Juan Carlos Oviedo Rumors
APRIL 30TH: MLB has changed its plans and will suspend Oviedo for eight weeks, not six according to Barry Jackson and Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald. The suspension is not retroactive and will not begin until Oviedo secures a visa and returns to the United States.
APRIL 1ST: Major League Baseball will suspend Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly known as Leo Nunez) for six weeks following his removal from the restricted list, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
Oviedo is currently home in the Dominican Republic where he's performing community service required to acquire a visa that will allow him to come back to the United States. Jackson calls the acquistion of a visa "inevitable," but doesn't offer a timetable for when it will happen. Perhaps most importantly for the Marlins, they aren't required to pay any of Oviedo's $6MM salary while he's on the restricted list or suspended.
The Fish inked Heath Bell to a three-year pact this offseason, and Oviedo figured to be his primary setup man. He'll surrender that role to Edward Mujica, according to Jackson. In three seasons as the Marlins' closer, Oviedo totaled 198 innings and 92 saves to go along with a 3.86 ERA, 8.5 K/9, and 3.1 BB/9. He's been the center of plenty of offseason controversy after it was revealed that he was playing under a false identity.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
The Marlins’ offseason is nearing completion, but there’s business to attend to before Opening Day. Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel has the latest from team president David Samson...
- Samson isn’t sure whether Yoenis Cespedes will visit the Miami area before deciding where to sign, but the sides continue to talk. “Our offseason is not dependent on signing Cespedes at all,” Samson said.
- Samson ruled out an extension for Anibal Sanchez, at least for now. Sanchez’s arbitration hearing will take place tomorrow, so we’ll soon know whether he’ll earn $8MM or $6.9MM in 2012. I examined Sanchez as an extension candidate earlier this week.
- Samson doesn’t expect Juan Carlos Oviedo to be on the Marlins’ Opening Day roster, but he said the 29-year-old right-hander will likely be in Spring Training. MLB may discipline Oviedo for falsifying his identity.
- Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson are ready for the season, Samson said.
Earlier today we heard that the Nationals are discussing a contract extension with Ryan Zimmerman and that the agent for Cole Hamels doesn't think Jered Weaver's five-year $85MM deal is that relevant for his client. Here are some more notes on the NL East, starting with Hamels’ teammates in Philadelphia...
- GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said on MLB Network Radio that the Phillies are operating carefully because they’re up against the luxury tax, Jim Bowden tweets.
- Amaro said Ty Wigginton will play first base regularly until Ryan Howard returns from the disabled list, Bowden tweets. Jim Thome will also get occasional starts at first.
- Amaro said he expects to platoon John Mayberry Jr. and Laynce Nix in left field, Bowden tweets. Unless Domonic Brown wows his bosses in Spring Training, he’ll head to the Phillies' Triple-A club.
- There’s an expectation that the Marlins will try to trade Juan Carlos Oviedo, and the reliever told Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that he’s mentally prepared for a deal. “It's a business,” he said. “I'd like to stay in Miami, but those are things they decide.”
- Many baseball people still view the Nationals as the favorite to sign Prince Fielder, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets.
The Marlins avoided arbitration with reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo by agreeing to a $6MM deal, tweets Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. The former Leo Nunez and former Marlins closer is represented by Wasserman Media Group. He's on the restricted list as he sorts out issues relating to his use of a false identity. Oviedo receives a $2.35MM raise for his last season before free agency.
The Marlins offered huge deals to Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, but the pair of free agents opted to sign with the Angels for less money. Will the Marlins turn their attention to the top free agents still available? Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post tweets that he wouldn't be surprised to see the Marlins "at least kick the tires" on Prince Fielder, despite their insistence they don't have interest (Twitter link). Here are the rest of the latest Marlins updates:
- Juan Carlos Oviedo, formerly Leo Nunez, was arrested in his native Dominican Republic today, but won't face false identity charges, according to an AP report (via ESPN.com).
- The Marlins will sign Nick Green to a minor league deal, tweets Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
- Ozzie Guillen wants White Sox fans to know that he didn't steal Mark Buehrle away from the Sox, as he told ESPN 1000 today (hat tip to ESPN Chicago).
MONDAY: The Marlins plan to tender a contract to Oviedo, president Larry Beinfest told reporters including Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post.
THURSDAY: Now that the Marlins have agreed to terms with Heath Bell, the club won't be tendering Juan Carlos Oviedo a contract, a source tells Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio (Twitter link). Oviedo was projected to earn $5.8MM in arbitration this winter and would've almost certainly been non-tendered even if the Marlins hadn't signed a new closer. The non-tender deadline is December 12.
Oviedo, 29, is currently facing legal charges following the revelation that his former "Leo Nunez" identity belonged to another person in the Dominican Republic. The right-hander posted decent numbers last season (a 4.06 ERA, 2.62 K/BB ratio) but it's unlikely any team will pursue Oviedo until his legal issues are behind him.
You'll be seeing a lot of "Marlins Notes" posts on MLBTR this winter as the Fish look to be major players this offseason. Here's the latest from Miami....
- The Marlins are proceeding as if Juan Carlos Oviedo (a.k.a. Leo Nunez) will not be back with the team next season, assistant GM Dan Jennings told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio (Twitter link).
- In a departure from their usual strategy, the Marlins will trade top prospects if necessary in order to acquire established Major League talent, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
- Also from Frisaro, the Marlins "covet" James Shields and local product Gio Gonzalez. We heard about Miami's interest in Shields last month though the Rays appear intent on keeping the star right-hander. Dealing for either Shields or Gonzalez would require a major trade package, but if the Marlins are truly willing to move their top prospects, Tampa Bay and Oakland could be interested.
- Former Marlins executives Dave Dombrowski and Frank Wren both think the club's new stadium will turn South Florida into a strong baseball market, reports Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.
The Blue Jays have been "making inquiries" about Ryan Madson, according to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, while the Marlins are "also in on" the free agent closer, reports Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated (both Twitter links). The Jays and Marlins join the Rangers, Red Sox and Nationals as clubs reportedly interested in Madson in the wake of his four-year, $44MM deal with the Phillies failing to materialize.
Toronto is known to be looking at several established free agent stoppers. Signing a Type A free agent like Madson would cost the Jays their first round pick (17th overall) in next year's draft, and giving up high draft picks and spending millions on a closer both seem to run counter to Alex Anthopoulos' modus operandi. The Jays do have the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 draft as compensation for not signing Tyler Beede last year.
Madson is only the latest target for the Marlins, who have been connected to most of this offseason's major free agents and have already made offers to Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle. Juan Carlos Oviedo is the incumbent closer in Miami, but he is currently embroiled in legal issues surrounding his adoption of the "Leo Nunez" name for the last several years. Heyman tweets that the Marlins could stick with Oviedo since the free agent closing market may be too pricey.
Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest spoke with reporters yesterday; here are the hot stove highlights.
- The Marlins will raise their payroll to at least $85MM in 2012, writes Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. By my calculations they should have over $20MM to spend on '12 salaries, if Juan Carlos Oviedo does not remain with the team.
- Oviedo, the former Leo Nunez, is in the Dominican Republic working through identity-related legal issues. Beinfest hopes for clarity on the situation as soon as possible, but has "contingencies in place." Beinfest noted that there are dates that are sensitive to Oviedo's situation, namely the December 12th non-tender deadline.
- Beinfest told reporters the Marlins' top priority is to add rotation depth. In regard to Javier Vazquez, he said, "I haven't talked with Javy since the season ended. What a great job he did for us, and we will check in with him and his agent. We'll see where his head is, and where his thoughts are. That door was left open when the season ended to at least explore. Javy's mind is wherever Javy's mind is. He's a veteran guy. We'll at least explore and keep and touch, and we'll see."
- Beinfest seems more open to trading young players, saying, "I think we need to become a little more open, just in general. I think we've been very protective of our zero to three [years of experience] players because we've had to be, given our payroll challenges. I think we can open up a little more now."
- This is an important offseason for center fielder Chris Coghlan, says Beinfest, after two disappointing seasons.
- To read my offseason outlook for the new Miami Marlins, click here.