Here are a handful of notes on the Marlins, via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
- Marlins bidders Jorge Mas and Derek Jeter won’t be joining forces, Jackson writes. Mas, the Miami billionaire, contacted Jeter weeks ago and asked him to join Mas’ ownership group (as Fan Rag’s Jon Heyman also recently noted). Jeter refused, however, because he wants to control both the baseball and business sides of the team despite only contributing a relatively modest $25MM of his own money (as Heyman also previously noted). Jeter’s desire to control all parts of the team’s operations were also an issue when Jeter was previously part of a bidding group that included Jeb Bush.
- An earlier report indicated union executive (and former big-league outfielder) Jose Cruz Jr. would be part of the Mas group. Jackson indicates that no specific role has been outlined for Cruz, but that Mas and his group do favor him.
- The Marlins aren’t actively looking to trade Dee Gordon, but might deal him for the right return, Jackson suggests. A recent report from Heyman named the Royals, Angels and Blue Jays as potential bidders for Gordon, but indicated that the $41MM left on Gordon’s current deal might be a sticking point. Gordon is batting .291/.338/.353 in 380 plate appearances this season.
- Neither righty Brad Ziegler nor outfielder Ichiro Suzuki plan to retire after the season, Jackson writes. Ziegler considered retiring before signing with Miami last winter, Jackson indicates. It’s not surprising that those retirement plans are no more, however, since he’s signed for $9MM next season. The 37-year-old is, however, in the midst of a terrible year, with a 6.52 ERA, 5.3 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 over 29 innings. Ichiro would play in 2018 at the age of 44 and has a .220/.267/.294 line this year; Jackson suggests that Ichiro is unlikely to return to the Marlins next season, despite his plans to play.
- Infielder Miguel Rojas is set to return soon from a thumb injury, and manager Don Mattingly says he’s open to having Rojas compete with rookie JT Riddle for the starting shortstop job. Mattingly indicates, though, that he liked using Rojas in a utility role instead. Rojas has played all four infield positions with the Marlins this season.