Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The 2009 Twins General Manager Cheat Sheet

So, you’re looking at your Twins and wondering if you could do a better job? Well, to be a major league GM, you could either:

a) put some time in at the major league level, probably schlep around as a scout for a dozen years or so, stay on top of the free agent market, and experience the joy of negotiating with Satan, er, Scott Boras. Or…

b) stop by TwinsGeek.com.

It looks like you chose (b), so we know you’re smart, but let’s see how smart. Your job is to create a competitive 2009 team while keeping the payroll under $85 million (a pretty realistic estimate as to next year’s salary level).

We’ll give you the tools you need, including lists of the positions, the players who will most likely be back, their approximate salaries, and a list of the other assumptions we’re making in case you want to challenge them.

Then you come in. We’ll list the open positions and some of the options you have (including how much they cost). You can build your own team and compare it to the job Bill Smith does this offseason. Just make sure the total is under $85 million, because your boss isn’t known as the freest spender in the world.

The Lineup

These numbers are estimates, but they’re awfully close. Nick Punto is a free agent this year so we’re leaving his spot open, but you can try and sign him later if you like. You could also plug Brian Buscher in at 3B, or even platoon him with someone like Brendan Harris. More on that below.

By the way, you’ve spent $33 million so far.


The Rotation


Wow. Look at all those beautiful low salaries. You know it must bring a tear to Carl’s eye. The Twins entire starting rotation is making less than half of what the Mariners gave Carlos Silva as a signing bonus.

You may want to consider trading one of these arms for something you need next year. Otherwise, this staff is set, and you’ve spent $35.25 million.


The Bench

Again, most of this is taken care of. Carlos Gomez is listed as the 4th OF, because we have Michael Cuddyer back in the outfield. You’ll notice that Randy Ruiz isn’t on this list yet, either. You could carry him as your 5th outfielder and a right-handed platoon for Jason Kubel. Or you could sign a veteran bench player ala Craig Monroe.

Otherwise, you’ve spent $37.55 million so far.


The Bullpen

Dennys Reyes is a free agent this off-season, and with Craig Breslow and Jose Mijares doing well, I’ll leave him and Eddie Guardado out of next year’s plans. You’ll also notice that Matt Guerrier isn’t on the list either. He could be, but who does he bump? And is the roster spot worth the $2 million he’ll be due if you offer him arbitration?
Without Guerrier, your total is a shade over $49 million.

Summary
You’re most of the way there! 22 of the 25 roster spots are spoken for, and $49 million, er, $52.35 million is spent. Where did that other $3.3 million come from? Unfortunately, that is money you still owe the departed Mike Lamb. Still, you have almost $33 million to spend. Let’s see what your options are:


The Options

Shortstop

  1. You can bring back Nick Punto with a two-year contract for $3 million per year.

  2. You can start Matt Tolbert at SS and replace his bench spot with a utility infielder for just a half million dollars.

  3. You can sign one of the free agent shortstops. Options include:
    a. Rafael Furcal – a speedy lead-off hitter who will demand $15 million/year for four years
    b. Orlando Cabrera - solid veteran and #2 hitter on the White Sox who will demand $11 million/year for three years
    c. Edgar Renteria – Tigers veteran whose defense is shaky and will want $8 million/year for two years
    d. David Eckstien – veteran spark plug who will want $4 million for 1 year

  4. You can move Alexi Casilla to shortstop and sign one of these free agent second basemen:
    a. Orlando Hudson – Switch-hitter who hit .305 this year and will command $11 million/year for four years
    b. Mark Ellis – Great player, but bad shoulder. If he’s healthy, he’ll get $5 million to provie it for one year.
    c. Pick-A-Vet (Mark Grudzielanek, Mark Loretta, Ray Durham) - $3 million for one year of an old guy

  5. Finally, you could trade for a shortstop:
    a. The Brewers might trade JJ Hardy ($5M) to make room for prospect Alcides Escobar. And with Ben Sheets and CC Sabathia likely on their way out of town, they could use a young effective pitcher.
    b. The Red Sox will shop Julio Lugo. He'll make $9 million over each of the next two years and is a veteran shortstop, but has struggled in Boston.

Third Base

  1. You could have Brian Buscher and Brendan Harris platoon at the position, for just a half million dollars. You could even include prospects like Matt Macri, Luke Hughes or Danny Valencia in the competition in spring training.

  2. You could sign a free agent:
    Casey Blake – He’s right-handed and 35 years old, and will probably get a three-year deal for $6 million per year.
    Joe Crede – Had a great year until his back sidelined him for the last two months; he’ll ask for $7 million for one year.
    Pick-A-Vet (Rich Aurilia, Russell Branyan, Wes Helms)—$3 million for one season of questionable production.

  3. You could make a trade:
    a. Adrian Beltre – He’ll cost you $11 million and one of your young pitchers.
    b. Garrett Atkins – He’ll cost you $7 million and one of your young pitchers, and he hasn’t hit outside Coors.
    c. Kevin Kouzmanoff – He’ll cost you a half million dollars and one of your young pitchers. He’s 27 with a career .267 average.
Backup Outfielder
  1. You could have Randy Ruiz occasionally play right field and be a right-handed bat off the bench. He’ll cost the major league minimum.

  2. You could pick up a veteran free agent for backing up the OF:
    a. Cliff Floyd – LH veteran will likely get about $2.5 million next year.
    b. Jonny Gomes – RH reserve might be a nice gamble for $3M.
    c. So Taguchi – Probably not the bench bat Gardy would like but he sure will hustle for his $1 million.
How’d you do? Did you spend all your money? Did you pump up the offense? Do you still have your young pitchers? And, most importantly, is your boss going to be happy with how much you spent?

Great. Now let us see how you did in the comments below. (Unless, of course, it involves re-signing Mike Lamb. Then you might want to try again.)

31 comments:

David Wintheiser said...

My first move would be to go to Kansas City and see if they'd be interested in parting with Mark Teahen, and slot him in at third base. I'd hope to be able to get him for just Slowey, but I'd consider throwing in a marginal AA prospect to sweeten the deal -- KC is desperate for young arms with potential, I think, so that deal might work.

Teahen avoided arbitration by signing for about $2.3M; I could probably get him to sign again for about $3M-$3.3M.

I'd then go fishing for the traditional $5M veteran innings-eater as a starter to replace Slowey in the rotation.

I'd also bring back Guerrier and start with Mijares in AAA, on the off-chance that Neshek, like Crain and Boo Berry before him, doesn't come all the way back after a disappointing season.

With one last slot open, I'd keep my ear to the ground and see if someone offers me a deal I can't refuse. Otherwise, I could fill the 25th slot with pretty much anybody and Gardy would probably make it work by the All-Star break.

Next off-season, of course, will be significantly more challenging.

SethSpeaks said...

I assume you're kidding about Teahen for Slowey AND a prospect, right???

SethSpeaks said...

My main point would be that the Twins should not spend just to spend. If $85 million is the budget, but they could have a better team in 2009 and beyond by spending just $50 or $60 million instead, that needs to be remembered.

In other words, a guy like Furcal would be a quick way to spend $15 million for the next three years or so, but I just don't think it makes sense for several reasons... injury, injury on turf, etc.

J. Lichty said...

Objectively 3b and SS should be upgraded given the payroll flexibility, but I really think that the Twins like what they have offensively and defensively.

Thus, I think Punto will be back. He had a credible year at the plate and Gardy loves him. He and Tolbert are redundant, but both were on the roster to start the year. I expect that the infield will be - Buscher, Harris at 3b; Tolbert, Punto, Casilla in the middle, Morneau at 1b with whatever bench bat (I think Ruiz will get a shot) backing up at 1b.

OF will be Young, Gomez, Span and Cuddyer (with Cuddyer getting DH and 1b at bats as well). Gardy should have Span in there everyday and then rest the others once every 3rd day. Span may get an occasional spell against a tough leftie. Kubel can play the OF but will primarily be DH. Mauer and Redmond fill out the lineup.

The bullpen is where they can and should really spend. Even being spendy, I do not see them bringing in any more than 2 pitchers, and probably only one. I am not as optimistic about Neshek. I think that not having had surgery simply delayed the inevitble.

The starting five is set. Nathan, Crain, Bonser and Humber will have spots. Breslow is cheap and as good as Reyes. Mijares showed that he belongs in the majors and should be up for short relief, but Twins should get a top free agent reliever and let the others fight out the spot. Mijares has options so he may be sent down. Boof wants to start and could be traded to clear some room. But clearly this is a glaring area where depth is needed. Alot depends on Neshek in this one.

Should be a pretty interesting off season actually - not last year interesting, but interesting because the Twins have some cash, and only a few areas where upgrades are needed, well at least where upgrades are possible.

Anonymous said...

What if I want to sign my pitchers to long term deals? How much will that cost me? What if I want to be creative and give signing bonuses this year to keep them for the next 3?

Pcentrist said...

Great, great article. $30 mil and nothing to buy. I'd probably also list an option to sign some extensions. Liriano, Mauer and maybe some more. Put that money to use.

But really the move that needs to be made is an impact bat at SS or 3B. Beltre is the best option, but perhaps a smart GM can coax a deal out of someone. We've got the pitching prospects to do it.

Pcentrist said...

I'd also consider a trade for Aubrey Huff. O's may go for that. Hardy, Huff and Beltre seem like the most reasonable SS/3B trade options.

Michael said...

It's pretty amazing. There is a very good team coming back next year and a ton of money to spend on very few holes.

The problem is... there just isn't anything attractive available to spend the money on! I think the smart bet here is what others have suggested. Spend the money on getting some of these studs locked up and hope the free agent and trade markets look better next year.

Anonymous said...

I am sold on Valencia at 3rd base. He comes from a college powerhouse, has been an All-Star at every minor league level and continues to make significant strides defensively. Heck, he was leading the FSL in hitting before his promotion and continued hitting with even more power in New Britain. Keep the young arms in tact and slot Valencia at 3rd base!

Anonymous said...

One fact, and one thought about 3rd base. I know Casey Blakes family relatively well, and his wife has told me that Casey would take a lesser salary to play in the midwest again with a competitive team. They really want the midwestern values for the family and have no desire to live on either coast.
And how about Cuddyer back at 3rd? I seem to remember Cuddy saying in some interviews that the position sapped his confidence at the plate, but he has had enough success in the Majors to overcome this, was he really that bad? or could it work?

Anonymous said...

trade cuddyer. if casilla moves to short i would consider tolleson for 2nd. valencia at 3rd. sounds like a good infield to me, maybe not next year, but the year after for sure.

Samuel said...

I say Beltre, Aubrey Huff or Kouzmanoff would be our best bets by trade. Perkins is the chip to shop. Humber/Duensing/Swarzak/Mulvey can fight for the starting spot.

Or, perhaps we could put together a bigger deal for a bigtime infield prospect, like Brandon Wood. I'm thinking 1 of Blackburn/Slowey, 1 of Kubel/Cuddyer and one of Hughes/Valencia. Would that get it done?

Jack Ungerleider said...

My gut tells me that Bonser and Kubel get packaged up and sent somewhere. I don't know where and I don't know for what. The only thing that keeps Kubel here is if we hear that Cuddyer is working out at third this winter. (Maybe some winter ball in the islands after the foot is 100%.)

I'm with Seth. I hope the don't spend just to spend. I think many people would be happy to see them come up with a way to keep Gomez, Span, Young, Cuddyer and Kubel in the lineup. Unlike last year I think we see trade activity at the Winter Meetings and just after. If they get into late January look for them to try and lock up a couple of the starters, particularly Baker and maybe Liriano.

Topper said...

Ship Blackburn and either Humber or Bonser to the Brewers to upgrade with Hardy at SS.

Use the open bench spot for Guerrier, we always like to go with a larger bullpen to start the year and a smaller bench. Perhaps we make a trade or see someone go down with an injury after a month or so and we shorten our bullpen for bench depth.

Open competition at 3rd between Buscher, Macri, Hughes and Valencia, with everyone biased in favor of letting Valencia win (the same way everyone let Gomez beat out Span). We still have viable backups in the minors.

Our open pitching spot vacated by Blackburn will be used by the annual veteran pitcher signing (didn't see that anywhere on the options). Due to the failures of Ortiz/Ponson/Hernandez, we'll go the next tier up, sign a veteran pitcher for around $8M and watch him either hold his own or perhaps get replaced by Duensing down the line next year.

This leaves a good $12M or so for extensions. The most obvious candidates being Mauer, Baker, and perhaps Kubel.

Eric said...

It seems to me that most of you have become exactly like the Twins organization--risk averse.

They have money, they ought to spend it. I'd try for Furcal, or Hudson if I'm confident that Casilla can play shortstop.

I like Kouzmanoff too--getting him out of the SD hitters' hell (check his splits), but he'll cost you talent, not money, and it's money that you have. I don't really like the 3rd base free agent options, so if I can get a SS/2B as above, I'm willing to throw open the competition at 3B, and hope someone emerges.

I'd check in on the reliever market, but frankly, all but the absolute top relievers are inconsistent, and I hate spending money there. It depends on the state of Neshek's health, which the team knows more about than we do.

The outfield is going to be a little messy. They are SO MUCH better defensively with Gomez in center that it's tough to bench him, but of course they committed to Cuddyer with the contract last year (and he has very little trade value right now), and Young is the centerpiece of the trade (though so far, he hasn't hit enough for a corner outfielder, especially one with defensive deficiencies).

The inexpensive rotation is such a bonus, especially given that Liriano will be back for the whole season.

tborg said...

Good gravy, will Orlando Cabrera really command $11M for 3 years? If that's the value of a shortstop, then you definitely trade for Hardy if he's available, even if it costs you Liriano or a combination of another starter and one of your outfielders (including any of your starters) with the Brewers maybe throwing in someone from their deep minor league system.

Third base I go with the Harris/Buscher platoon.

Last outfielder I go with a cheap option from within the organization. It's now a position of strength, so much so that you can trade one of them with Pridie/Martin capable of part time duty at this point with good defense.

Replacing starter you traded for Hardy becomes the tough question, and I have no answer for it. If possible, I try to identify a Twins-type pitcher (sorry Bert) in another organization. That is, someone who pounds the strike zone and would probably work well with Anderson. Hopefully you can get that pitcher for one or more of our better prospects.

twayn said...

Do you really believe a payroll increase of $25+ million is realistic? I'd love to see it, but I had too many disappointing Christmas mornings as a kid to get my hopes up that high. I just have a couple of thoughts. First, I wouldn't mess with the rotation at all. Of course, that makes trading difficult because every GM out there is going to ask for a young starter from us. So I think it makes better sense for us to play in the free agent market this year. Getting Hudson and trying Casilla at SS would be my first choice. Beltre at 3rd would be my second choice, but Seattle overvalues every player it has worth trading for, and again, they'll want pitching that I wouldn't be willing to give up, so that's a longshot. I think we have enough OF options that I wouldn't mess with things there unless somebody made me an offer I couldn't refuse. So I'd put most of my effort into building up the best bullpen I could assemble and letting the dice fly from there.

Anonymous said...

I'd love to see Joe Crede in a Twins uniform. The 1 or 2 year deal makes sense given his injury history and our upcoming prospects. He plays great D and doesn't have an attitude. Prototypical Twins player.

John said...

Just a quick note on how to consider long-term deals, which I'm happy people are talking about, because I think the Twins will be doing quite a bit of that....

Basically you can just assume that for next year, they'll cost the same amount as listed here. That's usually how they are structured. For instance, you can assume Baker might make something like .5M/3.5M/6M/10M over the next four years as he makes his way to and through arbitration. So if he signs a long-term (say 5 years)deal with the Twins, it would probably look like: .7M/3M/5.5M/9M/12M. So the effect on the on this year's payroll won't be too different than what is listed.

And don't sweat signing bonuses too much. They don't need to be a part of a long-term deal. The only reason they were in the Morneau and Cuddyer deals was because the Twins basically had money left over and that's a decent way of "carrying over" that money into a future year. It's a good option if you have money left over, but it's not necessary to get a long term deal done.

Nick N. said...

You could have Randy Ruiz occasionally play right field

This is a joke, right? John, please tell me this is a joke!

Anyway, I'm a big fan of Orlando Hudson and he's the one guy I'd target in free agency if I was going to spend on a long-term deal. Otherwise, I think Blake is a great short-term fix at third base while the team waits and sees about Hughes and Valencia. Beltre would be a nice one-year acquisition if I could get him for less than one of the five starters, but if I can't I don't do it.

Josh said...

You've got to keep that rotation together and I think you have an incredibly strong core.

In my dream world I would add 2 players... I trade for Adrian Beltre, move Casilla to short and sign Orlando Hudson. With those 2 new assets, we'd have the best defense in baseball on paper and improve our batting.

I don't think the Twins are sold on Casilla and moving him to short allows them to explore him one more year before Plouffe is ready. Hudson is a defensive stud and a high AVG/OBP guy with a great personality. Beltre provides a needed power source and a bridge to Valencia, who is most definitely the heir apparent.

My team looks like:
1. RF Span
2. 2B Hudson
3. C Mauer
4. 1B Morneau
5. 3B Beltre
6. DH Cuddy/Kubel
7. LF Young
8. SS Casilla
9. CF Gomez

Bench: Redmond, Harris, Tolbert, Cuddy/Kubel

Pitching:
1. Baker
2. Liriano
3. Slowey
4. Perkins
5. Blackburn

Relief: Bonser, Breslow, Guerrier, Crain, Mijares, Neshek and Nathan.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to propose a radical idea. First keep all the young starters, so 5 roster spots used. The bullpen will be:
9th: Nathan
8th: Neshek (hopefully), Mijares
7th: Crain, Breslow (LH specialist)
Long Relief: Humber
That's 6 in the bullpen for a 11 man pitching staff! With 5 young talented starters I would advocate an 11 man pitching staff as the Twins should get a consistent 6-8 innings from all 5 starters. Guerrier (no contract) and Bonser (traded) are gone as well as Reyes.

This leaves 14 position players. I advocate signing a healthy Ellis for 2B (if he is healthy) and trading for Beltre. This greatly improves the infield defense and helps the young pitchers, saving the bullpen, allowing for an 11 man pitching staff. Beltre is a one-year rental, holds the place for the next 3B (Hughes, Valencia, Plouffe), and is in a contract year (improved production). The rest of the roster stays the same. OF of Young, Gomez, Span, Cuddyer, and Kubel that rotates through the 3 OF positions and DH. Infield of Mauer, Morneau, Ellis, Casilla, Beltre, with Redman (backup C), Tolbert (Utility), Harris (RH pinch hitter, can spell Ellis at 2B), Buscher (LH pinch hitter, backup 3B, 1B). 14 position players.

I doubt the Twins would go this way, but it would be worth a shot.

answerman said...

The Twins have already proven that cheap free agents just make the team worse. Spending $5M for an innings eater would be worse than flushing $5M down the toilet (surely we've learned something from the Livan Hernandez, Sidney Ponson, and Ramon Ortiz fiascos). Again, they only make your team worse.

By all means, keep all 5 of our young starters and, better yet, sign as many of them as possible to contract extensions.

The Twins can't afford any free agents that are actually good enough to improve the team. Fortunately, they have a bright future with what they already have. They just need to concentrate on keeping what they have and not letting the minor-league pipeline run dry.

My fear is that they're going to get impatient and screw it up by signing free agent has-beens or worse- trading young talent for experienced losers.

David Wintheiser said...

I assume you're kidding about Teahen for Slowey AND a prospect, right???

Why would I be kidding? Keep in mind that I'm talking about a marginal prospect (say a Justin Jones), not one of the top prospects, and even then only if KC doesn't seem willing to go straight up.

I think Teahen has significantly better upside than Adrian Beltre:

- Teahen is going to be 27 next year, the traditional age at which an offensive player has a breakout season. Beltre will be 30.

- Teahen as a hitter fits the Twins style of offense better than Beltre -- singles and doubles, move runners along, keep pressure on the defense. Beltre is much more a station-to-station offensive player.

- Teahen is significantly less expensive than Beltre, given that Teahen just finished his first arbitration season this year, while Beltre is well past his six.

Lastly, I just don't think Beltre is all that good offensively -- sure, he had a big year in 2004, but he's never hit that well before or since. It's got the look of 'fluke season' all over it. And if he's not going to hit that well, then you're looking at a guy who, even including that great season, has averaged about .270/785 in his career. Teahen's been about .270/750 in his career, and still has upside.

Over the course of 500 plate appearances, thirty-five points of slugging percentage works out to about four extra homers and five extra doubles. Do you really want to pay an extra $4-6 million per year for that? Not to mention that Beltre will cost more to acquire in terms of trade value as well -- I don't think the Twins could get Beltre for Slowey and a marginal prospect.

I have to agree with you, though, that if they've got money to spend but nothing that makes sense to spend it on, then they should stand pat -- the people who want the Twins to spend the money just because they have it apparently have never heard of the concept of 'opportunity cost'.

SethSpeaks said...

Beltre is significantly better offensively AND even more defensively better than Teahen. Beltre would be a one year guy, allowing Valencia or Hughes to take over in 2010. The dollars would be just over one year. They would get two first round picks when they let Beltre go.

And, I think that if the Twins offered Slowey for Beltre, the Mariners, if they had a GM, would take it in a heart beat!

walter hanson said...

I don't think this Teahen talk is as silly as some people are talking about. The Royals have the corner people (Butler and Gordon) they have Gullen playing right. This leaves Teahen in left and I think they want to play Gathright and somebody else for left. He's tradeable. Beltre will demand more than Slowly just because Seatle will way the deal with getting those two picks. While he won't hit with the power of a Beltre his spot will be seven at best in the line up. That isn't a power spot! Keep in mind for those people who want to spend millions the person you're bringing in will hit seventh and eigth in this lineup basically.

Take the 30 million and give long term contracts to Span, Casilla, Liranio, Slowly, and Baker. An upfront bonus of 3 million can get five year contracts with a lower base.

What agent won't say I can get you three million immediately wouldn't want to jump on it?

One thing. The best trade the Twins can offer is Young, Kubel, or Cuddeyer along with Perkins or Blackburn for a thirdbase or shortstop.

Walter Hanson
Minneapolis, MN

Anonymous said...

I dont get why people are so down on the Hernandez signing. It worked out pretty good in my opinion. He came in and pitched well early in the year when you needed him too......Liriano wasnt ready, injuries to Baker and Slowey.....and he was dumped when the younger guys were all ready to go. Giving Lamb a second year was the worst move Smith did all last year.

Anonymous said...

The Twins should work another trade with the Rays for Ben Zobrist at SS. The Rays have Bartlett blocking him and Zobrist is out of options so he will likely be moved. They could center the trade around Cuddyer maybe as Tampa needs right-handed power and has no real DH. Just a thought....

Jon Williams said...

Trade Perkins/Hughes/Cuddyer to the Giants for Starter Matt Cain and outfielder Dan Ortmeier. Cain signed a 4yr/9mil deal in 2007. I sign Ortmeier for 5yrs/10mil.

Trade Bonser/Crain/Macri to the Brewers for JJ Hardy - sign him for 4yr/30mil

Sign free agent second baseman Mark Ellis 3yrs/18mil

re-sign Guardado for 2yrs/4mil

We'll move Casilla to third base. Ortmeier will become Kubel's platoon partner and our primary pinch-hitter providing the bench with right handed power and defensive versatility.

c: Mauer
1B: Morneau
2B: Ellis
3B: Casilla
SS: Hardy
LF: Gomez
CF: Span
RF: Young
DH: Kubel/Ortmeier

bench: Ortmeier/Kubel, Ruiz, Harris, Buscher, Redmond

Rotation:

1- Matt Cain
2- Francisco Liriano
3- Scott Baker
4- Kevin Slowey
5- Nick Blackburn

bullpen: Nathan, Guardado, Neshek, Mijares, Breslow, Humber

The fans go crazy with excitement! Every game sells out because the team plays an exciting speed/pitching/defense oriented brand of baseball. Ownership decides to front the bill for a retractable roof stadium.

At the trading deadline we have enough money and prospects to add any player that comes available but none are needed.

2ndCityTwinkie said...

Citing Teahen's and Beltre's raw OPS overlooks the large difference between Royals Stadium (a good hitter's park) and Safeco (a really bad one). The offensive difference between the two over the last couple years has been about the same as the difference between Kubel and Punto this year. And Beltre hit 40 doubles a year ago and steals 10 bases a year; he may look like a "station to station player" (and not that there would be anything wrong with that), but he's not. And there's no comparison defensively. AND, while he's not about to have another 2004, he WILL be in a contract year.

Teahen, meanwhile, gives you nothing at all. I understand people not wanting to spend the money, but the debate shouldn't be between Beltre and Teahen, it should be between Beltre and Harris(or another cheap-as-free righty)/Buscher.

And, um, no, the Hernandez signing did not turn out well. Very unwell indeed.

thrylos98 said...

even though I see starting pitching as a need, I would rather go for Marlins' Josh Johnson or Ricky Nolasco instead of Cain, since they have better numbers and would probably be less expensive. I think that based on the Marlins' priorities (i.e. non arbitration eligible club controlled pitchers or speedy players at a low cost) Perkins would probably do it for Johnson and Perkins + Tolbert for Nolasco...

I would not touch yesterday Eddie with a 50 foot pole, btw