Redskins

No spending spree for Marlins at winter meetings

No spending spree for Marlins at winter meetings

MIAMI (AP) A year ago, the Miami Marlins went on a shopping spree at the winter meetings and came home with three All-Stars.

Next week in Nashville, Tenn., they'll be in the market for bench help.

The Marlins' brief era as big spenders ended when the team with the biggest payroll in franchise history flopped. That prompted the Marlins' latest dismantling, which included a blockbuster sell-off trade with Toronto two weeks ago.

The trade left Miami with a projected payroll of about $43 million, which meets owner Jeffrey Loria's budget for 2013. So the team is unlikely to swing any big deals at the meetings that begin Monday.

``We'd like to do some more things,'' president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said Thursday. ``We're going to explore some things in Nashville. If something makes sense, we'll move ahead. But are we talking about huge free agents? I'm not sure that's the mode we're in right now.''

The Marlins made a big splash at the meetings in Dallas a year ago, when they signed shortstop Jose Reyes, left-hander Mark Buehrle and closer Heath Bell to deals totaling $191 million. All three players have since been traded, and the Marlins are back to their historically thrifty ways, angering fans who believed the team's new ballpark would mean bigger payrolls for years to come.

``Last year in Dallas was really the exception,'' Beinfest said. ``Last year was special. It was unique. I've never really been through a winter meetings like that.

``I would assume this year, in contrast, will be much like the other 20-plus I've been a part of.''

The trip to Nashville also stirs Marlins memories because that's where the team swung a trade now ranked among the worst in baseball history. Paring payroll at the 2007 winter meetings, the Marlins traded Miguel Cabrera to the Detroit Tigers for six players, led by highly regarded prospects Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller.

Cabrera won the Triple Crown this year for Detroit. Maybin and Miller were busts in Miami.

``I wish it would have worked out better for us,'' Beinfest said. ``We thought we got the right guys at that time, and it didn't work out.''

The priority at the meetings next week will be to improve depth, Beinfest said. Most of the lineup and rotation appear set, although the Marlins will be young and unproven at several spots.

Adeiny Hechavarria and Yunel Escobar, both acquired in the Toronto trade, are expected to make up the left side of the infield. Escobar has indicated he's willing to move from shortstop to third base, Beinfest said.

Slugger Giancarlo Stanton was upset by the trade, and there has been speculation he might be the next Miami star to go, although he remains a financial bargain because he's not yet eligible for arbitration.

``Our plans for him in `13 are for him to be our right fielder in the middle of our lineup,'' Beinfest said.

Another candidate for the trade market is right-hander Ricky Nolasco, under contract for $11.5 million next year.

Quick Links

Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

nsekhe_vs_cardinals.png
USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 19, 23 days before NFL free agency starts.

Monday musings

—One possible solution to the left guard spot is perhaps being overlooked. Ty Nsekhe played there some last year, starting the game in Dallas and playing there until Morgan Moses got injured, forcing him to move to right tackle. In December I asked Jay Gruden if Nsekhe might move to guard in 2018. “I think Ty is a big man and a very good tackle, but in the offseason when we have more time, maybe we can feature him at some guard when we’ve got all our guys back,” he said. “Feature him some” doesn’t mean that they will make him a starter; perhaps they want him to be the top option to fill in at four of the five OL positions. But it’s something to keep an eye on if they don’t land a left guard solution in free agency or the draft.

—When I posted about Albert Breer’s report that Kirk Cousins would file a grievance if the Redskins put the franchise tag on him in an effort to trade him, I pulled up a copy of the CBA to see the language on which Cousins could base his case. I read through the Article 10, which deals with the franchise tag twice and I saw nothing of it. But Mike Florio found it in Article 4, the one that deals with player contracts. “A Club extending a Required Tender must, for so long as that Tender is extended, have a good faith intention to employ the player receiving the Tender at the Tender compensation level during the upcoming season.” Since the Redskins clearly have no intention of employing Cousins after the Alex Smith trade, this seems to be a fairly simple case. In reality, it never is.

—I tweeted this last week:

However, possible cap casualties from other teams are not included in that group. That won’t turn the pool of players who will become available to sign into a bunch of potential franchise changers. Still, there could be a number of players in whom the Redskins could be interested in like RB DeMarco Murray, WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Torrey Smith, edge rusher Elvis Dumervil, and DL Brandon Mebane. A plus to signing players who have been waived is that they don’t count in the formula that determines compensatory draft picks. The Redskins have never really paid attention to that in the past but with potential high comp picks at stake if they lose both Kirk Cousins and Bashaud Breeland, this could be a good year to start.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 10
—NFL Draft (4/26) 66
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 202

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

 

Quick Links

Bradley Beal makes most of his opportunity in first All-Star Game

ap_18050145959742.jpg
Associated Press

Bradley Beal makes most of his opportunity in first All-Star Game

Bradley Beal may have had a slow start in the three-point contest on Saturday night, but in Sunday's All-Star Game he worked quickly to make the most of his relatively small window of playing time.

Beal checked in for the first time with 5:45 left in the first quarter and less than 25 seconds later had his first points on a two-handed dunk assisted by LeBron James.

In his All-Star debut, Beal helped lead Team LeBron to a 148-145 victory over Team Stephen as the league utilizied a new format for the annual showcase.

RELATED: BEAL BOUNCED EARLY IN THREE-POINT CONTEST

Beal finished with 14 points and a steal in a productive night. He shot 5-for-10 from the field and an impressive 4-for-8 from long range. 

Beal also tried to get a travelling call from the refs on Karl-Anthony Towns. Yeah, that's not likely to happen in an All-Star Game:

Beal more than held his own and only played 16 minutes, which was good considering he has logged the fifth-most minutes of any player so far this season. A realistic best-case scenario was a strong showing and a short night and that's exactly what he got.

Not only does Beal play a lot of minutes, the Wizards need him now more than ever with John Wall's injury. He needs whatever rest he can get during this All-Star break.

Speaking of Wall, he was in the house despite being in the middle of his rehab from left knee surgery. Per usual, Wall was shining bright:

RELATED: BEST WIZARDS/BULLETS MOMENTS ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

The All-Star Game wasn't all about Beal, of course. Here are some other things that stood out...

*The new format and increased financial incentive were intended to make the game more competitive and that's what happened late in the fourth quarter. Usually, that's how these things go where the players will start trying at the end. But this time it seemed to be up a few levels and it was fun to watch. 

Both teams scored in the 140s, so it wasn't exactly a defensive battle. No matter what the league does, the players will only try so hard for so long. The main goal of everyone's is to not get injured in a game that ultimately doesn't count for anything. Still, this was different and appears to have been a success.

*While everyone was focusing on the reunion of LeBron and Kyrie Irving the best beef was Joel Embiid vs. Russell Westbrook. Those two have traded waves to taunt each other at the end of wins in head-to-head matchups and it was clear on Sunday they still don't like each other. Westbrook tried to dunk all over Embiid in the first half, only to get blocked at the rim.

Westbrook's determination to dunk on Embiid was out of the ordinary for an All-Star Game. It was obvious what was on his mind:

*Irving's handles are simply ridiculous. Check out this fake behind-the-back move he pulled with Giannis Antetkounmpo guarding him. Yes, it didn't fool the defender but it was impressive nonetheless:

*LeBron is 33 years old, yet he was still running up and down the court faster than anyone and leaping above the rim to thrown down alley-oop after alley-oop. It is truly amazing and everyone should enjoy watching him while they can, regardless of whether they like the guy or not.

This was one of his dunks:

LeBron took home MVP with a game-high 29 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and a steal.

*The pregame show was quite bad. It was anchored by comedians Kevin Hart and Rob Riggle and, though they had some funny jokes, it lasted nearly 30 minutes. The whole thing was pretty much universally panned on social media. Fergie's national anthem was also roasted by the masses.

*The halftime show was much better. It began with N.E.R.D taking it back to their older days with 'Lapdance,' went to Migos performing 'Stir Fry' and swung back to N.E.R.D. who did their latest hit 'Lemon.' 

RELATED: LATEST 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT