The Miami Marlins are hoping to add another starting pitcher via trade this offseason, but they have already missed out on starter Gio Gonzalez, and they don't appear to be in on the bidding on many of the other big starters on the trade block. And if you believe Kevin Goldstein from Baseball Prospectus -- and really, why wouldn't you? -- the reason why might reside in their minor league system:
"Talking to people who were involved in the Gio talks, even what Oakland got for Gio and knowing what some of the offers out there from teams that didn't get Gio were, all of them involved pretty nice prospect packages, but some aspect of that package was a player who was either big league ready or awfully close. That's something the Marlins don't necessarily have to throw around unless you find a team that's a big believer in Dominguez...They don't have that big prospect who's also close. They have to give you a lot of upside guys and the team getting that would have to be willing to take the risk on players like that. The further away you are from the big leagues, the more that can go wrong." (Goldstein, via Juan Rodriguez)
Goldstein has released his Top 11 Prospect list for the Marlins, and he ranks Christian Yelich as the Marlins' number one 'spect. No surprise there, as Yelich was a first round draft pick in 2010 and he excelled in Single-A ball last season.
The most interesting part of Goldstein's list is that he ranks third baseman Matt Dominguez at #6, and he seems somewhat skeptical of Dominguez's ability to hit in the majors. Dominguez is a defensive whiz, but his bat has never come around; he hit a paltry .244/.292/.333 in 17 games in the majors last season, and when demoted to Triple-A, his bat didn't come around.
The Marlins seem to be losing patience in Dominguez as well, and the Jose Reyes signing (and Hanley Ramirez's subsequent shift to third base) could block him. Unless he breaks out in 2012, Dominguez may find himself dangled as trade bait and shopped for pennies on the dollar.