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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Marlins Owner Jeff Loria Says Willis Trade Rumors Are Not True

Loria: No truth to trade rumors


Dontrelle Willis and Miguel Cabrera aren't going anywhere.

So said Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, who tersely dispelled growing speculation that the team might soon be looking to trade its two biggest stars.

''They are so unfounded as to be ridiculous,'' Loria said Friday of the rumors, which have surfaced in recent days on television and in print.

``We are not shopping players. We're rebuilding a team here.''

Loria, speaking just hours before Willis took the mound to face the Washington Nationals, said he doesn't normally comment on trade rumors. But he told The Miami Herald that he thought it was necessary to make an exception in this case, calling the rumors false and ``irresponsible.''

Willis, who finished second in the National League Cy Young Award voting last season after setting a franchise mark with 22 wins, is making $4.35 million, which represents more than a fourth of the team's majors-low on-field payroll of about $15 million.

Cabrera is making $472,000 but is expected to see a large pay increase next season when he becomes eligible for arbitration for the first time.


Scott Olsen was told toward the end of spring training to circle April 15 on his calendar.

With that day finally having arrived, the left-hander is anxious about joining the rotation and making his first start for the Marlins this season.

''The days have gone real slow,'' said Olsen, scheduled to take the mound tonight against the Nationals. ``I was working out up in Jupiter when the team left for Texas, everybody was gone pretty much, I was in a hotel room by myself, and I had nobody to talk to.''

Olsen is back among friends and teammates now and said his goal is to remain with the club all season.

''It's going to be a year to develop, and I think and hope I can remain up here and grow,'' the 22-year-old pitcher said.

Olsen made his major-league debut with the Marlins last season, receiving four starts and going 1-1. But less than a week after being sent back to Double A Carolina on July 22, Olsen was shut down for the rest of the season because of discomfort in his left elbow.

''I was only up [with the Marlins] for 29 days and everything happened real quick,'' he said. ``Now I've got a chance to soak it up a little bit, enjoy my time and work hard.''


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