The price is so prohibitive and includes multiple top-tier prospects -- the kind of young players that are hardly ever traded anymore -- that executives believe the Marlins will have to drop their price significantly to deal Cabrera. Because the requests have been jaw-dropping, teams say they don't see anything happening until the winter meetings next month.
For Cabrera, 24, the Marlins are requesting a package of four top young players, according to industry sources, and prime names that interest them are believed to include pitchers Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes from the New York Yankees, outfielder Jacoby Ellbsury and pitcher Clay Buchholz from the Boston Red Sox, pitching prospect Clayton Kershaw from the Los Angeles Dodgers, and second baseman Howie Kendrick and pitching prospect Nick Adenhart from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Specifically from the Yankees, it is believed the Marlins seek either Chamberlain or Hughes, plus outfielder Melky Cabrera, outfield prospect Jose Tabata and a fourth prospect. Meanwhile, the Yankees are telling people they would not consider parting with their two best pitching prospects in a deal for anyone other than Minnesota Twins ace Johan Santana.
The Dodgers and Angels are considered the biggest players in the Cabrera derby, not only because both teams could upgrade at third base but because they have the types of prospects Florida covets. In addition to Kershaw, the Marlins would have interest in several Dodgers players, including third baseman Andy La Roche, first baseman James Loney, outfielder Matt Kemp and pitcher Chad Billinsgley. Angels players thought to be targeted, beyond Kendrick and Adenhart, would be third-base prospect Brandon Wood and/or first baseman Casey Kotchman.
Complicating matters, the Dodgers, Angels and Red Sox are also seen as players in the Alex Rodriguez sweepstakes. Although, some of the teams interested in Cabrera, who hit .320 with 34 home runs and 119 RBIs, are believed to view him as more a first baseman than a third baseman. The Red Sox and Angels could be two such teams.
The Angels have refused to part with their prospects in many deals over the past few years, but a change at general manager, from Bill Stoneman to Tony Reagins, could lead to a change in tactics.