Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Marlins trade Mujica & Sanchez, add prospects

Gaby Sanchez and Edward Mujica are moving to the NL Central
BY David Villavicencio

Just an hours before the trade deadline, the Marlins continued to move pieces and look towards the future.

According to MLB.com's Peter Gammons, Miami sent reliever Edward Mujica to the Cardinals for prospect Zack Cox. ESPN's Jim Bowden reported the Marlins also moved first baseman Gaby Sanchez and minor leaguer Kyle Kaminska to the Pirates for outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and a competitive balance draft pick.

Mujica, 28, has been a serviceable middle reliever in his career but has struggled for the Marlins this season. The right-hander is 0-3 with a 4.38 ERA in 2012. Mujica was 9-6 with a 2.96 ERA over 76 innings in 2011.

Cox is a talented hitter who can play 2B or 3B
Cox is a talented infielder who has struggled in his first taste of Triple-A. The Cardinals' first round pick in 2010, Cox is an offensive threat at third base though he has hit just .254 with nine homers and 30 RBI for Memphis. He hit .293 with 10 homers and 48 RBI for Double-A Springfield in 2011. He is reporting to the Marlins' Double-A affiliate in Jacksonville.

Sanchez, 28, struggled in 2012 after posting solid numbers in his first two big league seasons. The Miami native hit .202 with three homers and 17 RBI in 2012. An All-Star in 2011, Sanchez has proven capable of succeeding in the Majors, combining for 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2010-11.

Can Hernandez figure it out in Miami?
The presence of Logan Morrison made it easier for the Marlins to move Sanchez even though Morrison has had his share struggles over the past two seasons. A career .260 hitter, Sanchez should get an opportunity to play first base in Pittsburgh, where Casey McGehee has struggled as the right-handed half of their first base platoon.

Hernandez, who will join the Marlins on Wednesday, is a former highly regarded prospect who has seen his star fade over the years. Once a key piece in the trade that sent Nate McLouth to the Braves, Hernandez has not developed the way the Pirates had hoped. The speedy 24-year-old appeared in 25 games this season with the Pirates, collecting two hits over 24 at-bats. Hernandez has hit .257 with 11 doubles, two triples, two homers, 43 runs scored and 25 RBI in Triple-A this season.

Kaminska is a 23-year-old right-handed reliever that was pitching with Double-A Jacksonville. His 6-3 record and 5.11 ERA are not impressive but his 44-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio this season is a positive for the Pirates organization.

With two trades already completed, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reported that more are on the way. While Frisaro did not detail who would be involved, the Marlins have been trying to move first baseman Carlos Lee and catcher John Buck.

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