“There may be no ownership group in baseball that is more involved in the selection of its manager” than the Nationals, Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post writes as part of a look at Dave Martinez’s hiring and owner Ted Lerner’s influence. Martinez’s three-year contract is “normal for the industry, outlandish for the Nats,” which indicates that Lerner (who just turned 92 last month) is more committed than ever to finally capture that elusive World Series championship. It could also hint at an aggressive offseason for Washington as it tries to add the final pieces to an already strong team.
Here’s more from around the NL East…
- The Braves have a need at third base, but David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution considers it unlikely that the team will look for a major upgrade at the hot corner this winter thanks to the presence of prospect Austin Riley. The 41st overall pick in the 2015 draft, Riley has shown solid power potential in his young career, including a .900 OPS in 203 Double-A plate appearances last season. With Riley perhaps on pace to crack the big leagues as a September call-up this year and then be in the mix for regular duty at third base in 2019, Atlanta doesn’t want to block his progress by adding a veteran on a long-term contract. MLBTR, for the record, predicted Mike Moustakas as a Braves signing this winter in our list of the top 50 free agents.
- The Braves’ front office situation is still up in the air, though potential GM candidates could include such names as Alex Anthopoulos, Dan O’Dowd and Josh Byrnes, as per O’Brien (Twitter link) and MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. One interesting aspect of Atlanta’s search is that many of the names connected (this trio plus Jim Hendry, Dan Jennings, Ben Cherington, and rumored top choice Dayton Moore) are all former or current Major League general managers. This could indicate that the Braves want an experienced baseball operations leader who would be better equipped to operate despite whatever punishments or restrictions the organization could face once MLB concludes its investigation.
- The Marlins are considering stretching out left-hander Jarlin Garcia in Spring Training to give him a shot at a starting job, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes. Garcia made his MLB debut last year, posting a 4.73 ERA, 7.1 K/9 and 2.47 K/BB rate over 53 1/3 innings out of Miami’s bullpen. His numbers worsened as the season went on, however, which add to durability concerns about Garcia’s potential as a starter; Frisaro notes that the southpaw was converted to a relief role due to past concerns about his ability to stay healthy and effective as a starter. Assuming Garcia doesn’t run into any injury issues, the Marlins have little to lose by at least kicking the tires on his rotation potential, given how the club is sorely in need of starting pitching help.
Fish need to keep Jarlin in the bullpen. Don’t think he has what it takes to succeed as a starter.
I disagree with that plan for Jarlin Garcia. He was excellent coming out of the Pen. He did fade a little, but young players often do that because of the grind in the Big Leagues. Don’t Mess with what he has done. If Barraclough becomes the closer, Garcia is an excellent choice to pitch the 7th or 8th……and Steckenrider pitching the other. Ellington has the arm, but needs some additional time to harness the power.
All those GM options are awful. Except Moore and that isn’t happening.
Wouldn’t say that about Anthopoulos. He’s surely bold, and he knows when to go for it. I’m a Sox fan and have never had love for the Jays, but I think he’s the best GM they’ve had since Gillick.
He and Cherrington are better than Moore
Josh Burns, hurry before he gets fired again! Nice name, what a joke
The article doesn’t mention Doug Harris… I read yesterday he was the favorite if John Hart stays. I think the truth is no one knows
Byrnes would be an outstanding choice for Atlanta. I would love Josh Byrnes as VP of Baseball Ops and someone like Jason McLeod or Billy Ryan as GM.
In order of those listed my preferences would be:
Jason McLeod is not leaving the Cubs to become the GM under Hart and VP Byrnes. That makes the GM nothing more then an assistant GM figurehead
I hope they hire anyone but Dan O’Dowd. I like him on MLB Network.
Yunel Escobar back to the Bravos on a shorty perhaps?!?
No way if you are gonna bring a bridge to Riley in I would rather Brandon Phillips come back.
Sign him, Addison Reed & trade for Fulmer. I think that those moves are realistic.
Escobar was a controversial player when he was with the braves before. He was often accused of being moody and at times unmotivated. While I realize that it has been a number of years since Escobar played in Atlanta and he is older and hopefully more mature, I just don’t think it is a likely fit.
I’d think if Brandon Phillips is willing to sign a one year deal he’d be a much better fit.
Braves should hire AA – he should never have been ousted out of Toronto
I’d like to see Atlanta bring back Prado to man 3B until Riley is ready. Sounds like the Marlins are more concerned about dumping his salary than getting any type of size able return.
Nick Castellonos at third next year for Atlanta
Braves need to stay away from Mike Moustakas. The guy is really overrated and has put on some serious weight. Bad signs for someone that might want a long term stupid contract. Go get BP again. He fit well, had good chemistry, and would be a gap filler anyways. The guy can hit well enough for us. Not to mention we have Carmargo. Don’t spend a ton of money for 3B at this point.
On the GM note, I really would like if the braves just went and got a no name and hope for the best. It think the current options would be a real bummer to ultimately get.