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Marlins may look to deal third baseman Cabrera for prospects

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera was the big name being
bandied about Tuesday as baseball general managers waited to hear
what the Florida Marlins would want for their young slugger.

On a day when GMs voted to recommend the limited use of instant
replay, the action started to percolate on players.
Particularly third basemen.

Chicago White Sox general manager Ken Williams acknowledged he
was listening to offers for Joe Crede. The New York Yankees, who
lost Alex Rodriguez when he opted out of his contract and became a
free agent, could get involved in talks for both Cabrera and Crede.

Cabrera, a four-time All-Star, made $7.4 million this year after
winning in salary arbitration and is likely to make more than $10
million next year, more than the budget-conscious Marlins want to
pay. Two years ago, Florida traded many of its top players and got
several top prospects. Teams were waiting to find out which
prospects the Marlins would want for Cabrera, their 24-year-old
third baseman.

"We don't know yet. We'll probably know by tonight," said Hank
Steinbrenner, son of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. "My sense
is that it might be too much but we'll see. It's early."

Cabrera batted .320 with 34 homers and 119 RBIs, but he has put
on weight, a cause of concern to the Marlins and teams that might
want to acquire him.

Florida appears less eager to trade Dontrelle Willis, the 2003
NL Rookie of the Year Award winner. He went 10-15 with a 5.17 ERA last
season, diminishing his value. He made $6.5 million.

"Good players are always in need, that's for sure. I'm not
talking specifically about Cabrera or Willis or Dan Uggla or
[Hanley] Ramirez," Florida president of baseball operations Larry
Beinfest said, mentioning many top Marlins. "When you trade really
good players, you want really good players in return. You want
talent for talent."

Crede had back surgery, played in only 47 games and was
supplanted by rookie Josh Fields.

"We have two third basemen. There's interest across the league
in both of them," Williams said.

Right now, Yankees GM Brian Cashman's top third baseman is
Wilson Betemit, and he is seeking an upgrade.

"Our profile typically would involve power, but it might not
necessarily come from the available market," he said.

While the Yankees have top young pitchers such as Phil Hughes,
Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy, Cashman is reluctant to part with
them.

"I think our farm system has taken the right steps forward.
There's power in numbers," he said. "We'll soak up all the
information down here and then we'll take it back to New York and
kind of assess what the real potential market is for us."

While the Marlins explore the market for Cabrera, the Minnesota Twins want to hold onto pitcher Johan Santana, who is eligible for
free agency after next season.

"We'll certainly talk. We're going to do the best we can to
re-sign him," new GM Bill Smith said. "If we can't, then we'll
move on. He's still one of the best pitchers in the game."