Logan Morrison Rumors
Seventeen years ago today, Cuban defector Livan Hernandez inked a four-year, $4.5MM contract with the Marlins, which included a record $2.5MM signing bonus. Hernandez made his Major League debut just eight months later as a September call-up. Hernandez was instrumental in the Marlins' 1997 World Series title run earning NLCS MVP honors and being named the MVP of the Fall Classic after winning both of his starts against the Indians. Hernandez has found steady employment ever since donning the uniform of the Giants, Expos, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Twins, Rockies, Mets, Nationals (again), Braves, and Brewers. The 37-year-old right-hander pitched for the latter two clubs in 2012 compiling a 6.42 ERA, 6.4 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, and 2.0 HR/9 in 67 1/3 innings out of the bullpen. The Praver/Shapiro client has said he wants to pitch in 2013. In other other news involving MLB's Florida teams:
- The Marlins have no interest in re-signing first baseman Carlos Lee despite concerns about the health of Logan Morrison, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Morrison, recovering from right knee surgery, isn't expected to begin running until a week into Spring Training.
- The Marlins are one of several teams in talks with free agent reliever Matt Capps, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
- Within the same piece, Jackson writes the Marlins are expected to sign Austin Kearns. Clark Spencer, Jackson's colleague at the Herald, adds the deal includes an invitation to Spring Training. Kearns spent 2012 in Miami posting a slash line of .245/.366/.367 in 175 plate appearances while playing both corner outfield positions, first base, and serving as DH in interleague play and as the team's primary right-handed pinch hitter.
- Jackson also writes Marlins owner Jeffery Loria has told team president David Samson he can no longer do interviews. This comes in the wake of Loria banning Samson from doing his radio show. Jackson opines this is a mistake because Samson has made himself more accountable and accessible than many team presidents, even amid unpopular decisions made solely by Loria, who, Jackson adds, has refused to speak to the media since mid-November.
The Rays will hold their annual development camp this week for 31 of their top prospects. One point of emphasis will be baseball's drug policy in the wake of the organization seeing six of their minor leaguers receive 50-game suspensions in 2012, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. "It stunk, very disappointing," Rays Director of Minor League Operations Mitch Lukevics said of the suspensions. "We spend as much time on the education of 'Do's and Don'ts' and derailers as much as we do hitting or pitching or throwing. It was very disappointing, there's no getting around it."
The Marlins aren’t done yet. One day after agreeing to a blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays, they’re shopping outfielder/first baseman Logan Morrison, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (on Twitter). Furthermore, several general managers expect Ricky Nolasco to be traded as well.
The Yankees are among the teams with an interest in Nolasco, Erik Boland of Newsday reports (on Twitter). The right-hander has one year and $11.5MM remaining on his contract with Miami. The Rockies had interest in Nolasco last winter and could inquire about him, Troy Renck of the Denver Post suggested this morning (on Twitter).
The Marlins do not intend to trade Giancarlo Stanton, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports. The sides are not currently discussing a long-term deal, but the slugger "pretty much remains untouchable" for 2013, according to Frisaro.
Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison could miss the rest of the season, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter). Miami placed Morrison on the 15-day disabled list with right knee inflammation earlier today. Here are some more NL East links...
- The Phillies may start a partial sale after two consecutive losses to the Braves, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). Shane Victorino, Juan Pierre and Joe Blanton could be moved.
- There's interest in Scott Hairston, but the Mets may value him more than his potential suitors do, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes (on Twitter). The Mets see the value of finishing strong and Hairston could help them over the course of the season's final two months.
- Teams are expressing zero interest in left-hander Tim Byrdak, a Mets person tells Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). The 38-year-old has a 4.76 ERA with 9.8 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 in an NL-leading 53 appearances this year.
- The Mets haven't been impressed by offers for Daniel Murphy, Martino reports (on Twitter). "We're not trading Murphy for a reliever," a Mets person told Martino.
Twelve years ago today, the Mets traded Octavio Dotel, Roger Cedeno, and Kyle Kessel to the Astros for Mike Hampton and Derek Bell. Hampton pitched to a 3.14 ERA in 217 2/3 innings during his one season in New York, then signed his monster eight-year, $121MM contract with the Rockies that winter. Here's the latest from continually improving the NL East...
- The Marlins were willing to part with top minor leaguers to acquire Gio Gonzalez, but MLB.com's Joe Frisaro says they weren't willing to move anyone from their everyday lineup. Both Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton are considered "off limits."
- Within the same piece, Frisaro says that Javier Vazquez continues to maintain that he is retiring. The Marlins do not expect him back and are looking elsewhere for pitching.
- In a comment on one of his blog posts, Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains why the Braves have less money to spend this winter than many believe.
- Baseball people keep waiting for Nationals GM Mike Rizzo to "bail out" Scott Boras on one of his free agents according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick (on Twitter). Unsigned Boras clients include Prince Fielder, Edwin Jackson, Johnny Damon, Carlos Pena, and Ryan Madson.
- Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider takes a look at the far-reaching implications of yesterday's Gonzalez trade for the Nationals.
- Amanda Comack of The Washington Times tries to sort out the Nationals pitching staff following the Gio trade.
The Marlins held an introductory press conference for Mark Buehrle today, and here are a few hot stove details from those proceedings and beyond...
- The Marlins have "poked around in the market" to see what interest there would be in Hanley Ramirez, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. The team claimed Ramirez wouldn't be dealt in the wake of Jose Reyes' signing but even coming off a down year, Ramirez would be a big trade chip.
- Logan Morrison is "drawing more trade interest" than any other Miami player, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Still, it is "highly, highly unlikely" Morrison is sent elsewhere.
- Team president David Samson denied reports that the Marlins offered Albert Pujols a near-record contract, saying the club's offer was worth a bit more than $200MM, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported yesterday that Miami offered Pujols a ten-year, $275MM deal that could have ultimately been worth $300MM with incentives and because Florida has no state income tax.
- When asked if the club would pursue Prince Fielder, owner Jeffrey Loria replied "Oh, I don't know about that. We'll see," reports Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. In another tweet, Capozzi hears from a source that the Marlins never had interest in Fielder.
- Juan C. Rodriguez reports the Marlins also aren't interested in free agent starter Edwin Jackson (Twitter link).
- The Marlins are planning to have internal discussions about an extension for Mike Stanton, Capozzi reports (via Twitter). There is no time frame, however, as the club is waiting until "after [the] dust settles" on their busy offseason. Stanton is already under team control through 2016 and doesn't reach arbitration for two more years.
- MLB.com's Anthony DiComo details the incentive clauses and the year-by-year breakdown of Jose Reyes' six-year deal. Reyes will earn $10MM in each of the next two seasons, $16MM in 2014, and then $22MM in each of the final three guaranteed seasons. The Marlins have a $22MM team option on Reyes for 2018 that can be bought out for $4MM.
WEDNESDAY, 10:55am: Gio Gonzalez trade talks haven't really started, reports ESPN's Buster Olney, who notes that the A's did not ask for Logan Morrison in brief check-in talks with the Marlins.
TUESDAY, 8:54am: The Marlins have pursued trades and free agents aggressively so far this offseason. Most recently, Gio Gonzalez has emerged as a possible trade target for the team. Here are the details on the Marlins’ offseason, via Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald:
- The A’s have demanded a package containing Logan Morrison or Mike Stanton for Gonzalez and the Marlins “flatly rejected” the possibility.
- C.J. Wilson will visit the Marlins after Thanksgiving. The free agent left-hander met with the Angels last night and has more visits scheduled.
The latest rumors tweeted from SI's Jon Heyman...
- The Yankees haven't been in touch with free agent Jorge Posada so far this offseason, according to Heyman.
- A person with knowledge of the Dodgers sale says bidding will definitely go over $1 billion, and Frank McCourt may well reach his $1.2 billion target.
- The Phillies and Ryan Madson are now engaged in serious discussions, and Heyman expects the two sides to reach an agreement soon. This fits with what was written about Madson and the Phillies yesterday.
- The Red Sox are interested in free agent right fielder Carlos Beltran. I ranked Beltran ninth on my top 50 free agents list, predicting Boston as his destination.
- One executive who spoke to the Marlins tells Heyman 24-year-old left fielder Logan Morrison is off-limits. The executive could see the Fish making an exception for James Shields, however.
- The Brewers believe they have almost no hope to re-sign Prince Fielder and are now targeting free agent shortstop Jose Reyes. The Marlins will meet with Reyes in South Florida tomorrow, tweeted Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Brewers would have to give the Mets the 28th overall pick in next year's draft to sign Reyes, while the Marlins would only have to surrender a second-round pick.
- The Yankees were disappointed Jonathan Sanchez went to the Royals, as they believed they had more to offer to the Giants. The Royals acquired Sanchez and a minor leaguer from the Giants for Melky Cabrera yesterday.
- The Yankees are impressed by what they've seen so far of Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes, though it's mainly limited to video. Cespedes' bizarre showcase video mostly shows off the player's athleticism and style. For a rundown of Cespedes' suitors, click here, and for a scout's view of him, check out the latest from MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo.
- Yankees executive Billy Eppler grew up with free agent lefty C.J. Wilson, for what it's worth. The Yankees will talk to Wilson, who GM Brian Cashman acknowledged is the "best pitcher on the marketplace right now."
The Twins finish the season with 99 losses, their most since 1982, and will officially select second in next year’s draft. Here's a sampling of links from the AL Central on the night that Minnesota avoided loss #100:
- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com that he'd like to have free agents Michael Cuddyer and Joe Nathan back in 2012 (Twitter links). MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes examined Cuddyer's free agent stock earlier in the month.
- The Indians announced that Sandy Alomar Jr. will become the club's bench coach in 2012. Tim Tolman, who was Manny Acta's bench coach this year, will transition into another role because of health reasons.
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams told Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times that he "absolutely" has a preferred candidate to succeed Ozzie Guillen as manager. Alomar Jr., Rays bench coach Dave Martinez and even Red Sox manager Terry Francona are candidates for the job, according to Van Schouwen.
- The White Sox wanted Logan Morrison from the Marlins for Guillen, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Chicago relented because the Marlins were prepared to offer Bobby Valentine the job if they didn't get Guillen (Twitter link).
The worst-kept secret in Major League Baseball has now become official. Ozzie Guillen will no longer manage the White Sox and it appears that he'll sign a new deal with the Marlins, who would send compensation to Chicago if a deal with Guillen becomes official.
The White Sox announced tonight that they have released Guillen from his contract at his request. He won't be in uniform for the season's final two games, according to the team, which retains rights to compensation if another club hires Guillen to manage in 2012. White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf says he appreciates Guillen's work and wishes him the best.
“We certainly cannot thank Ozzie enough for all he has done during his eight seasons as manager of the Chicago White Sox, highlighted by an unforgettable 2005 World Series championship,” he said.
The next time Guillen dons a Major League uniform, it will likely be for the Marlins. His deal with Florida is expected to be for three years, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Guillen had one year remaining on his deal in Chicago, where he had managed since 2004.
The White Sox will obtain two minor leaguers as compensation, according to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com. They were hoping for a "decent prospect" from the Marlins, but weren't expecting anyone on Florida's 40-man roster, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter).
Current manager Jack McKeon won't be back in Florida next year and the Marlins started a complete search for his replacement, even though they already appear to have decided on Guillen. The Marlins interviewed third base coach Joe Espada, hitting coach Eduardo Perez and Nationals coach Bo Porter today for the vacancy.
Guillen leaves the Windy City with a record of 678-617. The White Sox made two playoff appearances under Guillen: they won the World Series in 2005, Guillen's second season, and lost to the Rays in the 2008 ALDS.
Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, who first reported that Guillen was out as manager, says there will likely be substantive changes to Chicago’s coaching staff. Pitching coach Don Cooper already has a deal on the table to stay in the organization, according to Cowley. Bench coach Joey Cora is expected to join Guillen with the Marlins, according to Morosi (on Twitter). First, Cora will manage Chicago's last two regular season games, according to MLB.com's Scott Merkin (on Twitter). Tony La Russa and Buddy Bell are expected to be considered for Chicago's managing gig, tweets Morosi.
The White Sox and Marlins discussed a Guillen for Mike Stanton trade last offseason (don't expect a substantive return for the White Sox if the deal goes through). Though they're rare, there is some precedent for player-manager swaps. Following the 2002 season, the Rays sent Randy Winn to Seattle for minor leaguer Antonio Perez to compensate the Mariners for losing Lou Piniella.
A few items about the soon-to-be Miami Marlins...
- Omar Infante has turned down the Marlins' first multiyear contract proposal, reports Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Infante believes the team will wait until after the season to resume negotiations, though both sides are known to be interested in continuing Infante's stint in Miami.
- Also from Rodriguez (Twitter link), he thinks the Fish will at least take a look at free agent Edwin Jackson this winter.
- Hanley Ramirez underwent shoulder surgery today, performed by Dr. James Andrews, reports Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (Twitter link). The shortstop is expected to be fit for Opening Day when the Marlins open their new ballpark, though Capozzi isn't sure Ramirez will be recovered by April.
- Between Logan Morrison's grievance against the Fish, Ozzie Guillen's tenure in Chicago possibly coming to an end and the Marlins' long-held interest in having Guillen manage their club, speculation has already begun that the White Sox and Marlins could revisit the possibility of a rare player-for-manager deal. Kevin Kaduk of Yahoo Sports is skeptical that Florida would give up a talented player for a manager whose contract is up after 2012 (or who could be fired before then). MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez (via Twitter) is even more blunt, saying the deal would be "the dumbest trade in baseball history -- and even Ozzie would agree."