UPDATE: Marlins trade Cameron Maybin to Padres for two relievers

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UPDATE: Well, the Marlins may have the bullpen help they were looking for. According to Krasovic, the Marlins will acquire right-handers Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica from the Padres in exchange for Maybin.

Webb, who turns 25 in February, posted a 2.90 ERA and 44/19 K/BB ratio over 59 innings with the Padres this past season. Acquired from the A’s in the Scott Hairston trade last July, Webb was fifth among MLB relievers in 2010 with a groundball rate of 62.3 percent.

Mujica finally realized his potential after coming over from the Indians in the spring of 2009, posting a 3.80 ERA in 126 appearances over the past two seasons. The 26-year-old right-hander had a 3.62 ERA to go along with a stingy 72/6 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings this past season. He is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. Either pitcher could be a potential closer.

The Padres still managed to keep Luke Gregerson and Mike Adams, so while a trade involving Heath Bell now looks less likely, it isn’t completely out of the question.

4:00 PM: According to Tom Krasovic of AOL Fanhouse, the Marlins have traded Maybin to the Padres, pending a physical. No word yet on who the Marlins received in return.

3:28 PM: A source tells Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports that Maybin “will be traded” and that a deal between the Marlins and Padres is “getting close.”

Passan adds that the Marlins were talking to the Royals about Alex Gordon earlier, though they apparently found a better offer from the Padres. With the Marlins looking for relief help, any chance Heath Bell could be one of the names on the table? Multi-player deal involving Dan Uggla? All speculation, but that’s what makes the Hot Stove so fun and ridiculous, after all.

1:26 PM: Frisaro adds that the Marlins have also spoken with the Royals about Maybin.

1:08 PM: The Marlins are discussing a trade that would send Cameron Maybin to the Padres, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.

Maybin was regarded as one of the top outfield prospects in the game when he was acquired from the Tigers as part of the Miguel Cabrera trade in December of 2007, but has failed to live up to the hype thus far, batting .257/.323/.391 with 12 homers, 43 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 557 plate appearances as a member of the Fish. He’ll go into spring training next season out of options.

Still, it’s not hard to see why the Padres would be interested. Despite his lack of polish at the plate, Maybin rates above average in center field according to UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) and doesn’t turn 24 until next April.

Andrew Miller, another big piece of the Cabrera trade, was traded to the Red Sox last night.

2017 Preview: Chicago White Sox

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Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2017 season. Next up: The Chicago White Sox.

After a couple of years of an all-in approach with a core of Chris Sale, Jose Abreu, Melky Cabrera, Todd Frazier, Adam Eaton and friends, Rick Hahn and the White Sox finally decided to tear it all down. And they tore it all down pretty productively, actually, dealing Sale and Eaton for a boatload of prospects, leading with Yoan Moncada, who has hit .287/.395/.480 with 23 home runs, 100 RBI and 94 stolen bases in 187 minor league games.

They also picked up righthander Michael Kopech who hits triple digits on the regular, one-time top prospect and still-promising Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and 2016 first-round pick Dane Dunning. They all join existing young talent like Tim Anderson, Carlos Rodon, Zack Collins, Carson Fulmer and Alec Hansen. The system, she is stocked.

 

In addition to all that new talent, the Sox have a new manager in Rick Renteria. What he’ll have to work with at the big league level is somewhat spotty, however, and could change pretty radically as the season wears on.

Still in house: Carols Quintana, Frazier, Cabrera and David Robertson, all of who are likely on the trading block (we know Quintana is). Hahn will entertain offers for anything not nailed down which, in this case, means anyone over the age of 25 or so. We could give a blow-by-blow of the offense, the pitching and the defense like we normally do here, but if you’re an obsessive White Sox fan you know that stuff already and if you’re not, all you really need to know is that between those inevitable departures and the loss of their ace in Sale and their best position player in Eaton, last year’s 78-wins are gonna seem like a distant memory.

Beyond trading stars for prospects, the White Sox have signaled that they’re in non-compete mode in other ways as well. New in the fold: Derek Holland, Peter Bourjos and Geovany Soto. Veterans who do a task or two well, go about their business and, if they have a super nice year, can get dealt at the deadline. In short, the lifeblood of a rebuild, not the stuff of greatness. There’s nobility in fulfilling that role even if there aren’t a lot of wins to be found in it.

Where are some wins to be found? Jose Abreu had a down year in 2016 and could be better this year. Both Holland and James Shields are capable of better years than they had last year. Indeed, it’d be close to impossible for Shields to be worse. They’ll have Carlos Rodon, who took a step forward last year and could be poised for a breakout. Quintana and company will be around until July most likely before they’re traded and before Hahn begins to call young dudes up for second half cups of coffee.

And that’s what this season is about, really. The cups of coffee. Seeing what the Sox have in their young talent, particularly Moncada, who has little left to prove in the minors, even if he spends some more time there and Rodon, who is already a key part of the big club. They may lose just as many games or more than they lost the past couple of seasons, but they’ll do it with more interesting players who fans can imagine being better in a White Sox uniform one day. And, heck, if someone develops a bit more quickly than expected, it could actually lead to good baseball. At least here and there.

Prediction: Fourth place, American League Central.

The Braves cave, a little anyway, on their outside food policy

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On Friday the Atlanta Braves announced a new policy for outside food, prohibiting ticket holders from bringing in their own. This was a reversal of their old policy — and the policies of the majority of teams around the league — which allowe fans to bring in soft-sided coolers with their own food and beverages, at least as long as the beverages were sealed.

The Braves claimed that the policy change was “a result of tighter security being put into place this season throughout the league,” but this was clearly untrue as no other teams are cracking down on outside food like this. If there are new security procedures, everyone else is able to accommodate them without an opportunistic crackdown on fans bringing in PB&J for their toddlers. It seemed more likely that this was a simple cash grab.

Today the Braves have reversed the policy somewhat:

While they’re looking for kudos here, this is likewise an admission that the “security” stuff was bull because, last I checked, security procedures aren’t subject to popular referendum and aren’t changed when people complain. What really happened here, it seems, is the Braves, for the first time in living memory, were called out by the public for their greed and realized that even they have some responsibility to not be jackasses about this sort of thing.

Still, a gallon bag policy is not the same as it was before. You could bring coolers into Turner Field and still can bring them into most parks around the league. But I guess this is better than nothing.