Marlins likely to stay course

MIAMI — Boosted by their July hot streak, the Marlins are closing in on reaching .500. In about a week, the organization will have a better feel if they are realistically in playoff contention or not. Either way, the organization is prepared to stay the course with what they have as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches.

Barring an offer that is too tempting to pass up, the club is leaning towards retaining what they have as they try to build momentum in the second half. If they can add a third baseman or pitcher, they will consider it. But not at the expense of a core player. Ricky Nolasco has been mentioned in rumors. But according to multiple sources, Nolasco is not on the market.

A reliever who has been speculated to be available is Randy Choate. Signed through 2012, the Marlins have little interest in moving their left-handed relief specialist. In the NL East, there are so many quality left-handed hitters the Marlins like to match Choate up against. So even if they are out of contention, it is doubtful he will be moved. And he would only be dealt for an attractive offer.

A year from now, however, if the Marlins are out of contention, then they may more realistically try to move Choate. In the meantime, the Marlins see Choate as a key part of their bullpen for the rest of this year and next year, when the franchise moves into their new ballpark.

Joe Frisaro

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