and they have plenty of backup in Rick VandenHurk, Ryan Tucker, Dan Meyer, Eulogio DeLaCruz and Burke Badenhop, so Ian Kennedy might not entice them. Melky Cabrera‘s trade value is nil, and the Yanks have no other young position players to offer up.

Signing big name free agents is fun, but they almost always fail to deliver, and frankly it’s the easy way out. Be bold and take a chance on a guy who still has something to prove rather than playing through the nose for a player who’s already played his best baseball for someone else. It’s not often you get a chance to buy-low on a player with Hermida’s talent and upside, and much like Nick Swisher, I hope the tires are at least kicked on this one.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. jsbrendog says:

    so after telling us realistically that we have nothing to offer them do we think that they will even “kic the tires on this one?”

    and if they do there really is nothing we have we’d be willing to give up to get him?

    bullpen arms are not enough to get him obviously, but we do have a glut of them and they seem to neeed one, for christ sakes they employ arthur rhodes….

    would an established bullpen arm and a younger single a type prospect bring him over? am i crazy? who can tell me?

  2. Slugger27 says:

    well put mike… lot of upside to like about this kid… not sure we have anything of value to give them, but i like the idea… anyone have any ideas who we could give them?

  3. Bruno says:

    here here! I’d love to see Hermida in tha BX! I think he’d adequately replace Abreu’s bat (hitting in front of A-Rod can do that for ya) and easily be better in RF. But like you said, who would they want in return? Again, I’d love it but just don’t see it happening. Would Nady be our full-time 1B, or do you play Damon in CF fulltime (I’m sure Cash won’t bank on THAT)?


  4. Baseballnation says:

    A package can be centered around Romine or Cervelli as Florida might be looking to stock on some upside catchers…

    • Mike A. says:

      That’s a good point, they might have interest in Cervelli.

      • Chip says:

        I don’t know, Cervelli might be a bit close to being arbitration eligible for them :D

        • Bo says:

          Romine just happens to be one of our best prospects and a catcher.

          And you want to maybe package him for an underachieving OF who cant play CF?

          • Romine also happens to be turning 20 in a few weeks and has yet to see AA, and thus is still a total wildcard (albeit a good one), while Hermida happens to be just shy of 25 with a career 103 OPS+, still four years from free agency, who’s an average-to-above average defender who could still be getting better. And, he’s in a pitchers park.

            Both of them could be good players the next 10 years, both of them could be bad, both of them could be somewhere in between. However, we do have a surplus of catching and a dearth of outfielders, at all levels of our system. And, as Hermida’s already done it at the ML level, his risk is a bit lower than Romine’s.

            FWIW, when Hermida was Romine’s age, his prospect star burned a lot brighter. Austin Romine would be an unqualified success if he had 1,279 big league AB’s at a 103 OPS+ clip by his 25th birthday.

  5. dan l says:

    You should have made this article about Cody Ross instead as he is arbitration eligible. He would make an inexpensive complimentary player for both Damon and Gardner. The kid kills left handed pitching and has solid power from the right side. He is a good defensive outfielder who can play all 3 spots.

  6. gxpanos says:

    Man, Hermida would be wonderful. He’d be a star in Yankee Stadium and in that lineup.

    I just don’t see any way it could happen.

    Damon-Gardner-Nady on Opening Day, unfortunately.

  7. Ivan says:

    Hermida would fit very well with the yanks. Young, cost-controlled, athletic, lefthanded sweet swing that would be benefitial in yankee stadium (I assume they would use the same dimensions) good plate disipline, and guy who has potential to build around a team.

    Also, his value is pretty low so he can had for not much. Hermida could also platoon in RF with Nady and wait until Nady is gone after the 09 season. Hermida makes too much sense for the yanks.

    • Chip says:

      Yeah, they’re using the same dimensions

    • Bruno says:

      You contradict yourself:

      “good plate disipline, and guy who has potential to build around a team”
      “his value is pretty low so he can had for not much.”
      pick one lol.

      and: “(I assume they would use the same dimensions)”
      where have you been?!? it’s been said numerous times (here and countless others places, including from the Yankees themselves) that the dimensions WILL be exactly the same.

      • Chip says:

        I don’t know if he’s contradicting himself by saying that. The kid has great potential and thus could be somebody to build around. At the same time, he didn’t have that great of a year and that could possibly suppress his value for this offseason. I think a change of scenery could do him wonders but I doubt we have the pieces they’d be looking for

  8. Mike Pop says:

    Hermida would be nice for us.. Kennedy for him would get it done right? regardless of the way their staff looks already..

  9. daneptizl says:

    I’ve been wanting Hermida for about a week now…

  10. The Marlins future core looks to be Cameron Maybin in CF, HanRam at SS(or possibly left), McPherson/Matt Dominguez at 3B, Gaby Sanchez or Logan Morrison at 1B, Bonifacio at 2B, and a young, cheap, homegrown rotation assembled from the Sanchez-Miller-Nolasco-Johnson-Volstad-De La Cruz-Trahern-VandenHurk-Sinkbeil-Winters crew.

    Here’s what I think could interest them, based on youth, upside, and distance from arbitration, and players that we could conceivably part with in some combination to bid on Hermida:

    C: Cervelli, Romine
    IF: Sublett, Suttle, Laird, Vechionacci
    OF: Gardner, De Leon
    SP: Hacker, McAllister, Coke, Sanchez
    RP: Cox, Claggett, Kroenke, De La Rosa

    (I’m sure i’ve left some out.)

    What about a McAllister-Suttle-Cervelli or Gardner-Cox-Hacker-De Leon package? Am I still too low? We’re obviously not going to include a big leaguer with any appreciable service time, more like good upside guys…


    • dan l says:

      Ha ha you should have save this for April first.

      • What part do you disagree with? (I can take criticism, even if it’s sarcastically snarky, lord knows I dish it.) I listed those players because they’re good players with upside and little-to-no ML service time. Some of them, like Gardner and McAllister, for example, are quite highly thought of young players, the kind the Marlins constantly trade for in their perpetual roster renewal process.

        And yes, the price here would be significantly lower in terms of ML readiness (although not necessarily in terms of talent), since the Marlins are motivated sellers and always prefer to take a more talented guy further away from the majors, gambling on upside and taking quantity over immediacy. They’re fundamentally different sellers than the Rockies or Cardinals, so the offer would be well lower than what we’ve been discussing for Ankiel/Holliday, etc.

        • daneptizl says:

          I wouldn’t do either of those…

        • dan l says:

          On your list of players the only ones I would consider trading right now are: Vechionacci, Hacker, Kroenke and Cox.

          I don’t want Hermidia at this time. If he can’t keep it together in Florida I can’t imagine how he will do in NY.

          Now if you told me you would use your list above to trade for say JJ Hardy then I would listen.

          • Mike Pop says:

            Well you’d be wasting your time listening to the HArdy talk becuz those players wouldnt net him so your better off listening to the Hermida talk

            • dan l says:

              If you took the 6 best players on that list the Brewers would take them in a hearbeat!

              • I disagree. I think they only move Hardy for much more of a sure thing.

                • dan l says:

                  I disagree with you!

                  Coke in play for a NY back end starter would surely be in the Brewers rotation on a team that needs pitching.

                  McAllister has the potential to be at least a #3 starter soon.

                  Cervelli could help now as a back up catcher.

                  De la Rosa as soon as this September could be called up as a reliever with very good potential.

                  Add in Laird and Suttle good corner infield prospects and the Brewer jump!

                • I’m not saying that Coke-McAllister-Cervelli-De La Rosa-Laird-Suttle isn’t a good collection of young talent. I am saying that Hardy is a proven ML SS who the Brewers are interested in moving because they have a potential in-house replacement in Escobar, not because they can’t afford to keep him for 2009. So, they can wait for a better offer, and they’ll probably get it.

                  Of that group, they all have potential, but only McAllister could be described as anything more than a B-lister. Hardy will net them at least one A-lister.

                • dan l says:

                  We will never know that answer so I will disagree. I think that package could net Hardy imo.

          • Well, I’m discussing Hermida because, unlike Hardy, Ankiel, and the rest, the Marlins are motivated sellers apparently willing to move their arb-eligible young talent for non-arb-eligible young talent.

            Hardy and Ankiel aren’t going to be available for these bargain basement prices. Hardy would be right back to the Hughes/Montero/Jackson stratosphere that none of us want to trade.

            Hermida is a market inefficiency that we can exploit, Billy Beane-style.

            • Chip says:

              Just because the Marlins made a bad trade doesn’t mean they’ll make another horrible trade. Everybody is already on them for the last trade so I would think they wouldn’t just give Hermida away.

              Besides, who’s to say that Hardy, Ankiel, ect aren’t on the table? It’s not like we’re in these GM to GM discussions. Maybe Hermida isn’t even on the table.

              I do agree that if we could get Hermida for any combination of three on your list, it’d be an absolute steal for the Yankees

              • Besides, who’s to say that Hardy, Ankiel, ect aren’t on the table?

                They probably are on the table. Just at higher prices than Hermida, likely.

                The payroll constraints and 2009 playoff contention chances vary greatly between St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Florida. I think that Hermida’s price is lower, based on the fact that they’ve been jettisoning arb-eligible guys for non-stud prospects left and right, so I entertain the Hermida discussion as an acquisition more in line with our organizational philosophy and current resource pool. I think we can potentially get Hermida without creating great holes in our system. I’m more skeptical of Ankiel and Hardy.

    • Mike Pop says:

      I like your ideas but I wouldnt want to give up Zmac… Gardner I want to see what he can do but you do have to give to get

    • Reggie C. says:

      Do you think a McAllister/Suttle/Cervelli offer would work? That’s interesting. Essentially we’d be giving up the best performing MiL pitcher and corner infielder from last season in this trade. Cervelli is AAA ready .. i think, and he could break in to the Marlins lineup at some point.

      That’s not bad value. Obviously its not ideal value for a 24-year old who in 2007 accomplished both a .500 SLG and .370 OBP. He’s also gotten serious BA recognition. Hermida in pinstripes manning RF is more than intriguing. I’d do it.

      • I do. It may be a bit on the small end, though, maybe McAllister/Suttle/Cervelli and like a Cox, Jones, Kroenke, De La Rosa or something, one more throw in arm. The Marlins love young arms – the old saturation bombing theory.

        I see McAllister and Cervelli as good building blocks for a trade like that, because Cervelli can probably be ready to go by the end of this year or start of the next, and McAllister has enough polish and upside to make just about any rotation. Since they’re not studs, though, we’d have to add depth. Hence, Suttle and De La Rosa.

  11. Rafi says:

    What do you think about bringing in Alfredo Amezaga as a utility everything? He’s got 4 years of service(assuming Cot’s is correct), made just under a million last year so Florida will probably look to move him, and he played SS, 2B, 3B, and CF last year? I think that he’d be a nice backup if the price is right-maybe even as a ‘throw in’ in another trade.

  12. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    Hermidia’s a no-brainer. He’s got plenty of time, still, to show what he’s made of, and we need young position players. I think you can trade from the catching purplus for sure, and I’d go IPK on him as well.

    Funny how folks are more willing to be patient with other teams’ underachieving youngsters than they are with our own.

    • Mike Pop says:

      Haha your right.. I just thought that Hermida is more of a need to us than IPK will be

    • Funny how folks are more willing to be patient with other teams’ underachieving youngsters than they are with our own.

      this is a VERY good point and so true.

      if Cano or Hughes were on another team, we’d all be trying to figure out what it would take to get them.

      i know this b/c Cano is in the *exact* same boat as Hermida, yet people covet Hermida and want to trade Cano. Hermida’s 2008 was almost identical to Cano’s 2008, and Hermida’s 2007 was almost identical to Cano’s 2007.

      yet Hermida is somehow more likely than Cano to revert to being a very good player??

      for the record, i would welcome a trade for Hermida. i am just not in favor of trading Cano either.

      • Reggie C. says:

        I don’t think anyone here is willing to trade Cano for a bag of balls. The idea of trading Cano “low” is the fear , but nobody’s demanded a Cano-for-Rowand deal. I think most of the pro-trade Cano crowd thinks along the Cano-for-Kemp deal.

        You see. The disappointment over Cano’s shocking 08 season is still palpable. When you put up 3 seasons of slugging an avg of .490, and then you come into your supposed break-out season and slug 90 points less … that’s gonna piss off a whole lotta fans.

        To get back to your point however … yes. Cano is a good candidate to rebound. But when you say Cano and Hermida had identical seasons — that’s only partially true.

  13. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    I like my players not to strike out as much as the hit, but that’s just my pet peeve. Hermedia has a little more power, but his stat line looks a lot like “the centerfielder who shall not be named on this site”. His numbers have gone down across the board, so to me, he looks like a player who the pitchers in the league have figured out.
    But I guess one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure.

  14. A.D. says:

    I dont blame them for trading Willingham, Jacobs & Olsen… none of these guys are exactly superstars in the making, so I don’t think this is “disturbing”.

    If Maybin performs this season, they’ll look to lock him up, same with Volstad, etc. They’re just getting rid of some of the younger players that don’t appear to be any type of star in the making, before they make more money to do what another prospect can do.

    • Bo says:

      The Florida FO knows talent and why should they pay average guys in arb when they can get better players who are cheaper and younger.

      Makes better biz sense for their eco model.

  15. Bo says:

    “Signing big name free agents is fun, but they almost always fail to deliver”

    Almost always fail to deliver?? Really?
    You should change that to signing mediocre free agents because there are plenty of star free agents who do deliver.

  16. [...] I mentioned Jeremy Hermida’s name in my last post and just found this: River Ave Blues makes the case for the acquisition. [...]

  17. Michael says:

    Absolutely agree. With the economic situation in doubt, I feel like patience will be rewarded. Teams who otherwise would not be sellers might find themselves having to shed some payroll in the near future. While the Yankees have the money to spend, the last thing they need to do is to get themselves back on the hook for deals ranging over th 5-6 year mark with multiple players.

    While we’re on the topic of contracts, does anyone REALLY think that CC will be dominant, or merely very good, for the better part of a 6 year deal? Yes, the Yankees need pitching but Tex is the best bet on the market to perform at a consistent level throughout the duration of his contract.

    • Mike Pop says:

      Tex is the safer bet but CC is CC and we need that big dominant ace.. Will he be the best over 6 years prbably no but if he is for 4 oe 5 we in good shape

  18. Steve says:

    “Rated the fourth best prospect in the game by Baseball America prior to the 2006 season, Hermida made history by becoming only the second player (and first in 107 years) to hit a grand slam in his first big league plate appearance. Armed with a sweet lefthanded swing and military style plate disipline (he placed 12nd in the league last year with 4.11 P/PA), getting out of cavernous Dolphins Stadium (where he’s hit .248-.320-.404 in his career) and into lefty-friendly Yankee Stadium (he’s a career .284-.363-.467 hitter on the road) might just be the jump start he needs.”

    Mike, you are one persuasive motherfucker. My first impression was “Jeremy Hermida? No thanks.” But after reading this, now I can’t wait to get him.

  19. Old Ranger says:

    Good thing none of us are the GM of the Yanks. And good thing this thread is over, someone may have wanted to trade CMW or Joba for a corner OF’d.

    Just joking guys, very lively repartee. But, our two best (upside) Catchers? 27/09.

  20. ko says:

    When you’re looking at an outfield of Matsui (playing on one leg), Damon (playing with one arm), Gardner (can’t hit), Cabrera (can’t hit) and Nady (who may or may not be a keeper), anyone with a pulse looks good. Hermida is young and has some potential and he looks like he’s worth pursuing, but he’s not going to be the guy to turn things around in New York. The Yankees need a lot more.

    • Old Ranger says:

      When you’re looking at an outfield of Matsui (playing on one leg), Damon (playing with one arm), Gardner (can’t hit), Cabrera (can’t hit) and Nady (who may or may not be a keeper), anyone with a pulse looks good.

      Agree with the first two guys but, maybe Sept., passed you by! Brett hit over.290 with a bit more pop to the gaps…so he can hit. Now if he has gap power with good OBP and fewer SOs’, I’d be happy. An OF with Johnny LF, Brett RF, and Nady RF is much better then what we had last year…if we can improve on that, go for it! 27/09.

  21. Lanny says:

    I would like to think they could do better than Hermida but he wouldn’t be a bad option as a 4th OF and lefty bat on the bench.

    Strengthening the bench should be a key for Cashman especially with so many older guys.

    When was the last time we bought low and hit big?
    Scott B?

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