"They have been very active throughout the league making it know they are looking to do sign-and-trades," said one AL Central general manager. "I haven't talked to a free agent yet who hasn't been contacted by the Marlins. They have money to spend, it's just that they will then trade the player for prospects and cast-offs a week or two later."
According to Mike Moye, Josh Hamilton's agent, the Marlins have offered his client "a very generous 7-year deal," which is for more years than the Rangers will go. "The one hang-up is that Josh has to waive his no-trade clause so the Marlins can dump him. Josh doesn't want to be stuck playing in Kansas City or San Diego or some baseball hell like that."
Miami owner Jeffrey Loria denies that his team is looking to acquire top free agents, only to immediately flip them.
"There is no way we would sign someone and then immediately trade him," said Loria. "We would keep these players at least through Opening Day so we can sell season tickets off of their names. Then, when our fans are duped, trade them."
The Marlins already have a deal in principle with the Red Sox that would send Hamilton, Zach Greinke, B.J. Upton, Anibal Sanchez and Mike Napoli to Boston in exchange for infielder Pedro Ciriaco and two Single-A pitchers. But first Miami must sign the five free agents.
"It's up to the fans if we're going to bring in these players," said Loria. "We need to sell all of our season tickets to make the numbers work so we can pay these guys for the week or so we have them. But if the fans don't want big names players, that is their decision."