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Logan Morrison Rumors
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 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."
Logan Morrison filed a grievance against the Marlins after they demoted him last month, Amy K. Nelson of ESPN.com reports. Though the Marlins have maintained that they demoted the 24-year-old left fielder for baseball reasons, Morrison and agent Fred Wray are arguing that the demotion was a form of discipline without just cause.
"I'm doing this because I'm standing up for what's right," Morrison told Nelson. "If I thought it was because of my performance on the field, then I wouldn't be filing a grievance."
Morrison missed an event with Marlins season ticket holders before his demotion and not long afterwards Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said that the outspoken Morrison needed to learn more about "being a Major Leaguer." Morrison, who spent ten days in the minors, filed the grievance on August 25th, according to Nelson.
Morrison wants big league pay for the time he spent in the minors, according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (on Twitter). He can still obtain a full year of service time in 2011, so the demotion didn't affect his path to arbitration or free agency.
Jason Heyward hit his first MLB grand slam at Wrigley Field tonight, helping the Braves in their attempt to strengthen their hold on the NL Wild Card. Here are the rest of today’s links from Heyward’s division…
- As Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains, the Braves' late-inning combination of Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel is the kind of shutdown late-inning tandem most teams can only dream of having.
- The Marlins are calling Logan Morrison back to the Major Leagues tomorrow, a week and a half after demoting him to the minors, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro (on Twitter). Morrison can still receive credit for a full year of service this year, so the demotion probably won’t affect his service clock.
- Agent Scott Boras says the Nationals should re-sign Ivan Rodriguez when the veteran catcher hits free agency after the season, according to Ben Goessling of MASNsports.com.
Top Nationals prospect Bryce Harper had to leave last night's Double-A contest with a hamstring injury and Washington's medical staff will re-evaluate the 18-year-old outfielder today. In the meantime, here are some links from the Nationals' division…
- Former Nationals president Stan Kasten told Bill Ladson of MLB.com that the Nationals had an "awesome, fantastic" draft this year. Kasten found out that Nats pick Matt Purke looks up to Tom Glavine and was able to set up a talk between the two left-handers.
- Scott Miller of CBSSports.com understands why the Marlins' decision to demote Logan Morrison has drawn so much criticism, but he isn't ready to criticize Florida's move himself. One Marlin told Miller that Morrison was behaving like a superstar before he had even become a star.
- Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News wonders if Jim Thome could end up returning to Philadelphia this season and says there's probably a way to make it happen. "Now it's up to the Phillies to decide whether it makes sense from a competitive standpoint," Hagen writes.
Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano could use a change of scenery, as Jon Heyman explains at SI.com. One rival GM considers the right-hander a fourth starter, which matches Tim Dierkes’ assessment of Zambrano from yesterday. Here are the rest of Heyman’s rumors, starting with another note on the Cubs…
- Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has had good things to say about GM Jim Hendry, but Heyman hears that Hendry is still “at risk” of losing his job. Despite a weekend report to the contrary, Hendry doesn't have any guarantees.
- The Marlins demoted Logan Morrison to the minors because Marlins officials, including manager Jack McKeon, believe the outfielder needs to show more maturity and be less outspoken. It doesn't appear that Morrison will file a grievance.
- One GM called first overall pick Gerrit Cole a “slam dunk” number one starter, Heyman reports. The Pirates signed the former UCLA right-hander to an $8MM deal on Monday.
- The Yankees won’t release Jorge Posada, but it appears that he’ll have to earn a spot on their playoff roster.
The latest on the Marlins, who are taking on their expansion cousins in Denver tonight…
- The Marlins placed left-hander Randy Choate on waivers today, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (on Twitter). Other teams now have two days to place a claim on Choate, who earns $1MM this year and $1.5MM next year. Assuming he does get claimed, Florida will have two business days to consider possible moves with the team that makes the winning claim.
- Logan Morrison, who is now in Triple-A, doesn't appear to plan to file a grievance against the Marlins for demoting him, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). It appeared over the weekend that Morrison would consider a grievance after the Marlins' surprising decision to send him to the minor leagues.
- The Marlins plan to get 14th overall selection Jose Fernandez into games before the minor league season ends, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. Florida will assign the right-hander to the Gulf Coast League this week. The Marlins signed him for $2MM last night.