MLB Trade Rumors » » Miami Marlins 2017-09-26T05:36:19Z Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Olney: Jeter Taking Over "Complicated Set Of Obstacles"]]> 2017-09-25T03:26:57Z 2017-09-25T03:21:02Z
  • In taking over the Marlins, Derek Jeter is also taking over “what might be baseball’s most complicated set of obstacles,” ESPN’s Buster Olney writes. One of the many problems Jeter will face is the team’s debt, which is tied to Giancarlo Stanton’s hefty contract. Keeping Stanton could leave the Marlins with little room to maneuver in the coming years, but trading him would be seen as a move similar to the team’s trade of Miguel Cabrera years ago.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rosenthal: Marlins Could Target Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton]]> 2017-09-23T23:47:59Z 2017-09-23T23:47:59Z Given their prospects and resources, the Phillies are in position to make at least one big offseason splash, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal observes (video link). “It’s no secret” the Phillies have interest in Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, and teammate Giancarlo Stanton could also be on their radar, Rosenthal says. Elsewhere, they’ll “actively” seek starting pitching, with Rosenthal naming impending free agent Rays right-hander Alex Cobb as a logical target, and may dangle shortstop Freddy Galvis to address a need in another area.  (Earlier Saturday on MLBTR, Mark Polishuk broke down the Phillies’ three biggest needs heading into the offseason.)


    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Prospective Marlins Owners To Fire Four Special Assistants]]> 2017-09-23T01:36:25Z 2017-09-23T01:36:25Z In an evident bid for a fresh start, the prospective Marlins ownership group has notified a series of high-profile special assistants that they will not be retained once the sale is completed, according to an eye-opening report from Barry Jackson and Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Specifically, the Marlins will no longer employ former manager Jack McKeon, notable player Jeff Conine, and Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Tony Perez.

    The move may not have dramatic implications for the day-to-day operations of the team, as these four prominent baseball men were not among the core leadership. But they all have deep roots with the organization and did provide notable contributions. Many teams retain such respected figures on similar arrangements.

    In this case, salary details are not known. The move seems to represent yet another sign that the new ownership group will be looking to make some significant reductions in operating expenses. Just how that’ll translate into an offseason roster strategy isn’t yet known, but it seems more and more likely that the Miami organization will try to sell some veteran assets than that it will look to add MLB talent around its current core.

    The move to cut out such prominent figures seemingly suggests, too, that not much will be seen as sacred when Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman take charge. That may well extend to current players and will no doubt apply to front-office employees. Some baseball operations personnel will likely be sent packing, per the report, though it’s not clear just who or when.

    The way that this move went down has sparked a bit of controversy, too. Jeter is said to have asked outgoing president David Samson to deliver the news rather than doing so himself — after informing Samson that he would not be a part of the organization (as was already widely expected). Needless to say, it’s an interesting opening salvo for Jeter and co.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Martin Prado May Not Return In 2017]]> 2017-09-19T19:36:34Z 2017-09-19T13:31:04Z
  • It’s now unlikely that Marlins third baseman Martin Prado will make it back for any significant playing time before the end of the 2017 season, Tim Healey of the Sun-Sentinel reports. The veteran has been trying to return from knee surgery, but his rehab efforts were interrupted by Hurricane Irma. Whether or not he can suit up, it seems promising at least that the 33-year-old seems to have bounced back fairly well from the procedure. After all, he’s still promised another $28.5MM over the next two seasons.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Marlins Notes: Ichiro, Jeter, Close]]> 2017-09-17T23:36:43Z 2017-09-17T23:35:07Z
  • It wouldn’t be surprising to see Ichiro Suzuki back with the Marlins next season given the respect Derek Jeter has for his former teammate, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes.  Suzuki, who turns 44 in October, has indicated that he intends to play in 2018.  The veteran has a .260/.325/.345 slash line over 195 PA for the Fish this season while providing backup at all three outfield spots.
    • It wouldn’t be surprising to see Ichiro Suzuki back with the Marlins next season given the respect Derek Jeter has for his former teammate, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes.  Suzuki, who turns 44 in October, has indicated that he intends to play in 2018.  The veteran has a .260/.325/.345 slash line over 195 PA for the Fish this season while providing backup at all three outfield spots.
    • Also from Jackson’s piece, he hears from an investor connected to the Jeter/Bruce Sherman ownership group that there was discussion earlier this summer about the possibility of Casey Close, Jeter’s longtime agent, joining the Marlins front office.  It isn’t known if this idea is still being considered, or if Close even has interest in a career change.  Jackson speculates that Close could oversee the Marlins’ business operations, while Jeter handles the baseball ops department.  Close currently heads Excel Sports Management’s baseball division, and it would send some major ripples through the agent world if he did depart for a new job given the number of players (including some of the game’s biggest names) represented by Excel.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giancarlo Stanton Says He's Not Worried About Future Trade Talks]]> 2017-09-12T07:00:08Z 2017-09-12T04:13:12Z In the course of discussing his mammoth home run output this year — and the importance of reaching 61 — Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton also addressed his future with Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. Even if the organization wants to and can work out a deal involving Stanton, he’ll have veto power over any deals. But he says that’s not on his mind at the moment. “I’m literally just worried about tomorrow, the next hour,” says Stanton. “I know how everything works around here, so I’m not surprised, and not worried about two months from now or the offseason.”

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[MLBTR Poll: Giancarlo Stanton’s 2017 HR Total]]> 2017-09-10T04:42:48Z 2017-09-10T03:18:49Z Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton continued marching toward the 60-home run mark on Saturday when he slugged his 54th long ball of the year, a 456-foot shot off Braves left-hander Max Fried. While the 68-74 Marlins lost the game and have dropped 11 of their past 13 to plummet from playoff contention, Stanton still seems likely to garner serious NL MVP consideration even if he doesn’t reach 60. The 27-year-old currently leads every other NL player by at least 17 homers, after all, and has slashed an incredible .282/.377/.646 in 604 plate appearances.

    Giancarlo Stanton

    The excellence Stanton has exhibited could be difficult for MVP voters to ignore, particularly if he does reach the celebrated 60 figure by season’s end. In doing so, the 27-year-old would follow Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Maris and Babe Ruth as the sixth player to accomplish the feat (McGwire and Sosa each did it multiple times) and the first since 2001. That was the year Bonds smashed a record 73. Remarkably, Stanton may have outdone his former hitting coach had he been as otherworldly in the season’s first half as he has been since the All-Star break.

    While Stanton racked up a “mere” 26 long balls in 369 PAs between Opening Day and mid-July, he’s already at 28 through 235 attempts over the nearly two months since the Yankees’ Aaron Judge upstaged him at the Home Run Derby on Stanton’s turf in Miami. Stanton has gone yard every 8.39 trips to the plate in the second half, which would translate to 83 over a 700-PA season (Stanton’s on track for 698). Should Stanton continue to stay healthy and hammer HRs at his second-half pace, he’d finish the year with around 65 – a number only Bonds, McGwire (twice) and Sosa (twice) have matched or exceeded.

    As superb as Stanton has been, it goes without saying that it will be immensely difficult for him to keep raking at his current clip over the Marlins’ final 20 games of the season. But both the slate of mostly unspectacular starting pitchers scheduled to face Stanton over the next couple weeks and the Marlins’ three-game set at Colorado’s Coors Field thereafter should aid him in his quest to go deep at least six more times this year. Clearly, Stanton’s on the verge of posting one of the most awe-inspiring offensive seasons in the history of the sport. The question is: Will he pull it off?

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Latest On Marlins’ Ownership Transition]]> 2017-09-07T13:05:50Z 2017-09-07T13:05:50Z Even as would-be Marlins owners Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter begin digging into operational details, the prospective ownership team is still working to finalize the deal reached with current owner Jeffrey Loria in early August. Things still seem to be on course, though the process is far from over.

    Indeed, the league intends to take a close look at the arrangement, Charlie Gasparino and Brian Schwartz of FOX Business write, peeking into the pocketbooks of the proposed investor group members and assessing the deal’s structure (in particular, it’s mix of debt and equity). MLB is hoping to ensure that the new ownership group is equipped to engineer a turnaround for a cash-strapped organization.

    That effort could take “months” to resolve, per the report. MLB does hope to wrap things up by the time the World Series ends, though. That’s an important time marker, since the offseason kicks into gear immediately thereafter.

    That process is already underway. Sherman has already met with MLB owners. Jeter will have his turn to do so within the week, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag, as he will present his ideas for running the club to the ownership committee that will assess the deal.

    There are no shortage of questions facing the Marlins this winter; the club has had its moments, but still sits five games under .500 and lacks a clear path to contention in 2018. Superstar Giancarlo Stanton and other core players could — some would say should — be dangled in trade over the coming offseason.

    Needless to say, Sherman and Jeter will have quite a lot to tackle in assessing the ballclub and implementing a plan. Even if the approval process goes smoothly, there likely won’t be much of a grace period before the new ownership group begins making tough decisions — including, but not limited to, player transactions.

    In order to hit the ground running, the owners-to-be have begun assessing the club’s operations. As Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald writes, Sherman and Jeter met earlier this week with “various department heads” within the organization, including but not limited to baseball operations. Those sit-downs will presumably help the incoming duo sort out a strategy for revamping the organization once the deal is finalized.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Marlins Activate Wei-Yin Chen]]> 2017-09-05T03:04:10Z 2017-09-05T01:40:03Z After an absence of a bit more than four months, Marlins left-hander Wei-Yin Chen has been activated from the 60-day disabled list, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports (Twitter links). He’ll head to the bullpen for the time being.

    Chen’s return is not insignificant for a Marlins club that has ridden a historic Giancarlo Stanton hot streak back to the fringes of the National League Wild Card race. While they’re still five games out of the second Wild Card spot (with three teams to vault), the Marlins have at least managed to make things interesting down the stretch.

    Of course, what the Fish could really use right now is a quality starting pitcher. That’s just what the team thought it was getting when it signed Chen to a five-year, $80MM deal before the 2016 season.

    Instead, Chen has worked to a 4.85 ERA over just 150 1/3 innings since arriving in Miami. He has made only five starts this year, spending most of the season rehabbing through a partial UCL tear.

    There’s no chance at this point that Chen will opt out of the remaining $60MM over three years left on his contract. Hopefully for both he and the team, however, he’ll at least be able to get back on track late in 2017 and come into camp healthy for the 2018 season.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jorge Mas Would Not Have Slashed Payroll Had He Bought Marlins]]> 2017-09-03T21:58:08Z 2017-09-03T21:58:08Z
  • It doesn’t appear that the Marlins’ low-spending ways will change when their new ownership group takes over, but their fate would have been different had local businessman Jorge Mas purchased the team, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets. Unlike owners-to-be Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter, Mas would not have planned to slash payroll had he put forth the winning bid for the franchise.  Mas finished as the runner-up to Sherman and Jeter, who are at the helm of a faction that agreed last month to buy the Marlins from Jeffrey Loria for $1.2 billion.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Latest On Plans Of Next Marlins Ownership Group]]> 2017-09-03T19:09:16Z 2017-09-03T19:06:56Z While the Marlins’ Jeffrey Loria era will soon end, the franchise’s low-payroll ways won’t, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.  Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter agreed to purchase the team from Loria for $1.2 billion ($400MM of which will come from Sherman), but they don’t have the type of money necessary to spend big on a roster, according to a potential investor who spoke with Jackson. Sherman and Jeter informed Jackson’s source that they plan to pare down payroll from $115MM to either $80MM to $85MM or $55MM in 2018, depending on whether they trade high-priced MVP candidate Giancarlo Stanton. Slashing spending won’t sit well with Marlins fans who have witnessed the team go on a late-season run and Stanton turn in an awe-inspiring 2017 performance, Jackson notes. And Jackson adds other details that likely won’t please fans, either, as the investor told him Jeter’s set to pay himself $5MM per year until he recoups his $25MM investment and get a company credit card so he can cover expenses from his home in Tampa Bay to Miami.  Further, Jackson suggests that FOX won’t be renegotiating the Marlins’ television contract, the least valuable in baseball, before its expiration at the conclusion of the 2020 campaign.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Wei-Yin Chen To Return In Coming Days]]> 2017-09-03T03:27:56Z 2017-09-03T03:27:56Z The Padres fired hitting coach Alan Zinter on Friday, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweets. Zinter lasted less than two seasons in the position, having taken the job in November 2015. The Padres’ offense ranked toward the bottom of the majors during Zinter’s run, but he didn’t exactly have a world of proven talent at his disposal. Manager Andy Green explained to Lin that he’s seeking a “different voice” for the role. Meanwhile, GM A.J. Preller told AJ Cassavell of that the Padres will begin searching for a successor immediately, but he indicated there’s no rush to hire a replacement (Twitter link).

    Here’s more from the National League:

    • The Brewers’ rotation was rife with question marks entering the season, but it now appears the surprise contenders have at least three legitimate building blocks in Jimmy Nelson, Chase Anderson and Zach Davies, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel observes. The emergence of that cost-controlled trio has been especially important to a team that’s not able to spend big on free agents, and Haudricourt points out that the Brewers may even have a couple more promising young starters on hand (Brandon Woodruff and Josh Hader). It’s possible they’ll go into 2018 with those five comprising their rotation, Haudricourt notes.
    • Rockies outfielder David Dahl is resigned to the fact that he won’t be able to contribute this year, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes. Dahl hasn’t appeared in a major league game this season, and he hasn’t played in a minor league contest since July 31, thanks to the rib injury he suffered during spring training. Now, Dahl doesn’t expect to swing a bat again until December, according to Saunders. “The thing I really need is rest, to let it heal completely, because every time I would start swinging, I would start feeling it again,” said the 23-year-old Dahl, who excited the Rockies last season with a .315/.359/.500 batting line in a 237-plate appearance rookie campaign.
    • A partial UCL tear in Wei-Yin Chen’s left elbow has kept him from taking the mound since May 1, but he’ll return to the Marlins in the coming days, Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. While Chen will finish 2017 as a reliever, the Marlins expect to slot him back into their rotation next season. After this fall’s World Series, Chen will be able to opt out of the remaining three years and $52MM left on the five-year, $80MM contract he signed with the Fish in January 2016. That’s obviously not going to happen, though, as the ex-Oriole has struggled with injuries and turned in mediocre results during his two years in Miami.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Cafardo: Red Sox Must Pursue Giancarlo Stanton]]> 2017-09-02T22:40:37Z 2017-09-02T22:40:37Z The first-place Red Sox’s success this year has come despite a lack of power (they entered Saturday 26th in the majors in home runs and 27th in ISO), leading Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe to argue that they have to pursue Giancarlo Stanton in the offseason.  It’s unclear whether the new Marlins ownership group will shop the right fielder and potential 60-home run man, but Cafardo contends that a Red Sox offer consisting of left fielder Andrew Benintendi, left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez and a pitching prospect would grab the attention of Derek Jeter & Co.  As great as Stanton has been this year, it’s tough to imagine Boston parting with Benintendi, a top-flight rookie who won’t even be eligible for arbitration until after the 2019 campaign.  Stanton, meanwhile, is still due another $295MM from 2018-28, and his contract includes full no-trade rights and an opt-out clause after the 2020 campaign.

    Jason Martinez <![CDATA[Knocking Down The Door: Anderson, Gonsalves, Lopez, Maples, Walker]]> 2017-08-28T20:56:16Z 2017-08-28T19:03:11Z “Knocking Down the Door” is a regular feature that identifies minor leaguers who are making a case for a big league promotion.

    Brian Anderson, 3B, Miami Marlins (Triple-A New Orleans) | Marlins Depth Chart

    Brian Anderson | Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsSince a mid-July promotion to Triple-A New Orleans, the 24-year-old Anderson has been hitting like someone who knows he’s auditioning for a Major League job. In 29 Pacific Coast League games, the right-handed hitting third baseman is slashing .350/.420/.631 with eight home runs and 12 multi-hit games.

    Dee Gordon and Martin Prado will presumably be on the trade block this offseason, and the Marlins wouldn’t pull the trigger on dealing either player without knowing if they have a potential in-house replacement (Prado could move to second base if Gordon is traded). If there is a Marlins prospect who is a candidate to step into a starting role in 2018, it would be Anderson, a former third-round draft pick. Calling him up in the near future and giving him 100+ plate appearances would give the Marlins a much better idea of how capable he is of becoming their starting third baseman next season.

    Stephen Gonsalves, SP, Minnesota Twins (Triple-A Rochester) | Twins Depth Chart

    A shoulder injury that pushed Gonsalves’ season debut to mid-May could be a blessing in disguise for him and the Twins. While most starting pitching prospects are usually close to their innings limit in August and not expected to contribute much at the Major League level in September and beyond, Gonsalves is at 109 2/3 innings after his latest start. Considering that he threw 140 innings during a breakout 2016 in which he appeared very much on the fast track to the Major Leagues, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s pitching for the playoff-contending Twins late this season.

    The 23-year-old lefty was recently promoted to Triple-A following a dominant 28-start stint in Double-A (161 2/3 IP, 2.28 ERA, 6.1 H/9, 3.3 BB/9, 10.3 K/9) over the past two seasons. After posting back-to-back quality starts, Gonsalves struggled in his third Triple-A outing before bouncing back with another stellar effort over the weekend (6 IP, ER, 7 H, BB, 6 K). The Twins are currently in possession of a Wild Card berth with Bartolo Colon and Dillon Gee serving as their fourth and fifth starters, respectively. If they’re going to hold on, they might need to turn to their farm system one more time. Gonsalves could be the difference maker.

    Jose Lopez, SP, Cincinnati Reds (Double-A Pensacola) | Reds Depth Chart

    The 23-year-old Lopez is only three months removed from pitching in the High-A Florida State League, but there are already several reasons to believe that he’s not far away from the Majors. After allowing 15 earned runs in his first 27 innings with Double-A Pensacola, the right-hander has been one of the best pitchers in the Minor Leagues. In his last 10 starts, he has a 1.24 ERA with 4.8 H/9, 1.6 BB/9 and 8.0 K/9. He’s completed at least six innings and hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs or five hits over that span.

    During Lopez’s first crack at the upper minors, he’s shown an ability to make adjustments, miss bats, throw strikes and pitch deep into games—he has a 68.5% strike rate and hasn’t thrown more than 96 pitches in any of his 10 consecutive quality starts. Tyler Mahle, who made this list on May 1st and June 27thbecame the 15th Reds’ pitcher to make a start in 2017 when he made his MLB debut yesterday. Lopez deserves to be the 16th.

    Dillon Maples, RP, Chicago Cubs (Triple-A Iowa) | Cubs Depth Chart 

    The Cubs appeared to solidify what was already a deep and talented bullpen by acquiring lefty Justin Wilson at the trade deadline. Wilson has been mostly ineffective, however, while the team’s other key relievers have been unreliable, to put it kindly, over the past few weeks. It’s not quite a major area of concern at this point, considering the track record of the group, but it’s probably alarming enough to at least take a look at adding a reinforcement from the Minors, even one that began the season in High-A.

    Maples’ rise didn’t begin immediately after the team converted him to a reliever a few years back. His numbers out of the ’pen were unimpressive in 46 appearances in the low minors from 2015-16, but something has apparently clicked in 2017. In 51 appearances across three levels, including his last 16 with Triple-A Iowa, the 25-year-old has a 2.74 ERA, 6.2 H/9 and 14.3 K/9. The walks are a concern (5.3 BB/9), but he’s only walked more than one batter in three of his combined 30 appearances in the upper minors. It’s also worth noting that Carl Edwards Jr. had a 6.0 BB/9 in 24 Triple-A appearances last season but went on to finish the year as one of the best relievers on the World Series champs.

    Christian Walker, 1B/LF, Arizona Diamondbacks (Triple-A Reno) | Diamondbacks Depth Chart

    Walker’s already difficult path to the Majors could not have taken a worse turn during the past offseason. With limited at-bats available in Baltimore behind Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo, the right-handed hitting first baseman was designated for assignment in February. The likelihood of a better opportunity lied ahead. But it never came. By the time the regular season started, he had been claimed on waivers by three different teams—Braves, Reds and Diamondbacks—that employed superstar first basemen who rarely miss a game. In late March, he was designated for assignment a fourth time, only to clear waivers and remain with the Diamondbacks.

    To his credit, the 26-year-old did not let the limited opportunity and removal from the 40-man roster affect him at the plate. After putting up what would be slightly below-average numbers for a first baseman in Triple-A during parts of the previous three seasons, Walker has taken his game to another level in 2017. In 565 plate appearances, he’s been the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A version of Paul Goldschmidt, slashing .312/.384/.609 with 32 homers and 34 doubles. While the Pacific Coast League is more hitter-friendly than the International League, where Walker played previously, his improved walk and strikeout rates (145 BB, 406 K from ’14-16; 58 BB, 97 K in ’17) are indications that a better approach at the plate has helped lead to his success.

    A September call-up is in the cards as the D-backs have gotten very little from their pinch-hitters in ’17 (.636 OPS), but they’d also do Walker a huge favor by either trading him in the offseason to a team where he has a chance to play or removing him from the 40-man roster—assuming he’s added in September—so he can opt for free agency.

    Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Giants Have Reportedly Expressed Strongest Interest In Giancarlo Stanton]]> 2017-08-28T17:14:07Z 2017-08-28T17:14:07Z The Phillies, Cardinals and Rangers are among the teams that have reached out to the Marlins to express interest in slugger Giancarlo Stanton, but USA Today’s Bob Nightengale cites a “high-ranking Marlins executive” in reporting that the Giants are the club that has expressed the most interest.

    Miami has surged back to within striking distance of an NL Wild Card spot (largely due to Stanton’s recent heroics), so Stanton won’t be changing hands until this offseason, at the earliest. However, despite the recent offensive spike — Stanton is hitting .356/.462/.925 with 29 homers in his past 47 games — there are still numerous obstacles to a potential Stanton swap. Stanton’s 13-year contract affords him full no-trade protection, and Nightengale adds that not one prospective trade partner has expressed a willingness to absorb the remaining 10 years and $295MM on Stanton’s contract beyond the 2017 season.

    Beyond that, the Giants’ minor league system is not very well regarded. Tyler Beede entered the year as the top pitching prospect in San Francisco’s minor league ranks, but he’s had a poor season in Triple-A this year (albeit in a very hitter friendly environment). He’s now likely to miss the final two months of the season with a groin injury. Fellow right-hander Joan Gregorio posted a 3.04 ERA in 74 Triple-A innings but carried some questionable secondary metrics and saw his season end in early July due to a PED suspension.

    On paper, the Giants make a fair amount of sense as a trading partner for Stanton. San Francisco, as a team, ranks dead last in the Majors with 101 home runs this season. Stanton alone has nearly half that number, while the 29th-ranked Padres have out-homered the Giants by 25. That lack of pop is all the more glaring at a time when home runs are being hit at a record pace throughout the league.

    More specifically, the Giants’ outfield has been the worst in baseball this year by measure of slugging percentage, OPS and fWAR. They rank 29th in on-base percentage, ISO and wRC+ as well. Incumbent right fielder Hunter Pence will turn 35 next April and has struggled to a career-worst .254/.306/.378 batting line through 431 plate appearances this season. Stanton would provide a thunderous jolt to any lineup he joined, but there’s very arguably no team that has a more acute need for his skill set than the Giants.

    As for the Phillies, there may not be a team in baseball that can better handle his contract from a financial standpoint. Philadelphia’s only long-term commitment at present is to Odubel Herrera, and they have a history of lofty payrolls when contending. The Cardinals have been rumored to be in the market for an impact bat to place in the middle of their lineup since June, and the Rangers have little certainty in their outfield mix beyond 2017.

    All of this, of course, is putting the cart before the horse. There’s no guarantee that the new Marlins ownership group will be in a rush to trade Stanton on the heels of the best season of his excellent young career. Doing so would come with massive public relations repercussions and could start the Bruce Sherman/Derek Jeter-led ownership group out on the wrong foot with a fan base that has long harbored a potent distrust of previous owner Jeffrey Loria. That’s especially true when considering the fact that the Marlins would likely have to pay Stanton’s contract down to the point where an interested partner felt it carried enough surplus value not only to acquire Stanton but also to part with well-regarded young talent.

    The Marlins’ preference under new ownership, according to Nightengale, is to keep the payroll around $100MM, and Stanton’s salary will jump to $25MM next season. He’ll be paid $26MM in both 2019 and 2020, after which he can opt out of the remaining seven years of the deal. If he forgoes the opt-out, Stanton will be paid $29MM in 2021-22, $32MM in 2023-25, $29MM in 2026 and $25MM in 2027. Stanton’s contract also includes a $25MM option for the 2018 season, which comes with a $10MM buyout.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Olney: Marlins Would Be Unwise To Trade Giancarlo Stanton]]> 2017-08-27T17:14:52Z 2017-08-27T17:14:52Z
  • Trading right fielder Giancarlo Stanton and his massive contract would improve the Marlins’ financial situation, but dealing the franchise cornerstone shouldn’t be a consideration for the Derek Jeter-led ownership group that will soon take over in Miami, Buster Olney of ESPN opines. Just as Jeter was the face of the Yankees during his playing days, Stanton is the Marlins’ franchise player, writes Olney, who argues that moving the potential 60-home run man would get the new ownership team off on the wrong foot. But if Jeter & Co. do attempt to part with Stanton, Olney lists several potential fits for the 27-year-old in his column.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Marlins Rumors: Stanton, Ziegler, Peters]]> 2017-08-26T22:52:14Z 2017-08-26T22:50:13Z Thanks to an improbable late-season rally, the Marlins entered Saturday a game over .500 and 4.5 games behind Colorado for the National League’s last wild-card spot. They’re not going to attempt to sell veterans such as 49-home run right fielder Giancarlo Stanton or reliever Brad Ziegler anytime soon, then, Rosenthal suggests (video links). Dealing Stanton during the season looked extremely unlikely even before the Marlins’ recent run, given his enormous contract (10 years, $295MM left after this season), the opt-out in the deal after the 2020 campaign and his full no-trade clause – not to mention the team’s impending ownership change. Nevertheless, the Marlins have been getting calls on the surging 27-year-old, according to Rosenthal, who reports that teams have been offering packages consisting of prospects, salary relief and major leaguers for Stanton. Miami has not seriously considered any offers to this stage, but if Stanton’s incredible performance keeps up, proposals from other clubs should only get more appealing, Rosenthal posits.

    More from Rosenthal on the Marlins and two other clubs:

    • On account of their unexpected success, the Marlins seem to be on the lookout for rotation help, though president of baseball operations Michael Hill told Rosenthal that the starters who have cleared waivers in August are “not inspiring at all.” Stuck with the likes of Vance Worley and Justin Nicolino in their rotation, the Marlins could promote minor league left-hander Dillon Peters, per Rosenthal. The 24-year-old Peters has posted impressive numbers across 45 2/3 Double-A innings this season, with a 1.97 ERA, 7.88 K/9 against 2.17 BB/9 and a 46 percent grounder rate, and ranks him as the Marlins’ fourth-best prospect.
    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Brad Ziegler Reportedly Clears Waivers]]> 2017-08-26T22:06:13Z 2017-08-26T22:06:13Z
  • “It appears” as if Marlins closer Brad Ziegler has cleared August trade waivers, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes.  This means that Miami would be free to deal Ziegler to any team.  Ziegler is owed roughly $1.25MM remaining this season and $9MM in 2018, and prior to the trade deadline, the Marlins were reportedly willing to eat a large portion of that contract.  Ziegler, however, has only allowed runs in two of his last 22 appearances and he has pitched especially well since taking over as Miami’s closer.  Given that the Fish are now within striking distance of an NL wild card berth, it also isn’t clear if the team is still in selling mode.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Marlins Sign Grant Green, Acquire Jake Elmore]]> 2017-08-24T02:41:22Z 2017-08-24T02:39:32Z
  • With injuries sapping their infield depth, the Marlins added a pair of new players. Grant Green joins the organization on a minors deal while Jake Elmore was acquired from the Blue Jays in exchange for cash. Green, 29, has seen at least some MLB action in each of the past five years but owns a meager.261/.300/.370 batting line this year through 258 plate appearances. The 30-year-old Elmore also has appeared in five major league campaigns; his slash at the highest level of the minors this year stands at .235/.325/.274 through 380 plate appearances.

  • ]]>
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Outrighted: Vidal Nuno, Javy Guerra]]> 2017-08-23T18:16:11Z 2017-08-23T18:16:11Z Two relievers have cleared outright waivers, today, according to announcements from their respective organizations:

    • Orioles lefty Vidal Nuno has been assigned to Triple-A after clearing waivers. The 30-year-old struggled badly in a dozen appearances earlier this year with the O’s, but hadn’t been in the majors since a mid-June stint. Nuno, who was acquired as camp opened this spring, has had more success this year at the highest level of the minors. Over 22 1/3 innings at Norfolk, he owns a 2.82 ERA with 10.5 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9.
    • The Marlins have sent righty Javy Guerra back to Triple-A New Orleans. He was designated for assignment yesterday and cleared waivers since. Guerra, 31, has posted three MLB seasons with at least forty innings of sub-3.00 ERA ball. But the last of those came in 2014 and he has largely struggled in the upper minors ever since. Thus far in 2017, Guerra has scuffled through four MLB appearances and carries a 4.99 ERA with 7.6 K/9 against 3.7 BB/9 in his 48 2/3 innings at Triple-A.
    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Marlins Designate Javy Guerra]]> 2017-08-22T15:32:37Z 2017-08-22T15:11:16Z The Marlins have designated righty Javy Guerra for assignment, per a club announcement. His roster spot will go to southpaw Jarlin Garcia, who was activated from the DL.

    Guerra has had some success in the majors, compiling a 3.10 lifetime ERA over 162 1/3 frames. Most of those came with the Dodgers in 2011 and 2012, and he also enjoyed a productive run in 2014 with the White Sox.

    That said, the 31-year-old has seen only minimal MLB action over the past three seasons. This year, Guerra appeared in 5 2/3 innings for Miami, allowing four earned runs while both walking and striking out five opposing batters. He also struggled to a 4.99 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in his 48 2/3 frames at Triple-A New Orleans.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Tom Koehler Reflects On Time With Marlins]]> 2017-08-21T03:26:32Z 2017-08-21T01:03:28Z
  • Tom Koehler was dealt from the Marlins to the Blue Jays yesterday, ending the right-hander’s career-long stint in the Miami organization.  As Koehler tells Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, he is excited to go to Toronto, though it is a bittersweet feeling leaving the team that drafted him as an 18th-rounder in 2008.  “They [the Marlins] gave me an opportunity.  I don’t think a lot of people would have thought that I would’ve gotten as far as I have, and they gave me a chance to do it,” Koehler said.
  • ]]>
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Marlins Rumors: Stanton, Denbo]]> 2017-08-20T13:30:43Z 2017-08-20T13:30:43Z
  • Home run-hitting machine Giancarlo Stanton is among the game’s absolute best players at the moment, but the Marlins right fielder’s contract and injury history combine to make him a very tough sell around the majors, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. Stanton, who’s due $295MM from 2018-28 and has both full no-trade rights and a 2020 opt-out clause, went through revocable trade waivers unclaimed earlier this month. The executives Sherman spoke with aren’t surprised. “This is the problem if you make emotional decisions in the moment. Stanton is playing great now, but three months ago you would have thought he was at least a $100 million liability and three months from now you might feel the same,” one exec said of Stanton, who will create a dilemma for the Marlins’ new ownership group when it takes the reins. On one hand, Stanton’s contract is the biggest contributor to the franchise’s financial woes – the Marlins will lose $70MM-plus this year, per Sherman – so trading him would benefit Derek Jeter & Co. from a payroll standpoint. On the other, Stanton’s contract means Miami likely wouldn’t get the type of return for him that you’d expect for someone of his immense ability and star power. That means trading the 27-year-old would probably send the wrong message to a fan base that outgoing owner Jeffrey Loria has alienated over the years.
  • Yankees vice president of player development Gary Denbo is an early front-runner to become the Marlins’ general manager once the Jeter group assumes control of the franchise, according to Mark Feinsand of (Twitter links).  Denbo has worked in various capacities with the Yankees since the 1990s, the decade in which Jeter’s professional career began, and was a mentor to the the now-retired shortstop during his Hall of Fame-caliber playing days.  The two remain “close,” Feinsand notes.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Blue Jays Acquire Tom Koehler]]> 2017-08-20T00:13:41Z 2017-08-19T23:40:30Z The Blue Jays have acquired right-hander Tom Koehler and cash considerations from the Marlins for minor league righty Osman Gutierrez, according to announcements from both teams. Gutierrez will report to Single-A Greensboro with his new organization.

    Tom Koehler

    [RELATED: Updated Blue Jays Depth Chart]

    Koehler, who’s on a $5.75MM salary and has another year of arbitration eligibility remaining, got off to a poor start this season and began surfacing in trade rumors in May. While Koehler was a competent back-end starter in Miami from 2013-16, a stretch in which he combined for a 4.14 ERA (4.30 FIP) with 6.82 K/9, 3.67 BB/9 and a 44.6 percent ground-ball rate over 698 1/3 innings, the 31-year-old has endured a miserable 2017. Across 12 starts and 55 2/3 frames, Koehler has logged a 7.92 ERA (6.89 FIP), 7.11 K/9, 4.69 BB/9 and a 38.1 percent grounder mark. However, Koehler has dominated in 37 2/3 Triple-A innings this year (1.67 ERA, 13.14 K/9, 3.11 BB/9), which could provide hope for an eventual big league turnaround.

    Whether Koehler will immediately head to Toronto or Triple-A Buffalo is unclear. Regardless, he’ll provide some depth to a 59-64 Jays club that’s 3.5 games out of a wild-card spot and currently has a couple question marks in its rotation behind the proven trio of Marco Estrada, Marcus Stroman and J.A. Happ. One of those question marks, Chris Rowley, has gotten good results over a pair of starts, while the long-struggling Nick Tepesch has turned in subpar work over three appearances from the rotation since Toronto acquired him from the Twins in late July.

    Gutierrez, 22, was not among the Blue Jays’ top 30 prospects at before the trade, though the 2011 international signing from Nicaragua was 26th on Baseball America’s list for the team after last season. BA noted at the time (subscription required and recommended) that Gutierrez features a 94-96 mph fastball that can top out at 97 mph, a “generally above-average” slider and a somewhat promising changeup. Gutierrez hasn’t fared well at the Single-A level this year, though, with a 7.88 ERA, 8.25 K/9 against 6.25 BB/9 and a 38.6 grounder rate through 72 innings.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[MLBTR Mailbag: Lowrie, Bruce, Giants, Controllable Starters]]> 2017-08-19T14:50:12Z 2017-08-19T13:24:38Z Thanks as always for your questions! If yours wasn’t selected this week, you can always pose it in one of our weekly chats: Steve Adams at 2pm CST on Tuesdays, Jason Martinez at 6:30pm CST on Wednesdays, and yours truly at 2pm CST on Thursdays.

    Here are this week’s questions and answers:

    Why is it so hard for the A’s to move Jed Lowrie? — Rene H.

    Well, there has been a bit of a game of musical chairs in the second/third base market. The Red Sox went with Eduardo Nunez. The Nationals grabbed Howie Kendrick, who can also play outfield. The Brewers ended up with Neil Walker in August. Those deals filled some of the main needs out there, though there are at least a few teams that could still make a move. The Angels stand out; the Indians have looked in this area; and the Blue Jays could be a dark horse if they make a run.

    But let’s suppose a few organizations are indeed still poking around on Lowrie. Those same teams will also have other options to consider. Ian Kinsler is now off the market after his waiver claim was revoked by the Tigers. But Brandon Phillips and Zack Cozart are both pending free agents who could move. Yangervis Solarte may not clear waivers, but could be claimed and pursued. And Asdrubal Cabrera also represents a possibility.

    Cabrera, like Lowrie, comes with a club option for 2018. In Lowrie’s case, it’s just a $6MM cost to keep him (against a $1MM buyout). He has surely played well enough to make that a decent asset to move over the winter. And perhaps Oakland isn’t all that anxious to press Franklin Barreto into everyday duty in the majors just yet. After all, he’s only 21, didn’t hit much in his brief debut, and has encountered a rising strikeout rate at Triple-A. Lowrie could help stabilize the infield the rest of the way or even in 2018, or he could still be flipped if a decent offer comes along.

    How do you guys see the [free-agent] market for Jay Bruce developing? I have a hard time believing that a 30/31-year-old who has six seasons where he OPSed over .800 would have trouble locking down a fourth year at a $13MM AAV. — Alex W.

    As Alex helpfully pointed out in his email, there are indeed quite a few corner outfielders that have landed free-agent contracts in that range. Recent deals that could work as comparables run from Nick Markakis (4/$44MM) and Josh Reddick (4/$52MM) up to Nick Swisher (4/$56MM) and Curtis Granderson (4/$60MM). Bruce is a plausible candidate to land in that general realm.

    I do think Bruce is flying under the radar a bit, given the obvious appeal of his quality offensive output this year — .267/.334/.541 with 32 homers. It doesn’t hurt that he has turned things on thus far since going to the Indians, has finally reversed the abysmal defensive metrics, and is regarded as a top-shelf professional. The two lost seasons of 2014 and 2015 are hard to ignore entirely, and he has never hit lefties nearly so much as righties, but he has returned to his prior trajectory since and has been average at the plate when facing southpaws this season. Plus, there won’t be any draft compensation to contend with.

    But where exactly he falls, and whether he gets a fourth year or instead takes a higher AAV over three, will depend upon market forces. J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton (if he opts out) would be the two top corner outfielders, but both are righty bats that would require very significant contracts. Granderson and Melky Cabrera will present alternatives for teams seeking lefty pop, but neither has quite Bruce’s present power and both are much older. All things considered, Bruce should be fairly well positioned.

    I’m wondering if the Giants’ plan to re-tool, rather than rebuild, has a reasonable chance of success. Does SF have only two or three spots, like one outfielder and two pitchers, that will make the difference in being competitive? Or will the re-tooling need to involve more spots on the roster, like two outfielders, maybe an infielder (third base), and three or four pitchers? And are there players available in free-agency for them to do that? — Tim D.

    Let’s start with the presumption that Johnny Cueto opts into the remainder of his deal. That would fill one of the rotation slots but also keeps a lot of cash on the books — over $150MM total already for 2018, with more than $100MM promised in each of the next two seasons. And the club will also have to consider what it’ll cost to keep Madison Bumgarner around past 2019.

    Looking over the roster — see the current depth chart here — the Giants will face questions in a variety of areas. Third base is unresolved, the team needs at least one starting outfielder (a center-field-capable player would perhaps be preferred, bumping Denard Span to left), and several bench/platoon roles are open to question. The team will likely at least look into adding a starter, though it could choose instead to go with Matt Moore along with Ty Blach or another less-established pitcher to line up behind Cueto, Bumgarner, and Jeff Samardzija. Bullpens can always be improved, though the Giants can hope for a bounceback from Mark Melancon and continued performance from reclamation hit Sam Dyson in the late innings.

    On the whole, then, perhaps a more dramatic roster overhaul isn’t really needed. Assuming the club is willing to spend up to, but not past, the $180MM-ish payroll it carried entering the current season, that leaves some room to add. But the long-term commitments and 2017 downturns certainly also speak in favor of exercising some caution. I’d expect a focus on striking shorter-term deals with veterans.

    Possibilities at third could include Pablo Sandoval, Todd Frazier, and Yunel Escobar, or the Giants could go bigger and chase the still-youthful Mike Moustakas. In the outfield, Lorenzo Cain would be the top center-field target, though he’ll be entering his age-32 season and won’t be cheap. There are some interesting alternatives, including Carlos Gomez, Jon Jay, and Jarrod Dyson. It’s also possible the Giants could chase Bruce or another corner piece while adding a player like Austin Jackson to platoon with Span in center. And as ever, there are lots of different pitchers available at different price points should they look to add there.

    Ultimately, there ought to be decent value available in the price range the Giants will be shopping. Whether that’ll work out or not … well, that’s dependent upon quite a few other factors and is tough to predict at this point.

    Which young, controllable starters (like Chris Archer, for example) will potentially be available via trade this upcoming offseason? –Matt H.

    Archer is certainly a good example of a guy who could be available and who’ll be asked about quite a lot. Depending upon how things end up for the Rays this year — currently, it’s not trending in the right direction — they may be more or less inclined to undertake a more dramatic move such as dealing the staff ace.

    Generally, though, I’d expect the pickings to be slim. Several teams that sit in the bottom of the standings and have young arms don’t seem likely to move them. For instance, I don’t really expect the Mets (Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, etc.), Blue Jays (Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez), or Phillies (Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez) to be looking to deal young starters.

    There are a few other names to watch, though. Michael Fulmer of the Tigers would figure to draw some of the most fervent interest, and Detroit has to be thinking creatively entering an offseason full of questions. The Pirates could decide that now’s the time to move Gerrit Cole, though he’ll only have two years of control remaining so may not really meet the parameters. Julio Teheran of the Braves will surely again be a topic of speculation, at least, and the Marlins will have to consider cashing in Dan Straily.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[New Marlins Ownership Group Still Seeking Equity, Will Replace Samson]]> 2017-08-18T13:48:25Z 2017-08-18T13:48:25Z One week back, we learned that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria had finally struck a deal to sell the organization to an investment group led by legendary shortstop Derek Jeter and Bruce Sherman. But that was only the beginning of the process to finalize the deal.

    Notably, there’s still a possibility of changes to the financial structure of the arrangement. As Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald first reported, the search for cash continues for the expectant new owners. In essence, it seems that the Jeter-Sherman group has something approaching the bare minimum of equity investment needed and would still like to draw additional investors. Those interested in learning additional details about the situation can read more from Jon Heyman of Fan Rag.

    Notably, though, it seems there’s little reason to think the bid is in doubt.As Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald writes, commissioner Rob Manfred acknowledges that changes to the deal structure could yet be made, while also saying the current proposal would pass muster under league rules.

    Assuming that’s all sorted out, it seems the incoming owners have already made their first significant personnel decision. Current team president David Samson will not be retained in that role, Dan Le Batard of ESPN Radio and the Miami Herald tweets. Le Batard also notes that the Marlins will have a new COO under the incoming ownership group.

    There had been indications Samson would be retained in some capacity, and Heyman notes he is still owed a $5MM salary for another year. As Spencer and Jackson further explain, Samson — who is Loria’s son-in-law — has become the public face of the team during an “occasionally polarizing” term in the position. However,’s Joe Frisaro writes that it does not appear that Samson will return to the Marlins organization in any capacity next year.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[No Serious Stanton Talks For Marlins Yet]]> 2017-08-17T01:59:42Z 2017-08-17T01:59:42Z The Marlins are “willing to engage” other clubs in trade talks regarding Giancarlo Stanton, tweets’s Jon Morosi. That much has already been clear — Yahoo’s Jeff Passan indicated yesterday that four clubs had already had some level of dialogue with the Marlins regarding Stanton, who has cleared revocable waivers — but Morosi adds that there have yet to be any serious negotiations regarding the current MLB home run leader. Stanton is the hottest hitter on the planet right now, but he’s also owed a staggering $298.64MM through the end of the 2027 campaign. And while he can technically opt out after the 2020 season, doing so would mean forfeiting the remaining seven years and $218MM on his deal as he heads into his age-31 campaign. Stanton also has a full no-trade clause, which only adds a further layer of complexity.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Giancarlo Stanton Clears Revocable Waivers]]> 2017-08-15T14:26:22Z 2017-08-15T13:55:09Z Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton has cleared revocable waivers, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. While it is far from clear that Stanton is going to end up being traded this month, that’s now possible. He joins a list of other veterans that are known to have made it through waivers without being claimed.

    Passan also suggests there could at least be plausible scenarios where a deal comes together. He cites “at least four” teams that have engaged in some level of dialogue with Miami regarding Stanton, noting that there was enough traction with one organization that some returning prospects were discussed.

    Stanton, 27, has been on an unholy tear at the plate. After swatting a dozen home runs in 25 games in July, he has launched ten more through just 13 contests in August. That run has helped restore Stanton’s standing as one of the game’s premier sluggers after a down 2016 season. Overall, he owns a .268/.359/.552 batting line with 251 home runs through nearly 4,000 trips to the plate in his eight-year career.

    Of course, the question on the trade front has never really been about just how productive the hulking slugger can be. He cleared waivers, rather, due to a somewhat checkered injury history and the massive extension he signed in November of 2014. Stanton’s annual salary ramps up significantly beginning next year; all said, he’s promised $295MM through 2027 (including a buyout on an option for one more year).

    That huge commitment isn’t the only complicating factor. Stanton possesses a full no-trade clause, though Passan suggests that won’t be a significant barrier. Of greater significance, perhaps, the Marlins are in the middle of a franchise sale and the massive slugger is the club’s marquee attraction with television rights fees negotiations looming.

    Still, Passan argues, the Fish would be best served marketing Stanton now, while his value is ascendant. That’s certainly not a universal opinion —’s Buster Olney argued the opposite recently — but does seem a reasonable approach for an organization with needs that likely outstrip the available resources in the near-term.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[2017 Opt-Out Clause Update]]> 2017-08-14T20:55:49Z 2017-08-14T19:41:13Z The last look we took at the handful of players with opt-out clauses following the 2017 season was more than a month ago, and a few of their situations may have changed since that early July check-in. Here’s an update on this group of potential free agents…

    [Related: MLBTR Free Agent Power Rankings: August Edition]

    Trending Up

    • Justin Upton, Tigers ($88.5MM from 2018-21): There have been plenty of suggestions that there’s no way Upton will walk away from that contract, but we’re not really sold on that notion. Upton was terrible in his first three months with the Tigers but is hitting .274/.352/.542 (137 wRC+) with 45 homers dating back to July 1, 2016. Over the past calendar year, he’s hitting .281/.366/.571 (148 wRC+) with 40 homers in 631 PAs. He’s been seven to nine runs above average in left field, per UZR and DRS, as well. Upton will play next year at the age of 30 and needs only to feel he can top Hanley Ramirez’s guarantee to opt out. Beyond that, he may simply like the idea of moving to a team that isn’t openly trying to pare back its payroll and retool for the future.
    • Masahiro Tanaka, Yankees ($67MM from 2018-20): Tanaka’s home-run woes are an unequivocally troubling issue, but his numbers since the summer began are encouraging. Since May 26, Tanaka has a 3.99 ERA with 10.7 K/9, 1.9 BB/9 and a 47.6 percent ground-ball rate — good for a 3.12 xFIP and a 3.17 SIERA. The numbers are even better if you look at his past nine starts (3.00 ERA, 65 K, 12 BB, 57 innings). The health concerns are well known. Tanaka had a partial UCL tear in his rookie season but was able to avoid Tommy John, and he’s currently on the DL with what is reportedly some minor shoulder fatigue. The righty has averaged 2.2 HR/9 this year, but he’s also going to be just 29 years old next year. An opt-out looked highly unlikely two months ago but now looks entirely plausible, as long as this latest DL trip proves minor.
    • Welington Castillo, Orioles ($7MM player option): Since last check, Castillo has absolutely raked. He’s batted .308/.345/.500 with four homers and three doubles in his past 84 PAs, and his overall batting line it up to .283/.319/.457 (103 wRC+). Castillo’s framing marks have improved from some of the worst in the league to roughly average (per Baseball Prospectus), and he’s halted an incredible 46 percent of stolen-base attempts against him in 2017. He should be able to top a one-year, $7MM deal with ease this winter.

    Trending Down

    • Greg Holland, Rockies ($15MM player option): Since our last check, Holland has reminded everyone that he is indeed mortal. In his past 11 2/3 frames, he’s coughed up eight runs on a dozen hits and six walks with 14 strikeouts. Six of those runs have come in his past two outings, but as long as that proves to be a blip on the radar, Holland still seems a safe bet to opt out. If he significantly fades in his first year back from Tommy John or lands on the disabled list, though, there’s at least a chance that he takes the option. Assuming he remains healthy, though, Holland will likely look to top Mark Melancon’s four-year, $62MM deal this winter.
    • Johnny Cueto, Giants ($84MM from 2018-21): It’s been almost a month since Cueto last set foot on a Major League mound, as he’s been sidelined with a forearm issue that has significantly clouded his chances of opting out. Reports earlier in the summer suggested that a slow start wasn’t going to deter Cueto from opting out, but a month-long injury scare and an ERA in the upper-4.00s certainly might. Cueto, 32 in February, has a 4.59 ERA with 8.0 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and the second worst ground-ball rate of his career (39.2 percent). FIP, xFIP and SIERA all peg him at 4.41 or worse.

    Unchanged Since Last Check

    • Matt Wieters, Nationals ($10.5MM player option): Wieters wasn’t hitting in early July, and he’s hitting even less now. His defensive reputation limited him to a two-year, $21MM deal with a player option after year one on the 2016-17 open market, and that was coming off a much better offensive season. Wieters seems extremely likely to take the $10.5MM in 2018.
    • Ian Kennedy, Royals ($49MM from 2018-20): Kennedy’s results have improved slightly since the last opt-out update, but it’s hardly enough to make it likely that he’ll opt out of that significant guarantee. Through 120 innings in 2017, Kennedy has averaged 1.65 HR/9, tying a career-worst mark, while both his strikeout and walk rates have gone the wrong direction. He’s also missed a couple of weeks with a hamstring injury, and he’ll turn 33 this December.
    • Wei-Yin Chen, Marlins ($52MM from 2018-20): No change here. Chen has scarcely been able to pitch in 2017 due to a reported partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. He’s reportedly still aiming for a late comeback, but that won’t be enough to give him the earning power to top his remaining guarantee.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Marlins Notes: Jeter, Stanton]]> 2017-08-14T01:22:24Z 2017-08-14T01:22:24Z While the much-maligned Jeffrey Loria will soon hand off Marlins ownership to a group including Derek Jeter, the team’s spending habits aren’t going to change – at least not in the short term – says Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Marlins are in the red, losing tens of millions per year, and are in need of a new local television deal. Additionally, Rosenthal points out that Miami already has $95MM set aside for just eight players next season, and in his estimation, it would take roughly a $150MM payroll for the club to contend in 2018. Given the Marlins’ economic difficulties, they’re simply not in position to spend anywhere near that amount.

    Despite the franchise’s financial troubles, one thing Jeter & Co. can’t do is unload world-class slugger Giancarlo Stanton’s mammoth contract, opines Buster Olney of ESPN. Doing so would serve as an immediate public relations hit to the new ownership team because it would give off a “same old Marlins” vibe, Olney reasons. Stanton, who hit his major league-leading 42nd home run Sunday, has $295MM remaining on his deal. That, plus Stanton’s full no-trade clause, could prove to be roadblocks even if the Jeter-led faction tries to jettison the soon-to-be 28-year-old.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Jeffrey Loria Agrees To Sell Marlins To Derek Jeter’s Group]]> 2017-08-12T21:32:46Z 2017-08-12T21:00:49Z SATURDAY 4:30pm: Speaking to the media Saturday afternoon, Samson confirmed that Jeter will run the Marlins’ baseball and business operations, writes Jackson. Samson’s own role going forward is unclear. “It has never been about me,” he says.

    3:30pm: Mas will not be part of the group, according to Samson (via a tweet from the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson).

    7:58am: Jorge Mas’ group did not win the bidding for the Marlins, but he could still be involved in the new Jeter-led ownership group as controlling owner, Scott Soshnick tweets. Via Heyman (on Twitter), Mas could invest up to $300MM.

    FRIDAY 9:39pm: There’s a signed contract on its way to the commissioner’s office, per Heyman (via Twitter).

    4:40pm: Current president David Samson and president of baseball ops Michael Hill are expected to retain roles with the organization once the deal goes through, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag reports. Whether that’s intended mostly to be transitional or instead to be permanent isn’t immediately clear. Heyman also suggests it’s not yet known whether Samson’s job duties would change under the new ownership group. The executive is believed to have just more than a year left on his current deal.

    3:11pm: Evidently bringing an end to a long-running process, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has agreed to sell the franchise for $1.2 billion to a group featuring retired shortstop Derek Jeter, reports Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.

    While it seemed months back that the Jeter-led outfit would land the club, that proved premature. Since, two other primary bidding groups have vied to take over from Loria — one led by Wayne Rothbaum, which dropped out recently, and another associated with Jorge Mas — with numerous twists and turns throughout.

    Now, it seems, there’s finally a clear course — though it’s worth emphasizing that nothing has been finalized. Major League Baseball is expected to receive the written agreement Friday, per Spencer, but an approval vote might not take place for several weeks — with a formal closing not likely to occur until early October.

    Jeter has long been the most visible member of his bidding group, and he’ll reportedly take primary responsibility for setting the course of both the baseball and business operations of the organization. But he’s not the primary money man and won’t be the formal control person vis-a-vis- the league.

    Rather, Bruce Sherman — the former chairman of Private Capital Management — will reportedly function as the control person while also footing the bulk of the bill to acquire the franchise. He’s said to be a Marlins fan who enjoys a “great relationship” with Jeter; no doubt, the two will work closely. Something like sixteen other investors are also part of the group, according to Spencer, including NBA legend Michael Jordan.

    Just what plans the Jeter/Sherman ownership outfit has in mind isn’t yet clear. But the current formula seems in need of some tweaking. The Marlins have failed to draw fans to the yard, despite a still-shiny (and heavily subsidized) ballpark. There’s a need to work out a new TV deal in the near future, with the team’s leverage perhaps dependent upon its ability to improve its seemingly tepid local support. That, in turn, may depend in large part upon an improvement in the on-field results; the club last posted a .500 record when it was still known as the Florida Marlins.

    Driving improvement won’t be easy, especially with a generally low-regarded farm system, but there are some pieces to work with. Star Giancarlo Stanton has a huge contract, but has been outstanding this year, while younger players such as Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, J.T. Realmuto, Dan Straily, and Justin Bour could function as building blocks or excellent trade chips. The club’s baseball ops group — the complexion of which isn’t yet clear — will need to overcome some other contracts that range from questionable (Dee Gordon, Brad Ziegler, Junichi Tazawa) to undeniably problematic (Wei-Yin Chen, Martin Prado, Edinson Volquez).

    The Marlins’ payroll ballooned to over $115MM to open the 2017 season, by far an organizational high-point, and the results have been underwhelming. Unless the new ownership group is willing to pour some cash into improving around the core of young talent, the Fish may need to embark upon a rebuilding course this winter. Either way, it’ll be a fascinating offseason to watch.

    Charlie Wilmoth <![CDATA[Hyde: Loria's Departure The Key To Marlins' Ownership Change]]> 2017-08-12T18:25:54Z 2017-08-12T18:25:54Z What kind of Marlins owner Derek Jeter will make is far less important than the fact that Jeffrey Loria is leaving, Dave Hyde of the Sun Sentinel writes. Loria frequently upstaged the Marlins’ on-field play with off-field drama, including ballpark financing issues, a revolving door to the manager’s office, and constant changes of direction. Meanwhile, the team Jeter and company will take over is no prize — the team isn’t currently contending, there’s already lots of money tied up in player salaries for next season, and the franchise’s minor-league system is poor. Here’s more from the National League.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Latest On Bidding For Marlins]]> 2017-08-11T17:18:33Z 2017-08-11T17:15:22Z FRIDAY: Jeter’s primary investor is Bruce Sherman, the former chairman of Private Capital Management, reports Heyman. Sherman was previously willing to chip in $200MM to aid Jeter, but he has since increased his commitment by an unknown amount. Jeter would only put $25MM toward a purchase, which could prove to be an obstacle for someone who wants to be the control person of an ownership group, notes Heyman. The retired shortstop’s faction has also received something “tantamount to a loan at a high (14 percent) rate of interest” from Michael Dell, the CEO of Dell Technologies, and Heyman doesn’t believe MLB would sign off on it. Mas, meanwhile, is seeking extra investors in an effort to improve his chances of landing the franchise.

    THURSDAY: The Marlins sale process has quieted considerably since it became apparent that a deal wouldn’t be wrapped up before the All-Star Game, as once had been hoped. To this point, three primary bidding groups were said to be vying to purchase the club from Jeffrey Loria.

    While there’s still no evident movement toward resolution, that same inaction may have contributed to the loss of one possible buyer. It now seems the Fish are down to two prospective new ownership groups. Per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the group that had included Wayne Rothbaum, Jeb Bush, and a host of former players is now out of the hunt. (Previously, that group had lost Tagg Romney but picked up Bush in the ever-changing bidding landscape.)

    Rothbaum was the chief investor of that party, and reportedly was willing to lead the charge at a valuation of $1.17B. With that offer apparently waving in the wind, and with no resolution in sight, Rothbaum evidently determined it was no longer worth pursuing the club.

    That said, it’s also possible that the Rothbaum group’s bid was never going to be quite to the Marlins’ expectations. Jon Heyman of Fan Rag suggests that the aggregation of would-be owners may have been sitting in a lower range — $1B to $1.1B.

    Whatever the case, the chase for the Marlins now seems to be down to two possible bidding groups. One, guided by Miami businessman Jorge Mas, seems to be a fairly straightforward outfit led by one primary investor who’d also be the control person. Per Heyman, Mas remains the “best-financed” pursuer. But there’s still a possibility that MLB legend Derek Jeter could make a deal happen; while it’s somewhat odd that he’d represent the control person, given that he would not be investing a significant portion of any sale price, Jeter (like Mas) is said by Jackson to have “made progress in assembling the financing needed.”

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Marlins Put O'Grady On DL, Select Contract Of Javy Guerra]]> 2017-08-09T02:59:03Z 2017-08-09T02:59:03Z
  • Veteran right-hander Javy Guerra is back in the Majors, as the Marlins announced that they’ve selected his contract to fill the spot of lefty Chris O’Grady, who is going on the DL due to a strained oblique. Guerra hasn’t been especially impressive in Triple-A this year (4.99 ERA, 7.6 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 in 48 2/3 innings), but he’ll provide some depth for a Miami pitching staff that has been depleted by trades (David Phelps, AJ Ramos) and injuries.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Marlins Experimenting With Realmuto At First Base]]> 2017-08-07T19:02:25Z 2017-08-07T19:02:25Z
  • The Marlins conducted a bit of a defensive experiment yesterday by starting catcher J.T. Realmuto at first, but Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes that said arrangement isn’t likely to have a long-term impact on how much Realmuto catches. Miami still plans to start Realmuto behind the dish as often as possible, but the look at first base was meant to see how he’d fare there on a day he’d otherwise have received off entirely. Realmuto impressed, defensively, per manager Don Mattingly, and it stands to reason that if the Fish are comfortable with him there, it could be a means of getting Realmuto into a few more games next season. “He’s not going to be a guy over there three days a week, or anything like that,” said Mattingly. “He’s pretty much our catcher. But I think it is a way to get him off his legs. A day game like today.”
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Players That Have Cleared Revocable Waivers]]> 2017-08-29T13:05:28Z 2017-08-05T21:20:46Z We’ll use this post to keep track of players that have reportedly cleared revocable waivers. Before diving into the names, a few items bear repeating. The majority of Major League players will be placed on trade waivers this month, with most instances going unreported. There are undoubtedly players (quite a few of them, most likely) who have already cleared waivers but have not been reported to have done so. Players can be traded into September, as well, but only those traded on or before Aug. 31 will be eligible for the postseason with their new teams, so there’s some urgency for contending clubs to complete deals by month’s end. And, of course, for those who aren’t familiar with the inner-workings of waiver trades, MLBTR published a full explanation of how August trades work earlier this month.

    Here’s the current list (last updated Aug. 29):

    • Jeff Samardzija, SP, Giants (link): While he hasn’t produced great results this year and is owed another $54MM over the following three seasons, Samardzija has put up compelling peripherals and has long been a scout’s favorite. Still, the Giants may not be all that inclined to move him and Samardzija has broad no-trade protection, so a deal seems unlikely.
    • Nicholas Castellanos, 3B, Tigers (link): The 25-year-old hasn’t produced at the plate this year after a quality 2016 season. But he is still hitting the ball hard and could be an interesting bounceback target for other organizations — with an offseason deal seeming more likely than a late-August swap. Castellanos is playing this year on a $3MM salary and can be controlled for two more campaigns via arbitration.
    • R.A. Dickey, RHP, Braves (link): Dickey has been just what Atlanta thought it was getting: a solid innings eater with plenty of durability but limited upside. He could fill in the fifth slot in a contender’s rotation, but teams might be reluctant to force one of their catchers to learn to catch a knuckleball this late in the year. He’s averaging six innings per start, and Atlanta may just keep him around in 2018.
    • Brad Ziegler, RHP, Marlins (link): Ziegler has been stellar since returning from the disabled list and could certainly help a contending club’s bullpen. However, he’s owed $9MM in 2018, and the Marlins now find themselves back in Wild Card contention — both of which make a trade before the end of August unlikely. He could be an offseason trade candidate.
    • Miguel Gonzalez, RHP, White Sox (link): Gonzalez is earning $5.9MM in 2017 and has been a serviceable, if unspectacular source of innings for the ChiSox. He won’t be a part of a contending club’s playoff rotation, but a team with a big division lead that is looking to rest its rotation (or allow some of its injured rotation members to mend) could turn to Gonzalez for some stability. The asking price won’t be much.
    • Derek Holland, LHP, White Sox (link): Like Gonzalez, Holland could be a rotation stabilizer for a team with a comfortable division lead. He’s also shut down opposing lefties (.216/.279/.333) in 2017, so perhaps a club would look at him as a potential relief specialist with expanded September rosters on the horizon.
    • James Shields, RHP, White Sox (link): The Sox still owe Shields the balance of a $10MM commitment this season (the Padres are on the hook for the rest), plus $12MM in 2018. Given his enormous struggles over the past two seasons, he’s not going anywhere unless the ChiSox simply cut bait and release him.
    • Victor Martinez, DH, Tigers (link): Martinez has been a decidedly below-average contributor at the plate in 2017 and is owed the balance of this year’s $18MM salary plus an identical $18MM salary in 2018. The Tigers won’t find any takers here.
    • Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Tigers (link): Cabrera is 34 years old and has been a roughly league-average hitter in 2017. He’s owed a ridiculous $192MM from 2018-23 and has full no-trade protection as well. That last point is largely moot, though, as his enormous contract makes him all but impossible to move anyhow.
    • Jordan Zimmermann, RHP, Tigers (link): With a 5.29 ERA in his nearly two seasons as a Tiger and $74MM owed to him from 2018-20, Zimmermann is effectively an immovable asset for the Tigers.
    • Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins (link): Stanton is owed $295MM over the next decade, so an attempt at acquiring him wouldn’t exactly make for a casual undertaking. He has more than made up for a relatively disappointing 2016 season thus far with a monster 2017, boosting his value, but structuring a deal would be complicated by a variety of factors — including the Miami organization’s still-pending sale.
    • Brandon Phillips, 2B, Braves (link): The 36-year-old isn’t the exciting option he once was, but Phillips still brings acceptable and affordable production to the table. Combining those factors with his impending free agency, Phillips seems like someone the Braves could realistically trade this month.
    • Brandon Crawford, SS, Giants (link): Crawford emerged as a two-way star over the previous couple seasons, pairing good offense with otherworldly defense. His glovework remains strong, but the 30-year-old’s production at the plate has fallen off dramatically this season. The Giants reportedly still have little interest in dealing him, and doing so would be difficult in any event. Crawford, who’s making $8MM this year, will rake in $15MM each season from 2018-21. He also has a full no-trade clause.
    • Felix Hernandez, SP, Mariners (link): Unfortunately, King Felix’s days as an ace appear long gone, which is all the more troubling for the Mariners when taking his contract into consideration. Hernandez, 31, is collecting a $26MM salary this year and will make $53MM more from 2018-19. He also has a full no-trade clause, making him even less movable.
    • Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Mets (link): Unlike fellow Mets outfielders Bruce and Granderson, Cespedes doesn’t seem like a logical trade candidate. Cespedes is in the first season of a four-year, $110MM deal, and the Mets gave the franchise cornerstone a full no-trade clause when they re-signed him.
    • Asdrubal Cabrera, INF, Mets (link): Cabrera, who’s making $8.25MM this season and has either an $8.5MM club option or a $2MM buyout for 2018, drew trade interest in July. However, recent indications are that the Mets are leaning toward keeping him in the fold for next year.
    • AJ Ramos, RP, Mets (link): Ramos was a popular name in trade rumors before the Mets acquired him from the Marlins in late July. Plenty of teams showed interest in Ramos, so perhaps the Mets would be able to find a taker for the longtime closer. However, New York acquired Ramos knowing it wasn’t in contention this season, so keeping him into 2018 – his final season of arbitration eligibility – looks more likely.
    • Bryce Harper, RF, Nationals (link): Harper isn’t going anywhere. Putting the superstar through waivers was purely a procedural move by the Nationals.
    • Chris Davis, 1B, Orioles (link): Davis, 31, no longer resembles the force of nature he was at the plate before the Orioles handed him a seven-year, $161MM contract leading up to the 2016 campaign. They included a partial no-trade clause in the accord, but the contract itself has essentially become a full NTC thanks to Davis’ decline. Realistically, Baltimore’s stuck with him.
    • Joey Votto, 1B, Reds (link): The Reds haven’t shown any interest in moving Votto, nor has he expressed a willingness to leave Cincinnati. Considering those factors, the remaining money on Votto’s enormous contract (a guaranteed $171MM through 2024) and his full no-trade clause, the hitting savant will stay where he is.
    • Justin Verlander, SP, Tigers (link): With plenty of cash still owed this year and $56MM more promised through 2019, Verlander is not a guy who’ll casually be acquired. Things are complicated by Detroit’s inclination to try to achieve real value for a cornerstone player, not to mention Verlander’s full no-trade rights — though he seems willing to entertain a move. While a deal still seems less than likely, Verlander could be a fascinating player to watch if he throws well and one or more contenders see a need for his services.
    • Justin Upton, LF, Tigers (link): As is the case with Verlander, moving Upton would be a major challenge for Detroit. Not only does Upton have a 20-team no-trade clause, but his contract includes an opt-out clause for after the season, when he’ll have to decide whether to play out his deal or leave four years and roughly $88MM on the table. The tricky financial situation has apparently overshadowed the great season Upton’s having, as nobody has shown real interest in acquiring him.

    Additionally, Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce and Neil Walker cleared waivers before their respective trades to the Dodgers, Indians and the Brewers.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Marlins Notes: Chen, Garcia]]> 2017-08-04T17:53:39Z 2017-08-04T17:53:39Z
  • Also from Healey, while rookie southpaw Jarlin Garcia has emerged as a valuable setup piece, the Marlins organization isn’t entirely closed off to the idea of him returning to a starting role in the future. “I think it’s something that you at least think about,” said Mattingly. “But I don’t know if anyone has necessarily talked to Jarlin or the organization has really gotten that far.” The 24-year-old Garcia has appeared in 46 games for the Fish this season and has turned in a 3.53 ERA with 7.1 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9. He’s limited opposing lefties to an awful .167/.229/.328 batting line while holding righties to a .212/.278/.415 clip.
    • Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun Sentinel writes that Marlins lefty Wei-Yin Chen is not yet giving up hope on being able to return to the mound in 2017. Chen has missed most of the season, owing to a reported partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, but he’s thrown six bullpen sessions over the past few weeks. “We’re still talking a little ways,” manager Don Mattingly said of Chen’s possible return. “But I think we’re also getting to the point where we can say he’s progressing to the point where at least it’s on the radar.”
    • Also from Healey, while rookie southpaw Jarlin Garcia has emerged as a valuable setup piece, the Marlins organization isn’t entirely closed off to the idea of him returning to a starting role in the future. “I think it’s something that you at least think about,” said Mattingly. “But I don’t know if anyone has necessarily talked to Jarlin or the organization has really gotten that far.” The 24-year-old Garcia has appeared in 46 games for the Fish this season and has turned in a 3.53 ERA with 7.1 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9. He’s limited opposing lefties to an awful .167/.229/.328 batting line while holding righties to a .212/.278/.415 clip.
    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Marlins Acquire Eury Perez From Pirates]]> 2017-08-03T22:08:31Z 2017-08-03T21:41:36Z
  • The Marlins have acquired outfielder Eury Perez from the Pirates, per an announcement from the Indianapolis Indians. Perez had been playing for Indianapolis, the Bucs’ top affiliate, since joining the organization on a minors deal over  the winter. He has been productive at the plate (.336/.400/.433) continued to run wild on the bases (22 steals) in a fifty game sample. Perez has seen MLB action in four seasons, though he has just 156 total plate appearances — with a poor .254/.307/.282 batting line — at the game’s highest level.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Edinson Volquez To Undergo Tommy John Surgery]]> 2017-08-02T01:02:40Z 2017-08-02T00:51:33Z Marlins right-hander Edinson Volquez will undergo Tommy John surgery on Friday, president of baseball operations Michael Hill announced to reporters (Twitter link via Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun Sentinel). This will mark the second Tommy John procedure of Volquez’s career.

    Marlins skipper Don Mattingly announced earlier today that Volquez would miss the remainder of the season and suggested that there was more at play than the knee tendinitis that had sidelined him since early July. However, there’d been no indication to this point that Volquez was dealing with any sort of arm injury, making the news of Tommy John surgery a fairly stunning development.

    The timing of the injury is especially unfortunate for Volquez, as a fairly standard 12- to 15-month recovery timeline would keep him out of action not only for the balance of the 2017 season but also for most, if not all of the 2018 campaign as well.

    Miami inked Volquez to a two-year, $22MM contract this past offseason due largely to his durability. From 2012-16, Volquez averaged 32 starts and 187 innings per season, and he hadn’t even been on the disabled list since his previous Tommy John surgery, which came back in 2009 as a member of the Reds. Volquez is still owed $16.05MM from now through the end of the 2018 campaign — $3.05MM for the remainder of the 2017 season in addition to a $13MM salary next year.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Edinson Volquez, JT Riddle Out For Season; Bour Out Until September]]> 2017-08-02T00:43:26Z 2017-08-02T00:32:15Z 7:32pm: Riddle will undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, writes Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He adds that it’s not yet clear what exactly is ending Volquez’s season, but there appears to be more at play than just his knee troubles.

    “There’s different issues,” said Mattingly. “I know we’re getting close to talking about it, making sure everybody is on the same page with exactly what’s going to happen.”

    Furthermore, Healey reports that the Marlins got bad news on Justin Bour’s strained oblique, as the strain is more severe than originally believed. He’s now at least three weeks out from even beginning baseball activities and won’t return to the lineup until early-to-mid September.

    4:12pm: The Marlins were hit with a double dose of bad news on the injury front on Tuesday, as manager Don Mattingly announced to reporters that right-hander Edinson Volquez and shortstop JT Riddle will be out for the remainder of the season (via Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald).

    Volquez has been on the disabled list with tendinitis in his knee since early July and was reportedly experiencing discomfort last week. Riddle, meanwhile, was on the shelf with biceps tendinitis, but an MRI revealed a shoulder injury that may require surgical repair, according to Mattingly.

    [Related: Miami Marlins depth chart]

    The loss of Volquez is a tough pill for the Marlins to swallow, as the veteran righty had rounded into form after a poor start to his Marlins career and looked to be a potential trade chip — if not in July then certainly in August. Volquez threw a no-hitter against the D-backs in his first start of June, but he’d tossed quality starts in each of his two prior performances and had generally looked like an improved pitcher after a rocky start.

    In eight starts prior to hitting the DL, he tossed 45 2/3 innings with 7.5 K/9, 4.7 BB/9 and a 47.9 percent ground-ball rate en route to a 3.55 ERA and 3.70 FIP. His control was clearly still a red flag, but as a typically durable source of innings with a not-unreasonable $11MM annual rate, he could have had value to teams seeking rotation stabilizers for the stretch run (and for the 2018 campaign.

    As for Riddle, he was never likely to be moved anywhere, but the injury will deprive the 25-year-old rookie of some vital development time. Miami had already traded Adeiny Hechavarria, paving a path to regular playing time for Riddle, but he’ll now have to wait until Spring Training 2018 to get back on the field and will miss some valuable reps against top-level pitching. Riddle hit just .250/.282/.355 in 247 big league plate appearances, though he’d begun to break out of a lengthy slump at the time he was placed on the DL.

    With Riddle out for the remainder of the year, Miguel Rojas will likely see the bulk of time at shortstop. The rotation is less certain, though right-handers Dan Straily and Jose Urena figure to be locks to hold down spots, while left-hander Adam Conley has delivered much better results in his past three starts after a lengthy demotion to Triple-A New Orleans. The pair of injuries will eventually open a pair of roster spots, as both can be moved from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL. That could clear the path for someone like Dillon Peters or Trevor Richards to eventually get a look, though that’s simply speculation on my part.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Marlins Rejected Offers For Straily, Gordon]]> 2017-08-01T13:55:43Z 2017-08-01T04:43:53Z
  • The Marlins rejected offers for Dan Straily and Dee Gordon prior to the deadline, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.  It initially appeared as though the Marlins weren’t going to be shopping Straily, though they apparently tested his market and drew interest from at least four teams, though none were willing to meet Miami’s high asking price.  As for Gordon, several teams were under the impression that Gordon was available in a salary dump type of trade and thus offered little in the way of prospects for the second baseman.  The Marlins, however, didn’t see Gordon’s remaining salary (just over $41MM) as onerous to give away for virtually nothing in return.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Marlins Sign Chris Parmelee To Minors Deal]]> 2017-08-01T03:48:50Z 2017-08-01T03:48:50Z
  • Earlier this week, the Marlins announced that first baseman Chris Parmelee had been signed to a minor league deal.  Best known for his stint as a part-timer with the Twins from 2011-14, Parmelee appeared in just eight MLB games last season (with the Yankees) and has yet to reach the Show this season after being released from a minors contract with the A’s in June.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Marlins Unlikely To Trade Dan Straily]]> 2017-07-31T15:37:51Z 2017-07-31T15:37:51Z
  • The Twins now seem likely to deal righty Brandon Kintzler as the volume of phone calls increases,’s Mark Feinsand suggests on Twitter. The opposite is true of Marlins starter Dan Straily, Feinsand tweets. While Straily continues to be discussed, there hasn’t been any evident traction.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Marlins Rumors: Gordon, Ellis]]> 2017-07-30T00:05:32Z 2017-07-30T00:05:32Z The Marlins “are extremely open to discussing” a Dee Gordon trade, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN (Twitter link). Gordon has been on teams’ radars in recent weeks, but now there’s “not much traffic” regarding the second baseman, per Crasnick. With roughly $41MM coming his way through 2021, the 29-year-old isn’t cheap, nor has he regained the effectiveness he showed from 2014-15. Gordon missed half of 2016 thanks to a performance-enhancing drug suspension and has slashed a meek .282/.323/.347 in 783 plate appearances dating back to last season. He has stolen 67 bases over that time, though, including 30 this year, and drawn plus marks in the field from defensive runs saved (eight) and Ultimate Zone Rating (8.1).

    While a Gordon trade before Monday’s deadline may not be in the offing, it seems Marlins reserve catcher A.J. Ellis will switch uniforms. Along with the previously reported Cubs, the Rockies are in on the 36-year-old, tweets Joe Frisaro of With a .233/.314/.411 batting line, Rockies catchers have posted the worst wRC+ (45) in the majors this season. They’re looking for help behind the plate as a result, but Ellis hasn’t been a whole lot better than their choices with the bat (.232/.300/.341 in 91 PAs). Defensively, Ellis has had a rough pitch-framing season, per StatCorner, though he has outdone Rockies starter Tony Wolters in that regard. It seems the right-handed-hitting Ellis and the lefty-swinging Wolters would form a platoon.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Brewers, Marlins Discussing Dan Straily]]> 2017-07-29T22:58:38Z 2017-07-29T22:50:53Z The Brewers and Marlins are “engaged in ongoing dialogue” about Miami right-hander Dan Straily, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network (on Twitter). Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald first noted the Brewers’ interest in Straily.

    A report Friday indicated that the Marlins had taken Straily off the market after briefly shopping him, yet they continue to discuss him as Monday’s trade deadline nears. In theory, Straily should represent a cheaper alternative to the Athletics’ Sonny Gray, the most desirable controllable starter available. However, one National League executive told Jon Heyman of FanRag that the Marlins have placed a “Sonny Gray type price” on Straily, whom they seemingly want to keep.

    Straily is “no Sonny Gray,” one rival exec told Heyman, but he’d still bring back a legitimate return in his own right. The 28-year-old is an established major league starter who’s making a near-minimum salary now and comes with arbitration eligibility through 2020, so moving him would help the Marlins restock their fallow farm system.

    After logging appealing results in Cincinnati last year, where he registered a 3.76 ERA, 7.62 K/9 and a 3.43 BB/9 over 191 1/3 innings, Straily went to the Marlins in an offseason trade involving righty Luis Castillo and has fared well again in 2017. Straily has thrown 117 1/3 frames and recorded a 3.84 ERA, 8.21 K/9 and a 2.53 BB/9. While Straily’s ground-ball rate is at just 34.4 percent (up from 32 percent a year ago), he has offset that with a 14.4 percent infield fly mark that ranks No. 1 among major league starters.

    As was the case last year, ERA indicators such as FIP (4.38), xFIP (4.65) and SIERA (4.32) aren’t really buying into Straily’s success, and he’s once again benefiting from a low batting average on balls in play (.272 this season, .239 in 2016). Statcast data paints a rosier picture, though: Straily’s weighted on-base average against is a strong .318, but his xwOBA is an even better .298, per Baseball Savant (Gray’s is a strikingly similar .296).

    Thanks to Straily’s performance and affordable control, it’s easy to see why teams – including the Brewers – would want him. Milwaukee has lost nine of 14 since the All-Star break to fall to 55-50 and lose its grip on the National League Central, which the Cubs now lead by a half-game, and seen its playoff odds dwindle significantly. While a postseason trip might not be in the cards for the upstart Brewers this year, acquiring Straily would give them a third proven big league starter who’s under wraps at palatable costs through 2020. The team already has Chase Anderson, who’s soon to return from a lengthy absence stemming from an oblique injury, and Jimmy Nelson. Adding Straily to that duo would ostensibly increase the Brewers’ chances to contend this season and in future years.