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Jeff Conine Rumors
7:59pm: Conine will not, in fact, be the Marlins’ next manager, a front office source now tells Nightengale (via Twitter).
7:19pm: Jeff Conine “appears to be” the Marlins’ choice to replace Mike Redmond as manager, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets. In a later tweet, Nightengale cautions that Conine’s choice is not official and that the “mystery continues” until the Marlins confirm his hiring. Conine currently works as a special assistant to Marlins president David Samson.
The Marlins are expected to formally announce their new manager tomorrow at 10am Central. Brett Butler, Bo Porter, Wally Backman and others had been connected to the job.
Conine played parts of 17 seasons with the Royals, Marlins, Orioles, Phillies, Reds and Mets and spent a big chunk of his career in Baltimore, but he’s best known for his play during the early years of the Florida franchise, which earned him the nickname “Mr. Marlin.” The Marlins picked him in the 1992 expansion draft, and he was among the better players on the Marlins’ inaugural 1993 team, finishing third in NL Rookie of the Year balloting. He made the All-Star team in his next two seasons in Florida and played on the Marlins’ World Series team in 1997, and, after being traded, rejoined the team months before they won the World Series again in 2003.
Since the end of his playing career in 2007, Conine has worked in broadcasting in addition to his duties with the Marlins front office. He has no managerial experience.
Redmond was fired earlier today after the Marlins made big commitments to Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich this offseason and acquired players like Mat Latos, Dee Gordon, Martin Prado, Dan Haren, Mike Morse and Ichiro Suzuki, only to start the year 16-22. Conine will inherit Stanton, Yelich, Gordon and a talented, though injury-wracked, young rotation.
According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, Jeff Conine, a holder of a number of Marlins’ records and nicknamed "Mr. Marlin," will reportedly be signed to a one-day contract on March 28th and then retire.
Conine, who was with the team for their two World Series titles, will be honored on the field during the Marlins season opener versus the Mets at Dolphin Stadium on March 31st. It is rumored that the Marlins have not ruled out bringing Conine back to the club as an advisor.
UPDATE: According to Ken Rosenthal, the Mets are on the verge of getting Conine for two low-level minor leaguers.
According to Ben Shpigel of the New York Times, the Mets might consider trading for Reds outfielder Jeff Conine. The need was created when Damion Easley endured a Grade 3 ankle sprain.
Conine, 41, has about $480K left on his contract this year. He’s known to have cleared waivers, and I’m sure he can be had for a song.
Multiple readers have emailed me about a radio report on WSCR 670 The Score out of Chicago today. According to the report, the Cubs are considering multiple trade possibilities to fill the monthlog gap left by Alfonso Soriano’s quad injury. On the radar: Craig Monroe, Matt Stairs, Jeff Conine, and Adam Dunn. Additionally, Cubs GM Jim Hendry came out and said today that he’s working the phones to find some help.
Contract situations of each player:
Monroe – $1.5MM left in ’07, should earn $5MM+ in ’08 before reaching free agency
Stairs – $267K left in ’07, free agent after season
Conine – $630K left in ’07, free agent after season
Dunn – $3.3MM left in ’07, free agent after season if traded
Monroe is the right-handed Jacque Jones, contract situation and all. He’d be a poor and mildly expensive addition. He’d probably clear waivers.
Stairs is doing what he does best, mashing righties. He’s having his best season since 2003. He’s not earning much and has no ’08 commitment. He played for the Cubs in ’01 and did a decent job. The problem? He might be claimed off waivers before he gets to the Cubs. Jim Hendry really should’ve made this deal in July. Every AL team will have a crack at him first on waivers. Plus the Jays might fancy themselves contenders at six games out of the wild card.
Conine is on the last leg of his career and doesn’t really offer anything Matt Murton doesn’t. I don’t really see the point but this pickup seems most likely.
Dunn is the most intriguing and also by far the least likely option here. The Cubs would have to give up some good players and pay out a decent chunk of salary for less than two months of Dunn. They’d also have to do something ugly like put him in right field when Soriano comes back. I don’t see this happening.
Ken Rosenthal has a couple of recent videos up at FOXSports. Check ’em out. Some highlights:
- The Mark Teixeira talks are at a standstill; the Braves and Angels are reluctant to improve their offers. The Dodgers are said to be out of the picture. Daniels, Schuerholz, Stoneman – which one blinks first? I’ll say Daniels; he’ll go with Atlanta’s best offer.
- Jermaine Dye is Plan B for the Angels, but as you know the Red Sox still have interest.
- Jon Garland can be had, but Kenny Williams’ price is sky-high. The Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Mets, and Braves all have interest. The Braves had offered not only Edgar Renteria but a top pitching prospect, and still were rejected. Rosenthal expects Garland to stay put because as the asking price is not met.
- The Dodgers are still the leaders on Octavio Dotel, but the Tribe could jump in if they part with Ben Francisco. Would Francisco really be missed?
- The Cubs are looking at role players like Jay Payton and Jeff Conine. Many Cubs fans have written me looking for some good rumors – anything I would hear would go on the site. My gut feeling is that they do nothing major.
- The Orioles asked about Kei Igawa, but were told he’s not available.
- Rosenthal can see Adam Dunn and Eric Gagne staying put at the deadline. The need to deal Gagne is a bit more pressing, in my opinion.
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Will Carroll and John Perrotto have teamed up at BP to join the rumor mill, and yesterday’s post is free to nonsubscribers. Some highlights:
- Carroll reports that the Cubs could swap Jacque Jones and a prospect for Jeff Conine. Perhaps such a move would be in tandem with Adam Dunn leaving Cincinnati. The Cubs might want to hold on to Jones though; he’s playing well lately.
- Carroll heard a far out Alex Rodriguez to the Dodgers rumor, but doesn’t buy it. Neither do I – the Yankees don’t seem to be selling. Carroll says Brian Cashman and Co. will wait until the last second to make a buyer/seller decision. There’s a slight chance Jorge Posada becomes available if they choose the latter.
- Perrotto confirms a rumor that surfaced a week ago, that Ian Snell could be had for the right bat. Perrotto would know, as he spent time as a Pirates’ beat writer. Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Matt Kemp are two possible targets for the Bucs.
- The Tigers may be looking for relievers, and some possible names on the radar include Chad Qualls, Dan Wheeler, Brad Lidge, Salomon Torres, Damaso Marte, Shawn Chacon, and Chad Cordero. That’s most of the market right there, though Lidge seems likely to stay put. And don’t forget that the Tigers have internal reinforcements on the way.
Conine is owed $2MM in 2007. He joins a crowded Reds outfield that already contains Adam Dunn, Chris Denorfia, Ken Griffey Jr., and Ryan Freel. Oh, and they have to fit Josh Hamilton in there all year if they want to keep him.
Perhaps Conine will team with Scott Hatteberg at first base and face lefties. Though Conine’s .269/.352/.419 line against southpaws the last three seasons doesn’t blow anyone away.