Larry Beinfest Rumors
This afternoon, the Marlins fired president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest, with assistant GM Dan Jennings taking over his duties. Here are some reactions from around the web.
- It's tempting to characterize Beinfest's firing merely as Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria being Jeffrey Loria. That's part of it, CBS Sports' Scott Miller writes, but there's more to it than that. There was also the fact that Beinfest and Jennings didn't get along, and that recently, the two men had been making player acquisition decisions "simply to spite the other guy." Still, Miller posits that Beinfest's experience working with the meddlesome Loria might make him a good candidate to replace Angels GM Jerry Dipoto, who serves another meddlesome owner in Arte Moreno.
- Beinfest says he will, in fact, be looking for another job within baseball, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports (via Twitter).
- Jennings is "very highly regarded" throughout baseball, ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets. Other teams have shown interest in Jennings for general manager jobs in the past, but Stark writes that Loria would not let Jennings interview for them.
- Both Beinfest and Jim Fleming, a special assistant who was also fired, look like good candidates for jobs elsewhere, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.
Inspired by the O.co Coliseum's sewage problems, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports introduced the "Toilet Scale" to rate some postseason contenders "based on just how badly they're flushing their season." Within the colorful piece, Passan also shared a few hot stove rumors...
- Marlins team president David Samson, president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and GM Michael Hill could all be fired in the club's latest shakeup. Assistant GM Dan Jennings would take over as Miami's new general manager, and sources tell Passan that Jennings already has permission to begin assembling a staff. Beinfest has been rumored to be danger, though Samson's job was previously thought to be safe. As Passan notes, however, owner Jeffrey Loria was prepared to fire Beinfest and Hill last year before changing his mind. Given how much influence Loria has over the team's decisions, "Who the hell would want to work there?" one Passan source rhetorically asked.
- The Rangers front office was "pressured by ownership" into making the midseason deal for Matt Garza that hasn't worked out for the club. Garza has a 4.56 ERA in 12 starts for Texas and can depart as a free agent this winter without any compensation coming back to the Rangers in return. Of the prospects Texas sent to the Cubs in the Garza deal, "evaluators absolutely love" right-hander C.J. Edwards, who just recently turned 22 years old and posted a 1.86 ERA over 24 starts at both levels of A-ball this season.
- It's been a tumultuous season for Joe Girardi, who Passan praises for keeping the Yankees in contention despite multiple major injuries, declining veterans and the Alex Rodriguez controversy. This is the final year of Girardi's contract with the Yankees and one executive suggested to Passan that Girardi could find a lot less stress managing elsewhere in 2014. We heard over the weekend that one Yankees official pegs Girardi's chances of staying in the Bronx at 70 percent.
In the aftermath of today's shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, the Nationals have rightly postponed tonight's matchup against the Braves. Needless to say, our thoughts are with those affected by this tragedy. As anyone who has ever attended a game at Nationals Park knows, the neighboring naval facility plays a big role at the ballpark, with the team playing a submarine horn to celebrate home runs and honoring service men and women at every contest. Today, the stadium's parking lots have served as a somber meeting point for family members waiting to learn more about their loved ones.
Shortly after the recent Boston Marathon attack, Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci wrote that baseball, "unlike any other sport, is there for us virtually every day." There is no ballgame in D.C. today, but they'll play two tomorrow. We hope that baseball will bring some small comfort to the Navy Yard community, as it has done for so many others.
- For those interested in learning more about the Nationals' reactions to today's events, the Washington Times' Amanda Comak has the latest. Meanwhile, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on things from the Braves side. According to third baseman Chris Johnson, the Nats' and Braves' player representatives jointly notified the MLBPA that the players felt it would be inappropriate to play.
- Mets reliever LaTroy Hawkins is keenly aware that he doesn't have much time left in the bigs, writes Brian Giuffra of The Record (NorthJersey.com), but says he's still "not at the end of [his] career." Still capable of touching the mid-90's in his age-40 season, the righty has been effective: in 65 2/3 innings, he has a 3.15 ERA, 10 saves, 7.1 K/9, and 1.4 BB/9. "Certainly, if he wants to come back ... it would be nice to have him around," said Mets manager Terry Collins, who explained that Hawkins is a beneficial presence for the club's younger arms.
- Fellow Mets reliever Pedro Feliciano says that he, too, hopes to return next year at age 37. He tells Clayton Collier of MetsmerizedOnline.com that he hopes to "retire from here." The lefty specialist has never thrown a pitch for another big league club, though he did spend a year in Japan and also collected $8MM from the cross-town Yanks for two injury-riddled seasons. Since returning to Queens, Feliciano has tossed 9 1/3 innings of 4.82 ERA ball. Much of the damage has come from the twelve right-handed hitters he's pitched to in 2013, however, as they have a collective .714/.833/1.143 line against him. Of the 32 lefties that Feliciano has faced this year, as many have struck out as have managed a hit (six).
- Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest is once again facing public speculation that he could lose his post. Beinfest deserves better, says FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, who reports that the long-time executive recently approached owner Jeffrey Loria and asked him to decide whether or not Beinfest would stay on in Miami. Loria has thus far stayed quiet on the status of Beinfest, who is under contract through 2015. Rosenthal reports that the two key Marlins figures have repeatedly clashed over baseball decisions ranging from promotions to the saga of hitting coach Tino Martinez.
On this day in 2007, Terry Ryan announced that he would step aside from his post as the Twins general manager at the end of the season. As MLBTR's Tim Dierkes noted, Ryan's history was checkered at best at the time. Of course, as a read through this site's most recent post would indicate, Ryan is now back at the helm. Though the team has yet to post more than seventy wins in a season since Ryan returned in November of 2011, Minnesota stands at 15th in ESPN's latest future power rankings on the strength of its minor league system. While Ryan has long been said to have his job as long as he wants to keep it, some other GMs may not be so lucky ...
- There are four general managers around the league who could soon be replaced, writes Peter Gammons of GammonsDaily.com. According to Gammons, two of those -- Jerry Dipoto of the Angels and Larry Beinfest of the Marlins -- have arguably been undone by meddling owners. (Gammons cites Arte Moreno's $365MM investment in Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, and Jeffrey Loria's propensity for "whimsically run[ning] everything.") Meanwhile, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik may not survive to see whether the team's top young pitching talent can drive a winner. And Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd -- the game's fourth-longest tenured GM -- has yet to figure out how to craft a squad that can win away from Coors field. (For what it's worth, O'Dowd was in charge for the franchise's lone season with a winning road record, when it posted a 41-40 mark in 2009.)
- It would be ridiculous to consider Rangers GM Jon Daniels among those at risk, writes Baseball Nation's Grant Brisbee. While he surely could have sacrificed future value to win at all costs this season, says Brisbee, Daniels was prudent not to and still delivered a team that should qualify for the post-season.
- Teams must determine whether to make outgoing free agents a qualifying offer just five days after the conclusion of this year's World Series, and those decisions will play a major role in setting the stage for the 2014 free agent market. For non-obvious candidates, writes Dave Cameron of Fangraphs, an important part of the equation lies in valuing the compensation pick that the team would receive if the player declines the offer and then signs with another club. Working off of a rough valuation of international signing slot dollars, Cameron opines that teams could value the dollars spent on a comp pick as much as three-to-four times higher than money the team could spend outside the draft. As he explains, this would imply that there is substantial excess value in obtaining non-marketable draft picks, which could move the needle in favor of making qualifying offers in marginal situations.
- As we prepare to weigh a new class of free agents, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman ranks the best signings of 2013. His top three are a collection of veterans whose contributions have vastly outweighed the relatively meager financial commitments that they received: Pirates starter Francisco Liriano, Red Sox reliever Koji Uehara, and Athletics starter Bartolo Colon. Next on his list is Boston's David Ortiz, who as Heyman notes was the only player to accept a qualifying offer in the first year of the system.
8:44pm: While not exactly a denial of Nightengale's report, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria tells Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that he “never comments on any ridiculous and fabricated rumors.”
3:00pm: The Marlins will re-structure their front office following a disappointing season, and it'll cost the team's top baseball executive his job. The Marlins are planning to fire president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and replace him with assistant GM and VP of player personnel Dan Jennings, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
The dismissal could occur as early as next week. Two Marlins executives told Nightengale they’d be stunned if the Marlins don’t make further changes.
The Marlins re-branded their franchise last offseason, changing the team's name, logo and colors before moving to a new stadium. They were not expecting a 66-84 record and a fifth place team when they generated national buzz by spending aggressively on free agents. But the additions of Jose Reyes, Heath Bell, Mark Buehrle and manager Ozzie Guillen weren't enough to make the team a contender.
The Marlins hired Beinfest more than ten years ago, before the 2002 season. Michael Hill was promoted to the GM role following the 2007 campaign with Beinfest assuming the role of president of baseball operations.
Jennings appeared on MLBTR's list of GM candidates last summer, drawing an honorable mention. He is not to be confused with Dan Jennings, the 25-year-old left-hander who pitches out of the Miami bullpen.
The Wilpons asked the Marlins for permission to speak to Marlins assistant GM Dan Jennings about their GM opening, tweets ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. The Miami Herald's Clark Spencer says the Mets asked for permission to speak to Marlins executives Larry Beinfest and Mike Hill as well, but are likely to be denied the chance to speak to any of the three. It would be odd for the Marlins to allow a division rival the opportunity to swipe a top executive.
According to Newsday's David Lennon on Twitter, former Rangers and Indians GM John Hart would be interested in the Mets' opening but could be expensive. Hart remains with the Rangers as a senior advisor in baseball operations. How about a reunion with Gerry Hunsicker, who currently serves as a senior VP with the Rays? He told Mike Sielski of the Wall Street Journal Saturday that he did not have a burning passion to be a GM again and that "it would have to be a very special situation."
Brendan Bianowicz is back with a bunch of updates to the GM Trade History series. The Excel spreadsheets linked below cover each GM's trades, free agent signings, and top draft picks via tabs along the bottom. It's interesting to see each GM's most frequent trade partner - for example, Omar Minaya has matched up with Larry Beinfest and Mark Shapiro most often in his career.
- Washington Nationals - Jim Bowden and Mike Rizzo
- Philadelphia Phillies - Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro Jr.
- New York Mets - Omar Minaya
- Florida Marlins - Larry Beinfest and Michael Hill
- Atlanta Braves - Frank Wren
Larry Beinfest currently holds the "President of Baseball Operations title for the Marlins, while Michael Hill is the Vice President and GM. Brendan Bianowicz has combined their moves into one spreadsheet for our latest entry in the GM Trade History series.