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Chapman, Uggla & the Bullpen

Internally, the Marlins have all but conceded defeat in the bidding battle for Cuban pitcher Aroldis Chapman. That doesn't mean they've ruled out altogether the possibility of signing the young hurler. But the belief is he'll likely end up elsewhere.

  There's little to no activity on the Dan Uggla trade front, increasing the chances he'll still be with the club in spring training, if not opening day. But I'm hearing that even if they're unsuccessful in moving Uggla, they have no intention of dealing Jorge Cantu to save money. The Marlins value Cantu for his quiet leadership in the clubhouse and as a cleanup hitter behind Hanley Ramirez.

  The downside is that if the Marlins do start the season with Uggla, Cantu AND outfielder Cody Ross -- who is also eligible for a big raise through arbitration -- they'll likely look internally for inexpensive bullpen help rather than scour the free agent market for pricier relief arms.

   Then again, a lot can change between now and April.

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