Greg Dobbs Rumors
The Marlins appear to be exploring trade options for players besides Logan Morrison as the third day of the Winter Meetings gets underway in Orlando. A source tells Joe Frisaro of MLB.com (Twitter link) that the Fish are listening to offers for Justin Ruggiano, while MLB.com's Mark Bowman (Twitter link) hears that the club may soon move Greg Dobbs.
Ruggiano, 31, recorded an impressive .313/.374/.535 slash line in 320 plate appearances in 2012, but slipped to a more pedestrian .222/.298/.396 in an expanded role in 2013. He'll be arbitration eligible for the first time this winter. Dobbs' production was also on the decline this past season, as his .603 OPS was about 100 points lower than his rate over previous two seasons with the Marlins. Bowman suggests that the veteran utilityman may be a fit for the Braves.
10:18pm: Not only did Loria negotiate Dobbs' contract himself, Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and general manager Michael Hill didn't even know the deal was being struck, Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Rodriguez thinks this just adds to the speculation that Beinfest and Hill (and possibly team president David Samson) will be fired.
9:04am: The Marlins are re-signing infielder/pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs for the 2014 season, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Dobbs, a client of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, is currently wrapping up a two-year, $3MM deal with the Fish. According to Jackson, Dobbs said a deal was struck between his agent and owner Jeffrey Loria.
The 35-year-old Dobbs batted .229/.305/.301 with a pair of homers in 226 plate appearances for the FIsh this season. He's spent the past three seasons with Miami, posting an overall batting line of .267/.310/.366. Capable of playing both corner infield and corner outfield positions, Dobbs appeared almost exclusively at first base when he took the field this season, totaling 423 innings at the position but also making a brief, five-inning appearance in right field. Ultimate Zone Rating and The Fielding Bible both graded his first base defense as a positive.
A ten-year Major league veteran, Dobbs has also spent three seasons with the Mariners and four seasons with the Phillies.
The Marlins have improved greatly over the course of the season, as evidenced by their 22-17 record since May 31. MLB.com's Joe Frisaro writes that the team attributes the success to a young core coming together and isn't likely to sell significant pieces to jeopardize that core.
According to Frisaro, Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn are all considered building blocks and are likely to stay put with the Fish. All of that could change if the Marlins are overwhelmed by a team willing to overpay, but even a package for Cishek would have to start with a team's No. 1 prospect, according to Frisaro. As it stands, the 27-year-old closer is not available.
Ryan Webb and Chad Qualls may still be dealt, as could position players Placido Polanco, Greg Dobbs and Justin Ruggiano. That quintet of veterans has less team control than the untouchables listed by Frisaro, and those players likely aren't seen as core members of the team going forward. It's likely that the Marlins' biggest July trade has already occurred in the form of the Ricky Nolasco trade. The Marlins, according to Frisaro, may be more active on the August waiver trade front than before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
While a deal sounds unlikely, the team has still received plenty of hits on Stanton as well as its many bullpen arms. Ruggiano has also drawn some interest from teams like the Rangers and Yankees, although he's another player the team isn't in a rush to trade.
Ricky Nolasco shared some emotional goodbyes with his Marlins teammates on Sunday morning, the right-hander told Andre C. Fernandez of the Miami Herald, but he is excited about going home to southern California and pitching for the Dodgers. The Marlins figure to have more moves up their sleeves before the trade deadline so here's the latest out of the Sunshine State...
- The Marlins are confident they will be able to sign first round draft pick Colin Moran, though they're not sure about third-rounder Ben Deluzio, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. The Marlins have offered both players contracts that match the assigned slot prices of the sixth (approximately $3.516MM) and 80th ($681.7K) overall picks. While Moran is coming out of UNC, Deluzio is a high schooler who "is reportedly leaning toward attending Florida State."
- Also from Spencer, he thinks pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs and relievers Chad Qualls and Ryan Webb could all be dealt before the trade deadline. The two right-handers have already drawn interest from reliever-needy teams.
- We heard earlier today that the Yankees, Rangers and other teams had checked in on Justin Ruggiano but the Marlins aren't particularly interested in dealing the outfielder, Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Moving Ruggiano could create a depth problem in the outfield given Chris Coghlan's injury status, Christian Yelich's relative under-performance in Double-A and the team's desire to keep Jake Marisnick off the 40-man roster this season.
- The Nolasco trade seemed to be primarily about dumping salary in 2013 rather than building for the future for the Marlins, Fangraphs' David Cameron opines. Cameron wonders if situations like this could lead the MLB Players Association to seek some type of "salary floor" in the next collective bargaining agreement.
Here's the latest from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, via his Full Count video...
- The Dodgers did not try to acquire Zack Greinke before the trade deadline, but expect them to pursue him as a free agent this winter. They won't shy away from the best starter available despite concerns about his ability to pitch in a big market.
- The Brewers spent roughly $180MM less on Aramis Ramirez than the Tigers spent on Prince Fielder, but Ramirez has provided similar production. The 34-year-old is hitting .299/.363/.536 with 25 homers and an NL-best 47 doubles.
- Few in baseball will be surprised if changes are made to the Pirates front office given the club's second half slide and recent reports of Navy SEALS type training for their top prospects.
- The Braves tried to acquire Greg Dobbs at the deadline, but the Marlins declined because they felt his presence was too important to the clubhouse. That was after the Hanley Ramirez trade, suggesting that other clubhouse issues exist.
The Marlins have agreed to sign utility player Greg Dobbs to a two-year deal, the team announced. The deal is worth $3MM ($1.5MM per season), tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Beverly Hills Sports Council represents Dobbs, who had become a priority for the Marlins by last week.
Dobbs posted a .275/.311/.389 line in 439 plate appearances for the Marlins last year, playing all four corner positions. The 33-year-old has generally been a bench player in eight MLB seasons and owns a .259/.316/.430 in 316 career plate appearances as a pinch hitter. Dobbs, a left-handed hitter, has had more success against right-handers (.725 OPS) than left-handers (.556 OPS) in his career and his managers have sheltered him from southpaws (118 career plate appearances vs. LHP).
Dobbs signed a minor league deal with the Marlins before the 2011 season. He obtained a two-year offer from the team in September, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald first reported the deal (on Twitter).
The Marlins' immediate priority is to re-sign utility player Greg Dobbs, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. He says the team hopes to finalize a deal soon. The Nationals had also been in the mix for Dobbs, but Frisaro's colleague Bill Ladson tweeted four days ago they were unlikely to sign him.
Dobbs, 33, hit .275/.311/.389 in a career-high 439 plate appearances for the Marlins this year. He logged 755 innings at third base, also pitching in at first base and the outfield corners. A left-handed hitter, Dobbs has struggled against southpaws in his career. As a pinch-hitter, he has a career line of .259/.316/.430 in 316 plate appearances. The Marlins offered Dobbs a two-year deal in late September, writes Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.
Frisaro also notes that the Marlins are not expected to sign any more big-ticket free agents, but they're exploring the trade market for frontline starters. He says the Marlins aren't seeking competition for the back end of the rotation, though Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald wrote recently that they're casting a wide net.
On this date in 1994, the owners implemented a salary cap and revenue sharing as the players were on strike. Those provisions were never put in place though, as the judge who ended the labor dispute ruled that the next two seasons must be played under the previously existing labor conditions. We do have revenue sharing nowadays, but a salary cap isn't going to happen anytime soon. Here's the latest from around the league...
- The Nationals are now focused on improving their bench, but MLB.com's Bill Ladson says (on Twitter) that it seems as though they are unlikely to sign Greg Dobbs. Washington expressed interest in Dobbs last week.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com listed (on Twitter) the Rockies, Marlins, Tigers, Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, and Blue Jays as clubs looking to add a starting pitcher. Earlier today we heard that both the Yankees and Red Sox are pursuing Hiroki Kuroda.
- Even after signing John Danks to an extension, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports that the White Sox could look to trade Gavin Floyd this offseason. The Red Sox expressed interest in the righty during the winter meetings. Floyd will make $7MM in 2012, then a $9.5MM club option for 2013 comes into play.
- In an Insider-only column, ESPN's Keith Law calls the Sean Marshall trade a win for the Cubs. "The Reds, meanwhile, continue what I can only assume is a rapid emptying of their farm system to try to win again in the two years before Joey Votto reaches free agency," he added.
- With several Japanese players slated to join MLB next season, Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker takes a look at the players who will replace them on their former club in Japan.
A few notes to pass along as Tuesday becomes Wednesday ...
- The Red Sox haven't ruled out signing Roy Oswalt, tweets Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, although sources say the right-hander is not a priority for them. Earlier today we heard that interest in Oswalt has spiked significantly since he's been telling teams he's willing to sign for a one-year deal.
- It seemed inevitable that Yankees would re-sign Andruw Jones earlier this offseason, but Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports the camps have not made much progress and that the outfielder is garnering interest from other teams, including the Red Sox.
- The Nationals are among the final three suitors for free agent pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs, a source tells Bill Ladson of MLB.com, who adds that the Marlins are reported to be in the mix, as well.
- Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer told reporters, including Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities radio, that he and the Twins never had discussions about re-signing once they reached agreement with Josh Willingham (Twitter link).
- The Braves thought they may have been close to trading Jair Jurrjens to the Reds last weekend until Cincinnati instead acquired Mat Latos from the Padres, writes MLB.com's Mark Bowman in a mailbag.
- In an interesting thinkpiece at Baseball Prospectus, Ben Lindbergh examines why it's becoming increasingly difficult for a GM to stand out from his peers.
MLB announced that baseball’s 30 owners unanimously approved the five-year collective bargaining agreement with the MLB Players Association today. Here are some other notes from around MLB...
- The Marlins remain in the mix to sign Greg Dobbs, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. The Nationals are also interested in the free agent utility player.
- The Mets remain in regular contact with free agent shortstop Jack Wilson, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
- Though the Indians never made Josh Willingham a former proposal, they indicated that they were willing to offer a two-year deal in the $15MM range, according to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian (Twitter links). Willingham has agreed to terms with the Twins, but GM Chris Antonetti says the Indians are still considering external options.
- A scout tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that just about every team in baseball saw free agent right-hander Joel Zumaya throw in Houston yesterday (Twitter link).
- Japanese shortstop Munenori Kawasaki is in Seattle and may sign a minor league deal with the Mariners in the relatively near future, according to Larry Stone of the Seattle Times (Twitter links). The deal may not be finalized until after the holidays, but he will sign with Seattle, Stone reports.