After reports throughout the week that the Miami Marlins are working aggressively to trade starter Ricky Nolasco in the coming days, it looks as though talks with multiple teams are heating up and that a deal could happen very soon. While more than six teams have shown interest in acquiring the righty, reports surfaced late Wednesday night that Nolasco's most serious suitors may be rivals in the NL West.
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According to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com, the Marlins and San Diego Padres are in talks regarding multiple players including Nolasco, although no deal is close or imminent. The Padres are known to be looking for starting pitching, and Nolasco, a southern California native who is a free agent after the season, could possibly be willing to re-sign with his hometown team this winter, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
While the disappointing club wants to add a starter and a reliever by the trade deadline, they may also be willing to trade veterans to add prospects, according to Saxon, which complicates talks with the Marlins.
Saxon's report comes one day after Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Dodgers are "on blitzkrieg" to acquire Nolasco, re-assuring that the team is one of the 30-year old's most serious suitors.
Early on, the San Francisco Giants seemed like the favorite to land Nolasco, but general manager Brian Sabean said today that the team is not planning to make trades soon because of the high asking prices for players this early in the trading season. The Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Baltimore Orioles, and New York Yankees have all been linked to Nolasco in the last few weeks as well.
With all five NL West teams within seven games of first place, it is expected that they will all be very active as the deadline approaches. The bidding war is beginning with Nolasco, who all five teams have shown interest in, and will likely also impact Chicago Cubs' starter Matt Garza, who is already drawing interest from the Padres and Dodgers, according to Rosenthal.
In the next few days, the Marlins will field offers from many teams for the talented Nolasco, who is 4-7 with a 3.68 ERA, 6.9 K/9, and 1.196 WHIP on the season. With every team in one division after him, they will likely be able to sell high.