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Marlins may not be finished making moves

Marlins may not be finished making moves

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Marlins may not be finished making moves
MIAMI -- Completing two major trades in three days begs the question -- are the Marlins done dealing?

The simple answer is, it depends on whether anything else enticing arises before Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"We're not going to do something just to do something," Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. "If it makes sense, yes. If we need to match up, these things can come together relatively quickly."

Without question, the Marlins have moved at a rapid pace this week.

On Wednesday, Miami dealt Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate to the Dodgers for Nathan Eovaldi and Scott McGough. Eovaldi, a right-hander, will move into the rotation and make his Marlins debut on Saturday against the Padres.

Parting with Ramirez comes two days after the Marlins shipped Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante to the Tigers for three prospects, including Jacob Turner. One of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, Turner is scheduled to start on Saturday for Triple-A New Orleans.

"With the Tigers and Dodgers, it just matched up," Beinfest said.

Who could be next?

Teams have shown interest in Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco, but there are strong indications Miami plans to keep the two starters, as well as Mark Buehrle. All three are under contract in 2013.

Carlos Lee, a free agent after the season, was acquired from the Astros on July 4. There is a chance he could be dealt if the right offer came along.

With Ramirez gone, Jose Reyes is expected to be more of a focal point on the team.

As an organization, the Marlins understand the fan base should have questions.

"I think they should be wondering," Beinfest said. "I think they should be disappointed with how the team has played and where we are in the standings. I don't know.

"Whether something else happens... It's the same answer I gave you on Monday night. We'll see. We have six days to go to the Trade Deadline. We have to do our job. If it means there are going to be additional moves, there will be additional moves."

The season started with such promise for the Marlins, who made a big offseason splash by signing Reyes, Buehrle and Heath Bell. The team moved into retractable-roof Marlins Park, and it has received plenty of attention.

Clearly, the team has underperformed, but will management pull the plug on the season too quickly? Beinfest said there weren't enough indicators to suggest a storybook turnaround was in the making.

"If you take a body of games, let's say 10 games, and what's going on here in those 10 games on the positive side, that shows us this team is going to make a run," Beinfest said. "If we fortify in the right areas, we're going to take off. We just didn't see it. We don't see it in the future. We were waiting for it to click.

"Whether this team was going to catch fire or not, it still may. We still have some really good pitching and good talent on this team. We expect it to be good."

The two trades this week add a couple of starting pitchers who project to be with the organization for years to come.

Emilio Bonifacio is filling in at second base, and Justin Ruggiano is getting time in center field, but trading Ramirez leaves a gap at third base and in the middle of the order.

Donovan Solano will see time at third base, and the team is calling up Donnie Murphy from Triple-A. Greg Dobbs could play some at third, but he is best suited to come off the bench.

"I'm not going to tell you third base is not going to be a focus between now and next April ... I think it will be," Beinfest said. "I think it should be. We're going to give some other guys a shot and a look. We're going to have to look at some other avenues to fortify the lineup."

The lineup should get a boost in August when Giancarlo Stanton returns from right knee surgery. And the team does have speed in Reyes and Bonifacio.

"We need guys to pick it up," Beinfest said. "We still have that speed dynamic. We need some power in the middle of the lineup. We're going to have to look at it.

"We probably have some additional work to do. Whether that happens in the next six days, who knows? But between now and next April, yeah, we have to look at the middle of the lineup and third base, and see how we're going to move ahead."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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