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Marlins Continue Roster Purge At Winter Meetings

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins are making some noise at baseball's winter meetings this week, but it's not by signing any big name free agent. Instead, the Marlins are trying to get rid of Yunel Escobar and trying to figure out what to do with Ricky Nolasco, who wants out of the troubled franchise.

The Marlins are in late stage talks with two teams looking to acquire Escobar, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.'s Jayson Stark said four teams are interested in Escobar: the Tampa Bay Rays, Oakland A's, New York Yankees, and Chicago Cubs.

Escobar had been expected to take over the third base position after the team's massive 12 player deal dismantled the franchise last month. Escobar is infamous for writing a homophobic slur on his eye black during a game last year.

Nolasco's agent told the Herald and team officials that he wants out of Miami. Nolasco is the only player left on the Marlins roster making more than $10 million this season. According to the Herald, Nolasco has not made a formal request to be traded.

The Marlins own the rights to Nolasco through the end of next season and have said they have no plans on trading him during the winter meetings. However, with Nolasco only having one year left on his contract; he would likely be a big tradable commodity at next year's trade deadline.

By that time in 2013, the Marlins are likely to be completely out of the pennant race and will be looking to unload any tradable assets the team has left.

Interestingly, combined, Nolasco and Escobar make up $16 million of the Marlins' roster costs, which is roughly half, according to the Herald. If the Marlins don't begin to make major investments in the roster, the team will likely face sanctions from Major League Baseball and Players Association again.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The MIAMI HERALD contributed to this report.)

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