5:29pm: In addition to Acta, former Reds/Cubs/Giants manager Dusty Baker is a “strong candidate” in the Marlins’ hunt for a manager, tweets MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. In a followup tweet, Frisaro reports that the team has “engaged in discussions” with Baker, though he’s unsure specifically when those talks began. In a third tweet, he notes that it’s still not a sure thing that Jennings will return as GM.
5:11pm: It’s been previously reported that Dan Jennings will be asked to relinquish his role as Marlins manager in 2016, and Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes now reports (via Twitter) that the team has interviewed Manny Acta for the position. Interestingly, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports (also via Twitter) that Jennings has been officially notified that he will not return as manager in 2016 despite the fact that he now wants to return to the role. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that when asked, Jennings was unaware of any talks with Acta.
Acta, 46, has served as manager of both the Nationals and Indians, each for parts of three seasons. Acta has a career record of just 372-518 as a big league manager, though he was placed given the reins on clubs that carried low expectations at the time of his hiring. As Jackson further tweets, the Marlins consider the fact that Acta is bilingual to be a factor in their interest.
Reports have indicated that the Marlins have offered Jennings the opportunity to return to the front office this offseason, but it’s unclear exactly how similar his role would be. Assistant GM Mike Berger has assumed a great deal of Jennings’ duties since the change and is said to have the ear of owner Jeffrey Loria. The Marlins have also reassigned one of Jennings’ lieutenants (former VP of player personnel Craig Weissman) and fired another (former pro scout Mickey White). Jennings, in turn, has been linked to other GM openings, most notably the Mariners and Phillies (though the latter of the two was seemingly speculative in nature).