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Elvis Dumervil. Not a bad player. He only led the NFL with 17 sacks last season. Thrived in conversion from 4-3 DE to 3-4 OLB. Would be a great pickup and only 26 yo. But as a RFA, will be unlikely to pry away from Denver.
It depends on the team. All those teams you mentioned were veteran teams with players getting older or coming back to earth after career seasons. Marlins are a very young with players just starting to develop. And only player on team who may have overachieved last year was Chris Coghlan. Can probably expect similar performances from Hanley and JJ. But several players can show improvement. Not all of them will. But if enough do, without much regression from rest of players this *COULD* be an improved team. Let me run through the names. 1) Ricky Nolasco. Had AWFUL start to season before settling in. If more consistent might add an extra 2-3 wins by himself. 2) Chris Volstadt. Big sophomore slump. Became homer prone after never showing that tendency in minors or rookie season. If rebounds to groundball machine ways, can be big improvement. 3) Cameron Maybin. Awful start to season, then spent most of year in minors. When came back looked like much improved player. If can play like that or even grow, can be big improvement all of the Jeremy Hermida games played. Defense definitely improved. 4) Dan Uggla. Showed good power and patience last season. But seemed to have a lot of bad luck considering his very low BABIP. If he gets back to normal levels on BABIP while keeping other metrics steady could be a monster year. 5) Gaby Sanchez\Logan This will be a new player from last year. Morrison. Not sure if will improve on Nick Johnson's production at end of year. But should have some more power. And should be HUGE upgrade over the 100+ games of Emilio Bonafacio starting. 6) Jorge Cantu. Had solid year, but wrist injury sapped away all the power he displayed year before. If healthy may see power resurgence 7) Andrew Miller\Sean West\ Anibal Sanchez. Not sure if will get improvement from these 3. But possible. Miller will have chance to refine new delivery. Sanchez hopefully will stay healthy. And Sean West has more experience. 8) Bullpen. May be the teams biggest wild card. Lidstrom is gone who wasn't very good. But so is Kiko Calero who was very good. A lot of young arms will be competing for spots here (Ryan Tucker is very promising), but will they be ready to contribute right away. Does Leo Nunez develop more consistency as full time closer? A lot of questions in this group and they may make-or-break the season. So lets not get too down on this team. Still has a lot of promise. Starting to see some cornerstones signed to long-term deals. And all the teams in our division have some weaknesses: 1) Phillies. Are great team but have big holes in bullpen. Ibanez and Moyer began to show age last year) 2) Braves. Pretty good staff, but lost Javier Vasquez who was great last year. And still need a couple more bats in lineup. 3) Mets. Don't have starting pitching after Santana who is coming off injury. After Beltran (injured for 1st month), Bay, Reyes, and Wright a lot of question marks in lineup. 4) Nationals. They are still the Nationals.
The lack of depth among the pitching prospects is probably one of biggest reason Marlin's may trade Dan Uggla and\or Jorge Cantu. While I'm sure Loria and Samson would love the cash money savings, they won't make a straight-up salary dump. Front office knows we don't have our usual pitching depth in minors and need to build it up. Last years draft tried to address that, but those players are a long way from MLB. We will need depth especially considering that Nolasco, Miller, and Sanchez are all on similar arbitration paths.
1) Cut JP and resign JT. 2) Cut G. Wilson and replace with Clemons or draftee 3) Cut Ayodele and sign Karlos Dansby 4) Sign new NT. Wilfork if not franchised (unlikely). Otherwise 1. Hapmton (PIT) 2. Pickett (GB) 3) A. Franklin (SF) 5) Draft R. McClain for MLB. If he is ready to start right away, can cut Crowder for cost savings or maybe consider moving Dansby to SOLB. After that can use draft to add more depth at OLB, DB, etc. But if get chance also need to look at some improvement on offense. Biggest are bigger threats at WR and\or TE. But could also use depth on OL and maybe a young RB to groom to replace Ricky (retiring after next year) and Ronnie (will become a FA and has been injury prone).
I agree wholeheartedly. Would like to see JP go and Dolphins put effort on bringing back JT. JT and Cameron Wake can share the WOLB spot. Can then look at either Charlie Anderson at SOLB or maybe sign someone like Karlos Dansby to take that spot. Really wish we still had Matt Roth.
How are reports on Marlin's AHL prospects. Will guys like Matthias, Repik, Ellerby ever be significant contributors? Anyone else worth keeping an eye on. I personally would like to see Panthers clear some of the lesser players like Kreps and let the kids give it a try. For a team that is never going to bust the bank on signing a big name FA, we need to find out what the younger guys are capable of.
I agree we could use a better closer. But really there is no free agent available who really is an upgrade on what we have. You want to sign Kevin Gregg? Maybe as year goes on we trade for a Heath Bell or some other teams closer. But for now, why not wait and see if someone steps up. Maybe Leo Nunez improves his command. Maybe Ryan Tucker comes back blazing. But the key to our bullpen is going to be our starting pitching. If you look back at last couple of seasons, our bullpen has actually started out really strong. Problem has been that too many 4-5 inning outings (or shorter) by our SP has worn out the pen by all-star break and they take an inevitable late season swoon due to overuse. If our SP's can get more consistent and deliver 6-7 IP each time out, we will see a big improvement in performance of pen.
Boni is just bad. Really needs to go back to minors and work on his hitting approach. Needs to learn patience and how to get on base. But even then, I have doubts on him ever being more than a utility player. Great speed. Can play every defensive position except 1B and C. But lacks on base skills. Maybin, I have much better expectations. Was even worse than Boni at start of season. But he went down to minors and seemed to refine his approach. Started striking out less and drawing more walks. Was a reduction in power but was compensated by higher OBP. When he came back up the approach seemed to stick. He may never be the star originally purported to become, but should be at least pretty good. And he is still young enough that maybe as he better commands the strike zone, can re-emerge with his power.
Don't be so negative. First of all the commissioner's office would never allow a trade that is a salary dump and the let the team shedding salary also ask for cash. Second, Marlins know that they need to sell tickets for 2012. Unlike now, they actually will be allowed to keep stadium revenues. That is an incentive to sell tix. Why may keep salary low leading in, if they trade Uggla, they will need to acquire some assets they believe will be able to contribute by 2012 if not sooner. I am actually quietly optimistic about the Marlins. Lineup is similar to last years. And that team actually did pretty well scoring runs. Without Boni batting every day and maybe some development by Maybin, this lineup might be even better. Key is development of young pitching. We know JJ is an ace. And if Nolasco avoids slow start of last year is solid at the #2 spot in rotation. Behind them young guys will need to develop. Good thing for Marlins there is A LOT OF TALENT. Problem is it is still very young and unproven. Chris Volstadt has potential to be another top of rotation starter. But after promising rookie year he had a sophomore slump where previous groundball machine became very homer prone. He never had any HR issues in minors or rookie year, so willing to trust is just an aberration as Volstadt learns to make adjustments. Sean West had a decent rookie year last season but still needs to improve. Anibal Sanchez has shown promise, but injuries have derailed a once promising career. Can he stay healthy and find the stuff that made him once very promising prospect. Andrew Miller probably has the most raw talent of any pitcher on the staff. But he seems to have issues staying focused throughout game and has battled command issues throughout young career. Hopefully changes in his delivery will sink in and help resolve these problems this season. The relief staff is also a mess, but team does have a lot of young candidates and only need a couple of them to really develop and join the likes of Nunez, Meyer and Sanches in the pen. But this is also where a trade of Uggla or Cantu may actually be BENEFICIAL to Marlins. Flexibility of someone like Chris Coghlan to play 3B and 2B as well as LF allows a lot of lineup flexibility. Trading one or both of these pitchers could help resolve pitching issues. This is especially true as Marlins organizational pitching depth in minors is not what it once was as they have focused on positional prospects for several drafts (Matt Dominguez, Logan Morrison, Chris Coghlan, Mike Stanton, Kyle Skipworth). Pendulum now needs to swing other way as team fills out pitching.
Marlin's will probably continue to investigate trading Uggla. But they are not giving him away. My guess: 1) Wait until trade deadline approaches or team has serious injury. With teams trying to build up with free agents instead of trades, this is going to be strategy to maximize Uggla's trade value. His numbers should also look better as he had a lot of bad luck last year looking at his ridiculously low BABIP 2) Look at Marlin's standings at deadline. If Marlin's are contending at deadline with Uggla being a big part, may be hard to trade him. As much as the Marlins want to save money., they don;t want to alienate all the fans they want to attend the new stadium. If contending any trade will need to include pieces that can contribute right away.
Nice to see they at least got most of players signed. The design of arbitration process can be very acrimonious between the player and team. Hopefully this years team can have some luck, no big injuries, and youth fulfilling its its potential (Coghlan, Maybin, Volstadt, etc).
Signing Uggla to 1-yr contract has *NO* impact on ability to trade him. Marlins could trade him today if they received an offer to their liking. My opinion on Uggla. He is *TODAY* one of the best 2B in baseball because of his power and run production. Over the next couple of seasons he could possibly be a key piece in helping us reach the post-season. That said, he is already over 30. His defense is not that good and could get worse rapidly with age. Player's of his skill profile have a tendency to age rapidly. While he should be good for at least a couple more seasons, can't really count for much more than that which would preclude Marlin's from offering a long-term contract. I would agree in that stance. If Uggla was 25, I would sign him to a 4-5 year contract. But at 30+, I do not make that long-term commitment. In ANY sport, you just don't make a habit of signing players to long-term contracts into their mid-30's. While there are exceptions, that type of behavior usually gets a team a player with declining skills and\or rising injuries while also tying up its financials. Not a good combination for long-term success. Taking the above into consideration. Marlin's should keep an open ear on trade offers. But don't give him away. If Marlins can maximize return by trading him now or at trade deadline they should do so. However if don't receive sufficient quality in return, the Marlin's should then continue to go year-to-year with Uggla and ultimately receive the compensation draft picks that will come when he becomes a free agent in 2 seasons.
Alan, I agree with your comment. Wish they would have done that early in Miguel Cabrera's career. But please tell me. With JJ and Hanley now signed, is there any Marlin on the roster who has similar potential to Braun\Longoria and deserves similar treatment? Uggla is too old and Coghlan does not have same upside. Maybe in a couple of years Mike Stanton will deserve that treatment, but he is still too raw and stuck in minors. Noone else in Marlins organization would I put in that context.
Kreps needs to go. Campbell showed some potential last year, bit BIG step back this year. Maybe injuries and chemistry issues with linemates changing so much. Can live with him a 4th-line C as he is cheap and will allow money to go after other players. Would like to see Matthias replace Kreps right away though. We need to figure out what we really have in him. That way we can figure out if we need to add in another C next season or dow we add scoring on wing and improve back line. Don't have money to address everything in free agency.
I agree in general with philosophy of Marlins being cautious with long-term deals. Only player they have traded away in recent memory I wish they extended was Miguel Cabrera who would look great at 1B. My biggest issue with Marlins though has been unwillingness to spend on short-term deals.They can raise the payroll with significant increases to risk. Every year there are always a few players who later in free agency are willing to take a 1-2 year offer to build up future free agency value. Players like Bobby Abreu, Orlando Hudson, Brad Penny, and Adam Dunn come to mind. Maybe even an injury risk like Ben Sheets or Erik Bedard. Players of this type can fill in holes on roster temporarily while younger replacements develop in minors. I do not have a problem if Marlins want to eventually trade a Dan Uggla or Jorge Cantu because they don't fit long-term plan for age or projection profile reasons (Uggla is over 30 and type of player who can age quickly). Just make sure you trade away these players for baseball value (prospects and other players) and not just payroll relief. As for what other players I would like to see extended. Only one I might consider immediately is Ricky Nolasco. But I would not go more than 3 years with him and at reasonable cost. Would give us a nice 1-2 punch for opening day in new stadium. Other players to watch as season progresses and may be worth investing long-term deals: Chris Volstadt: Has considerable upside of if can get rid of the sudden spike in homers allowed he had last season. His rookie and minor league #'s suggest he should not be homer prone. Probably just needs to get more consistent in his mechanics in keeping the ball down in strike zone. He is mot likely candidate for extension after the season. Andrew Miller: Still has great potential, but must pitch SIGNIFICANTLY better. Must find consistent mechanics in throwing strikes. Longshot for long-term deal. Chris Coghlan: Must prove rookie year was not a fluke as many analysts suggest. Is he all-star caliber player or just a solid one? If stays in LF does he develop more power? Only a 2nd year player so free agency still a way off making extension less likely. Not a superstar talent likely to lock early. Cameron Maybin: Still far away from service time to become free agent like Coghlan and did not have anywhere as good a season. But his raw tools allow for a lot more super star potential and also very young. If this is the year that everything clicks for him, could see extension in works as a building block for future. But would need to have a GREAT year for that to happen. Jorge Cantu: A pretty good but not great player. Defensively better at 1B given arm\throwing issues. Bat profiles better at 3B though. With Matt Dominguez and Logan Morrison so highly touted, doubt a long--term deal will be given. At best maybe a 2-yr contract after season to carry into first season of new stadium, but still leaving him tradeable if kids are ready to take over. Cody Ross: With Michael Stanton and some other OF prospects would say in same boat as Cantu. At most a 2-yr contract. But he has trade value that Marlins may cash in if young OF's are ready to play soon. At most a 2-yr deal as transitional player. More likely than Cantu as our OF prospects are more raw and less ready for majors. But then again OF is easier to fill in than 3B. Other talented players like Sean West or Anibal Sanchez are either too young or too injury prone to consider, especially as pitchers. Noone in bullpen is worth long-term deal. Can go year-to-year with any of them.
Nick Saban is #1 with a bullet and worth all 5 spots. Earns it for being a liar and the way he left Dolphins. Just a bad human being. Don't agree with comments about Wanstedt, Spielman and Cameron. They were all AWFUL with Dolphins. but they were all also honest good people. Never want to see them as coaches\GM down here again. But if just as fans I have no problem with them. Spike Lee and Fireman Ed should NEVER receive courtside\prime seats from the SFL teams. Those should be reserved for fans who will cheer on the SFL teams, not our most hated rivals. I would also say Allen Houston and Doug Flutie should be on the list just they way they tortured ours teams.
While I and many other fans would love to see Marlins spend more money: 1) Marlins have consistently been better than most teams each of the past several seasons. 2) Been in playoff races into September. Part of the basic agreement is about putting together a quality product. Could Marlins be better, of course. But have they been a quality baseball product the answer has to be undeniably yes. Look at teams like KC, Pittsburgh, Baltimore. Last season the Marlins outperformed high payroll teams like Cubs and Mets. Marlins have already given Hanley a long-term contract. Trying same with Josh Johnson, though arguing over years. Some might say to give whatever years he wants, but Marlins would not be first team to limit length on pitching contract due to injury risks. I would much prefer the Marlins approach that some other teams who overpay aging stars or mediocre players like Barry Zito, Carlos Silva, Jose Guillen, Derek Bell, etc and then have that player's contract become an albatross on the organization. While Marlins may be moving into a new stadium, they will never be in financial stratosphere of the Yankees, Mets or Red Sox. They can't afford to cover up mistakes with more money. Even with new ballpark, majority of money should be spent on scouting and player development. Would really hope to see growth in Marlins international development that brought us likes of Miguel Cabrera, Luis Castillo, Edgar Renteria, and Livan Hernandez. Lately that well seems to have gone dry for us. Marlins should then identify a core of young players to build around while trading others for assets when next in line is ready or player is at peak value. Hanley is a building block. JJ should be one if can get the extension. I would be willing to give the extra 4th year. Maybe even a vesting option on 5th dependent on his durability. After those two is a little murkier. Nolasco is close to establishing himself as solid one as long as contract reasonable. Probably would not give him the extra years though. Volstadt may be if can get rid of HR's that plagued him last season and back to GB ratio he displayed hiw rookie year and in minors. Coghlan may be one. May never be an all-star. But he is kind of gritty, hard-working player good to have around, especially with ability to get on base. Though his bat would play A LOT better at 2B. Maybe even 3B. Lets see if continues to get on base as well in year 2 and if he develops at least some modest power. Need to be sure that his strong 2nd half wasn't just a hot streak. Wasn't that long ago Hermida had a torrid 2nd half leading to all-star expectations. Maybin might still develop into one. Has all the tools. Lets see how his skills developed. Can he cut down strikeouts. Still a very young player. Unlikely on Miller and Sanchez. Miller hasn't shown consistency and Sanchez the durability. Though still young enough to change minds. Sean West *MAY * have some potential. But needs a lot more work to decide. At least one more season of data if not 2. But guys like Uggla and Cantu I have no problem trading them as soon as right package presents itself. Uggla is a good player now, but already 30. To sign him to a 5 yr contract will hurt a lot at end of contract as age catches up. Cantu is a couple of years younger at 28, but his arm won;t hold up long-term at 3B and we have prospects at 1B that project better. And if you look at his on-base skills, he really is not that special of a player. Cody Ross has value with solid power and his defensive versatility (probably strongest asset). But really struggles in OBP. Nice player but not irreplaceable. Rest of team I think we can be unanimous that nothing special. Definitely not worth long-term contracts. So why not trade them when value is available and let the likes of Gaby Sanchez, Logan Morrison and Michael Stanton try to show their worth. When looking at all the financial decisions the Marlins have made on letting go players, really only mistake was Miguel Cabrera (though his drinking issues do present some problems). We got Hanley in Beckett trade which would look better if Sanchez stayed healthy. Castillo's legs were shot when we traded him. Delgado has been OK but fading last few years. And Dontrelle hasn't thrown a strike since he left town. Would have been great to keep Pudge after the World Series, but no team came even close to contract that Tigers gave him in years or annual salary. And the last couple of years he no longer had any power and was vastly overpaid. So overall I don't ave problem with Marlin's approach. There are VERY FEW players in free agency who deserve long-term deals. Most starting pitchers get ridiculous long-term deals just because they threw 200+ IP, ignoring fact those inning were mediocre to point that could rotate several rookies in through at similar production. What I would like to see Marlins do with extra money in future. 1) Expand international scouting. Continue to feed player development. 2) Don't let any of superstars get away. at least with initial contract. Did good job with Hanley. Poor one with Cabrera. Lets see what happens with JJ. 3) Extend the younger players that are productive with reasonable short-to-mid-length deals. Picthers at 2-3 years at time. Position players up to 4 years. This obviously varies with quality of production, and what on farm is readily available in replacement. 4) Use free agency more to fill in some short-term holes. Don;t spend big money on long-term contracts unless player is young with significant upside. Though those may be hard to get with bidding from other higher revenue clubs. Rather find solid guys later in free agency who are willing to sign 1-2 years at a good base salary. Guys like Beltre this year or Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu last season with Nats. Guys like this can give solid production to improve team with short contracts limiting the risk. They buy time for farm system to not rush younger players and instead develop them until ready while keeping team competitive. Marlins did that once with Pudge, but haven't really done it since. Wish they would have put some more money aside to keep Ross Gload this season. Him and Wes Helms were a great PH combo off bench last year. Also good professional examples for younger players to emulate as they develop.
Romeo, Al Groh, Mike Zimmer. Heard rumors on all 3 and would be happy with any of them. My favorite of the 3 is Al Groh as I believe he really knows how to get most out of his linebackers. Also has the most extensive history with Tuna.
Teams don't always plan on prospects, but they frequently do contribute. Ellsbury and Pedroia were big contributors as rookies to winning Red Sox teams. When Angels won their World Series K-Rod was a rookie. Same with Jenks for White Sox. Marlins won with both Willis and Cabrera as rookies. You'd rather not depend on them, but until Marlins move into new stadium, budget constraints will make it such. And way team is today, only need a rookie at 1B (Sanchez or Morrison) and relief (not big jump for rookies to help in bullpen). If Uggla or Cantu is traded that will add an extra lineup spot for help. Maybe it's Bonafacio or maybe a rookie or some other unsigned veteran who can be had cheap. But what will really help this team next season is rotation just growing up and becoming more consistent. JJ continues to be excellent. Nolasco avoids slow start. Volstadt pitches like he did as a rookie instead of his homer-prone sophomore slump. And contributions from 2 out of Andrew Miller, Anibal Sanchez and Sean West. If rotation pitches to its potential. everything else will fall into place. Last couple of seasons our bullpen has started of strongly only to fade as year went on. I would suggest overuse has been a big culprit. More consistent 6-7 IP out of starters would alleviate that burden.
Arroyo works well with Wade on court (but really hasn't been that good except for low turnovers). Chalmers has been better without Wade as he gets more aggressive. Plus while Chalmers can struggle with quicker PG's, is still a much better defensive player than Arroyo and creates transition baskets with his steals. With lack of scorers on 2nd unit it is very useful. Also look back at earlier in year. As 2nd unit PG, Arroyo did nothing and even disappeared from rotation for ineffective play. It is just a matter of fit in personnel groups. Playing Chalmers ahead of Arroyo is BOTH better for *NOW* and future.
People forget biggest important expense beyond payroll that is just as important (if not more so): PLAYER DEVELOPMENT. This includes scouts, minor-league coaches and instructors, minor-league salaries, and international baseball academies, and bonuses paid in signing amateur players (draft and international free agents). For small-market teams, this expense is probably the more worthwhile investment. Doesn't make sense paying $8-$10 for back of rotation starter like bigger teams do, so Even when our payroll reaches the $70-$90 mil (if it does) range will need to still add in a lot of cheap talent from development to supplement whatever star players we develop and re-sign.
Alex, these players may not end up being good but maybe they get lucky on one of them clicking. But even if they remain exactly what the numbers say they still serve a role. WORST case. They fill spots on minor league rosters that allow younger and more valuable prospects to remain at appropriate levels instead of rushing them through system too quickly. BEST CASE: Find a utility role for Marlins. Barden and Murphy are capable of being utility infielders and play all over diamond. If Marlins are unable to bring Amezaga back, they will be in need of someone to fill that role. Bonafacio is capable of that role, but if he is not starting, Marlins probably are best served of sending him to minors to refine his hitting. They also have Andy Gonzalez, but he is not good enough that you don;t at least bring in some competition for spot. Peterson and Strickland are the kind of projects that Marlins have brought in past and found success in the bullpen. Each of the last 5 years there has been a pitcher the Marlins originally signed to minor league contract that surprised and became a valuable member of bullpen. Usually lasts only 1 year as they sign a bigger money major league deal elsewhere, but Marlins at least got some cheap quality innings first. List includes Kiko Calero, Joe Borowoski, Todd Jones, Brian Sanches, Dough Waechter, etc. These guys may not make that list, but lets give them a chance to earn a bullpen spot. History suggests Marlins will find at least one sleeper there.
Gload is a good *PINCH HITTER* with only occasional starts. He has VERY LITTLE power (career SLG of .408 and last year at .400). For someone who plays the corner spots that is not acceptable as starter. While he may be good defensively at 1B his main value is versatility off bench (1B, LF, RF) making him ideal candidate for double-switches late in game. He also is patient at plate waiting for his pitch providing quality at bats late in game. I will miss him as he and Helms were a great L\R pinch hitting combination, Marlins and small-market teams don't have luxury of spending big money on bench players. As for the proposed Johnson trade. I talk to JJ's agent again on long-term, deal. If not, I would strongly consider the Ranger's deal, trying to squeeze out another b-level pitching prospect thrown in or maybe expand to include Lidstrom for bigger package. Feliz and Smoak are two of the best prospects in all of MLB. Probably in top 10. Feliz is ML-ready showing ability to get ML-hitters out in relief role last season. Should be ready to move into rotation. Could be as good or better that JJ with more control and lower cost. Smoak is the top 1B prospect in all of baseball. Should be ready by mid--season if not sooner. Another Texeira with sweet stroke switch-hitting, power and patience. Also a plus defender. Logan Morrison is athletic enough to move to LF (letting Coghlan move to 2B where his bat plays better). Michael Stanton can play RF when he is ready (and Ross gets more expensive). Losing JJ may hurt this year. but team would be setup to be great for several years after. Would have a more complete team for year we move into the new stadium. And if Feliz is as good as reports, it may not be that much of step down from JJ, especially if get expected improvements from likes of Nolasco, Volstadt, West, and Sanchez.
Wade and LeBron I believe would compliment each other very well. Both are *EXCELLENT* passers. And while great scorers are very un-selfish an willing to let teammates they have confidence in take big shots. And with both those guys on court together it makes double-teaming either player much more difficult, especially if another scorer like Beasley is on court. Only thing that team would really need is a big enforcer at C to protect the paint. Offensive ability would be optional given the firepower from rest of lineup.
One more thing on my comment. The questions on Miller are still a BIG question mark. I am not saying the above is likely, just possible. And for Marlins, it makes sense to take that chance and develop more depth in rotation. Its not like they have budget to go out and sign a replacement. Maybe they get lucky and add a very good stating pitcher or at least increase his trade value.