Miami Marlins Rumors

Miami Marlins trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

Marlins Sign Mike Dunn To Two-Year Deal

The Marlins have avoided arbitration with reliever Mike Dunn agreeing to a two-year, $5.8MM deal, tweets Dunn’s agency, O’Connell Sports Management. The contract buys out Dunn’s remaining arbitration years, but keeps him on track for free agency after the 2016 season.

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports Dunn will receive $2.35MM in 2015 ($50K more than projected) and $3.45MM in 2016. The New York Post’s Joel Sherman tweets Dunn can earn an additional $100K in the second year of the pact by reaching the thresholds of 55 and 60 innings pitched. The Marlins are a “file and trial” team (the strategy of going to an arbitration hearing with a player once arbitration figures have been exchanged), but they make an exception for multi-year deals, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. The left-hander filed for $2.6MM while the Marlins countered with $2.355MM, per MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker. Dunn’s signing leaves David Phelps as the Marlins’ lone unresolved arbitration case.

Dunn has been a workhorse in the Marlins’ bullpen appearing in at least 60 games in each of the past four seasons, including 75 the past two years. The 29-year-old posted a line of 3.16 ERA, 10.6 K/9, and a career-best 3.5 BB/9 covering 57 innings of work in 2014.


Marlins Have Reached Out To K-Rod

The Marlins have reached out to agent Scott Boras regarding Francisco Rodriguez, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com (on Twitter).  Nothing is imminent on that front, but the club could circle back to K-Rod at some point as they look to bolster their bullpen.

It has been speculated for some time that Miami could go after Rodriguez and earlier today, GM Dan Jennings hinted to Jim Bowden of SiriusXM that he is considering the veteran.  Miami isn’t alone in that pursuit, however, as the Blue JaysPhillies, and Brewers are among the clubs that have been connected to him.

The Brewers are looking at Rodriguez as a fallback if they cannot work out a trade with the Phillies for Jonathan Papelbon.  Rodriguez pitched to a 3.11 ERA with 9.5 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and 57 saves in 193 2/3 innings for Milwaukee.  The 33-year-old arguably stands as the best closing option available on the open market, but things have yet to come together for him.  His fate seems to be tied somewhat to the outcome of the Papelbon situation – the Brewers view him as their Plan B and the Phillies seem likely to pursue K-Rod if Papelbon is moved.


Marlins Notes: Shields, Haren, Fernandez

The latest out of Miami..

  • When asked if he’s in on James Shields, Marlins GM Dan Jennings told Jim Bowden of SiriusXM (on Twitter) “you never know if you’re still in it or not in it until someone signs him.”  At present, however, it would seem that the Marlins are on the outside looking in with the Padres viewed as the favorites and the Cubs still lurking.
  • Jennings added, “We have had internal discussions about [Shields] and all other free agents… we’ll see in the next few days where he goes,” (via MLB Network Radio on Twitter).
  • Jennings told Bowden (on Twitter) that Dan Haren is preparing for Spring Training and looking forward to being a member of the Marlins.  Haren reportedly has been hoping for a trade that would keep him closer to his family in California.  At one time, Haren seemed to be considering retirement over spending the season in Miami.
  • Jennings said that the timetable for Jose Fernandez to take the mound is between June 15th and July 15th (via Bowden on Twitter).
  • Joe Frisaro of MLB.com (on Twitter) opines that the Marlins’ next step should be to try to sign Rafael Soriano or Francisco Rodriguez on the cheap.  When asked by Bowden (link) about possible interest in the relievers, Jennings didn’t tip his hat much, saying that he’s “always looking to add.”  Jennings added that he’s exploring potentially bringing “one or two more guys to camp,” according to MLB Network Radio (on Twitter).


James Shields Rumors: Thursday

The market for James Shields is picking up steam, to say the least, with multiple reports indicating that he could decide upon a team before this weekend comes to a close. As of yesterday, the Marlins were still said to be in talks for Shields, with the Cubs “kicking the tires.” The Padres were indirectly connected to Shields, as reports had them seeking a top-end starter, though Shields was not mentioned by name.

Here are today’s Shields-related items…

  • “The Padres…have to be considered favorites for” Shields, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets.  The fact that Shields lives in San Diego could indeed give the Padres the edge, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman writes.
  • While the Padres are indeed “among the favorites” for Shields, Heyman reports that “a few other teams, including at least one surprise” are in contact with Shields’ camp.  A person connected to the Cubs tells Heyman that Chicago could get involved in Shields’ market if his price falls significantly; the Cubs’ interest in Shields was first reported yesterday.
  • The Blue Jays are “kicking the tires” on Shields, which is a surprise to Heyman given their payroll limitations.  This isn’t the first time Toronto has been linked to Shields, though it remains to be seen if the Jays can create the financial space to sign Shields even at a lowered price tag.

Earlier Updates

  • The Dodgers are currently focused on international stars Yoan Moncada and Hector Olivera and not Shields, tweets Hall of Fame journalist Peter Gammons. Many have speculated that the Dodgers could make a play based not only on their deep pockets but on the presence of former Rays GM Andrew Friedman atop the new L.A. baseball operations department.
  • Multiple sources have told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that they do not expect the Marlins to sign Shields. One source characterized the chances as “zero percent.” For what it’s worth, others have also reported the chances as “zero,” only to have rumors of talks between the two sides resurface. Ultimately, however, it seems that the Fish are long shots. Shields’ reported desire to play for a team on the West Coast and the Marlins’ limited payroll are both detrimental factors.
  • Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has been told by sources in recent weeks that the Cardinals “are not a team with interest.” As Goold outlines, the Cardinals may be wary not only of forfeiting a draft pick but of forfeiting the portion of their draft bonus pool that would go along with it. Based on last year’s slot figures, signing Shields would cost St. Louis 28.3 percent of its bonus pool.

Marlins Win Arbitration Hearing Against Mat Latos

The Marlins have won their arbitration hearing against newly-acquired righty Mat Latos, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick was first to report (Twitter link). Latos had filed at $10.4MM but will instead receive the $9.4MM that Miami submitted.

Though he will not achieve his full asking price, Latos nevertheless receives a nice bump up over last year’s $7.25MM salary, which constituted the second-year of an extension signed with the Reds. He also lands a healthy margin above the MLBTR/Matt Swartz projection of $8.4MM.

All said, though the panel chose to go with the lower figure, Latos was obviously well-rewarded for a half-season of work last year. The 27-year-old missed time early and only made 16 starts, though he logged a healthy 102 1/3 frames in the process. That matched the pace he had set in the prior two seasons, when he notched better than 200 frames in over thirty outings.

Latos has produced uniformly excellent results. Over the last three seasons, he has not strayed from the 3.16 to 3.48 ERA range over a full season. While his strikeout totals dipped last year to 6.5 K/9, he held the free passes down to a career-low 2.3 per nine.


James Shields Rumors: Wednesday

We learned last night that the market for James Shields was taking shape, with multiple offers on the table and an expectation that the righty would be signed by the end of the week. Today figures to deliver plenty more reporting on the best remaining free agent, and we’ll keep tabs on it here.

  • The Cubs have entered the fray and are “kicking the tires” on Shields, reports David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com. Kaplan, too, hears that Shields is expected to choose a team by the end of the week, and the Cubs are among those he is considering. Kaplan tweets that the Cubs have been waiting to see where the Shields market ended up before getting too involved. He adds that Shields has interest in Chicago, with his relationship with manager Joe Maddon being a factor.

Earlier Updates

  • Shields’s agent, Page Odle, has indicated to some clubs that his client is “getting close to resolution,” according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (via Twitter).
  • While it remains unclear exactly where they stand, the Marlins “remain in talks” involving Shields, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports. As he writes, the club is more interested in a three-year deal than in going to four, with its pursuit complicated by payroll projections and the undecided situation of Dan Haren.
  • If Miami is in, several other at-least-hypothetical landing spots appear to be out: The Cardinals prefer to plug Carlos Martinez in the rotation rather than signing Shields, tweets Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Rangers have not modified their intentions to avoid major free agent pitching investments, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan (via Twitter). And the always-unpredictable Athletics are not involved, per a tweet from Heyman.
  • Two more west coast teams, the Giants and Angels, are also not currently in the running, Heyman reports (Twitter links). San Francisco had been in conversations in the four-year, $80MM range with Shields earlier in the offseason, per an Olney tweet, but ended up pursuing (and signing) Jake Peavy and Ryan Vogelsong when they were rebuffed.

(more…)


Pirates Acquire Arquimedes Caminero From Marlins

The Pirates have acquired right-handed reliever Arquimedes Caminero from the Marlins in exchange for cash, Pittsburgh announced. Caminero had been designated for assignment by Miami.

Caminero has an enticing arm that has delivered an average of 11.0 K/9 (against 4.5 BB/9) in his nine years of minor league action. He has seen only limited action at the big league level, posting 19 2/3 frames of 5.49 ERA pitching (albeit with many of the credited runs coming in one rough outing last year).

As he was added to the 40-man roster in advance of the 2011 season, it would appear that Caminero has exhausted his optional assignment seasons. Pittsburgh will take a flier on his mid-90s heater, but it seems he will need to break camp with the big league club or face the waiver wire.


Quick Hits: Workman, Ogando, Rockies, Loria

Twins outfielder Byron Buxton is the top prospect in baseball, per MLB.com’s top 100 prospects. The Cubs have two prospects in the top five – Kris Bryant (second) and Addison Russell (fifth). The Dodgers have three in the top 13 – Corey Seager (seventh), Julio Urias (eighth), and Joc Pederson (13th). The Cubs and Twins are the two teams with five prospects in the top 50. Here’s more news from around the league.


NL East Notes: Freeman, Olivera, Shields

With the Braves in the throes of a rapid rebuilding effort, first baseman Freddie Freeman has now played more games with the Braves than anyone else on the roster, writes Mark Bowman of MLB.com. While Freeman is optimistic about the 2015 season, it’s worth noting that Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, and Evan Gattis represented 51 percent of the club’s home runs in 2014. Losing the three biggest bashers from an otherwise moribund offense could be seen as a major issue. Freeman hopes a greater emphasis on contact will help to counteract the loss of power.

  • The Braves held a private workout for Cuban second baseman Hector Olivera, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America. In attendance to watch the 29-year-old were manager Fredi Gonzalez and assistant GM John Coppolella. Olivera is likely to sign as a second or third baseman – both positions the Braves could improve upon. Current candidates for both positions include Chris Johnson, Alberto Callaspo, Kelly Johnson, Jace Peterson, and Phil Gosselin. The Padres and Giants have also been tied to Olivera per Baseball America.
  • The Marlins should consider a “Hail Mary” offer for free agent pitcher James Shields, suggests Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. A two-year, $35MM proposal might represent the limit for what the club can afford. Since Shields rejected a qualifying offer, he’ll cost a draft pick to sign in addition to the financial considerations. Such an offer represents a long shot for both sides. The Marlins are thought to be up against their payroll limit, so an addition would require the approval of owner Jeffrey Loria. From Shields perspective, he’s thought to be seeking at least four years and $70MM.

 


Quick Hits: Joba, Beachy, Eovaldi, Clippard

Rather than throwing touchdowns for the Patriots, could Tom Brady have instead had a career throwing out baserunners for the Expos?  MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro looks back at how Montreal selected Brady (then a catcher at Serra High School) in the 18th round of the 1995 draft, even though it was widely known that Brady was going to play football at Michigan.  “I think he would have been a pro,” said scout John Hughes, who evaluated Brady for the Expos.  “He had all the intangibles. He could throw, left-handed power. There is no reason to think this guy couldn’t have been a big league catcher.”  While every New England sports fan breathes a sigh of relief that Brady stuck to the gridiron, here are some more notes from around baseball…

  • Joba Chamberlain has rejected multiple offers because he simply didn’t want to pitch for the teams that offered him those deals, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports.  He’s considering a one-year deal with a modest base salary and incentives, as his hopes for a two-year contract have likely gone by the wayside.  There is still some question about Chamberlain’s makeup amongst league executives, and one exec told Rosenthal that the Tigers‘ lack of interest in re-signing Chamberlain “alarmed him” given Detroit’s need for bullpen help.
  • Though Brandon Beachy was reportedly considering multiple offers and was thought to be close to signing a new contract earlier this month, his agent Rob Martin tells Ken Rosenthal (all Twitter links) that the right-hander will wait a bit longer.  “Brandon has decided not to sign a contract at this time. With each day his arm is getting stronger and he’s feeling even more confident about his progress,” Martin said.  “Thus, he is going to continue with his throwing program and make a decision closer to Spring Training.”
  • The Marlins were linked to Wade Miley earlier this winter, and now ESPN’s Buster Olney (Insider subscription required) reports that the Marlins thought they were in agreement with the Diamondbacks on a Miley-for-Nathan Eovaldi trade.  Arizona pulled out of the deal, however, and Miami instead dealt Eovaldi to the Yankees while the D’Backs sent Miley to the Red Sox.
  • Also from Olney, there is some speculation in rival front offices that the Nationals‘ trade of Tyler Clippard might’ve been motivated by more than just a desire to move salary, especially since Washington just signed Casey Janssen to a healthy contract.  It’s possible the Nats could see “red flags” about Clippard’s future production that aren’t obvious to most observers, especially given that Clippard had another strong season in 2014.