Rosenthal On Papelbon, Yankees, Fielder, Pujols

A Marlins shakeup is looming and the focus is on the team's minor league system, says Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports in this week's edition of Full Count.  Jim Fleming, the vice president of player development and scouting, has informed his staff that he will be reassigned.  The club's revenues will grow once they move into their new stadium but they still need to do a better job of producing homegrown talent.  Let's take a look at some more highlights from Full Count..

  • The Red Sox are reluctant to give lucrative long-term contracts to closers, but with Jonathan Papelbon they might not be able to resist.  Papelbon will want an increase from his $12MM salary, perhaps something closer to Mariano Rivera's $15MM average yearly pay.  It's possible that no team will want to go there but Rivera has just one year left on his deal and Rafael Soriano hardly looks like the heir to Mo's throne.  Rosenthal wonders aloud if the Yankees would jump in and offer Papelbon a backloaded deal to take over as closer.
  • The Rangers would seem to be an obvious suitor for Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols, especially in light of Mitch Moreland's recent struggles.  Texas will have to spend on pitching if they lose C.J. Wilson in free agency and they might prefer to keep both their payroll and roster flexible.  Josh Hamilton is only one year away from free agency and Ian Kinsler is only two years away. 
  • The sale of the Astros to Jim Crane is not yet official and some in baseball believe that he will not be approved as owner.  Others, however, view a deal as inevitable.  Current owner Drayton McLane wants out and Crane is offering a fair price for the club.  Perhaps most importantly, there does not appear to be any other bidders.  McLane has been loyal to the commissioner's office and he will want to see that loyalty reciprocated.