If the Marlins do want to trade Dan Uggla, why don't they go for a guy like Adrian Gonzalez? He brings the veteran lefty power at first base that we lose with Nick Johnson becoming a free agent. An Uggla-Gonzalez trade is pretty fair and helps both teams a lot.
-- Luis D., Miami

If the Padres do decide to trade Gonzalez, they'd likely look for more in return for a Gold Glove-winning first baseman. Plus, Uggla is expected to make more money in 2009 than Gonzalez, so San Diego would probably balk at that from a financial standpoint. Gonzalez is signed for $4.75 million in '10, and there is a club option of $5.5 million in '11. Uggla could make about $7 million in arbitration next year.

Gonzalez, obviously, would be a big chip for the Padres to move to bring in prospects to help improve the team in the future. I don't see the Marlins parting with their top prospects for Gonzalez. Florida may decide to bring back Jorge Cantu, who plays first base or third base. And Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison are getting closer to being ready for the big leagues.

I see a lot of names being tossed around as far as being a veteran pitcher the Marlins could sign. Here is one I would like to suggest -- Brett Myers. He had a real attitude change last year, and he became a gamer who is willing to pitch as a starter or out of the bullpen. His World Series experience would be a plus. Why don't the Marlins commit to one solid veteran pitcher instead of always adding someone at the end of their career, or someone coming off a surgery or an injury?
-- Melinda R., Fleming Island, Fla.

If healthy, Myers could be a terrific option. Then again, a healthy Myers would likely attract interest from a number of clubs. I agree with you that Myers would be a nice addition to a young pitching staff. He knows what it takes to be a winner, and he's shown he can perform in big games.

The reason the Marlins tend to go after those either at the end of their careers or coming off injuries is a function of dollars. The established names draw interest from teams willing and able to spend more. That's why Florida has to be more thrifty with its allocation.

Also, the Marlins have a number of homegrown pitchers they want to see emerge. So they often get a shot.

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Question:

When the new ballpark opens in 2012, do you think the Marlins would consider wearing retro teal jerseys for Sunday games like the Brewers wear throwback jerseys?
-- Alex C., Winter Park, Fla.

An interesting thought. The team can review this question and make its own decision. Personally, I don't think it will happen. The 2003 season was the first year the organization really downplayed the use of teal in its uniforms. I don't see any indication that the club would consider bringing the old uniforms back, but you never know about marketing plans.

My first reaction, though, remains that you shouldn't look for teal to return. Also, when the club gets into the new building, the team will unveil a revised uniform, which also makes me think it wouldn't have a retro teal day. The 2012 season is also when the name will change to the Miami Marlins.

Do you see the Marlins getting some top-notch, cheap starting pitchers in a trade or free agency? I believe that if they had good pitching in 2009, they would've been a playoff team for sure. Also, would the Marlins possibly be in line for a cheap speedster or power bat (and dumping less productive players, like Uggla)? To me, that spells playoffs.
-- Ryan S., Miami

First off, I don't know how you can say someone like Uggla, who gives you 30 homers and 90 RBIs, is not a productive player. That kind of production ranks near the top for any player at his position. Obviously, the team would love to find more players like when Uggla was a rookie, meaning low service-time players who perform beyond their contract.

When you are talking about free agency, you're not going to find "top-notch" starting pitching at a cheap price. If you want someone established like John Lackey, it's going to cost you. If you stumble across someone who outperforms his contract, then, of course, that would be a nice bargain.

In recent years, the Marlins have shown they can find those types of pitchers to boost their bullpen. Kiko Calero made $500,000, and he had a big 2009. To find a free-agent starter on the cheap to come up big is a little more difficult. It would be easier to trade for a young pitcher who hasn't reached arbitration yet to find a better starting bargain.

After the 2005 season, remember, Florida acquired Ricky Nolasco, Sergio Mitre and Renyel Pinto for Juan Pierre. It's that kind of move that will bring you more cost-friendly starting pitching.