Fredi Gonzalez won 87 games with a team that makes a few sheckles above minimum wage and is considered one of the better managers in baseball. So it makes perfect sense that he’s rumored to be on his way out:
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is said to be less than satisfied with his
team’s standing, and in a fairly shocking development is apparently
considering replacing well-regarded manager Fredi Gonzalez, who has
been widely praised for his performance this season. The Marlins are 87-74 under Gonzalez despite a league-low $36 million
payroll, but people familiar with the situation say Loria believes the
team is good enough to have made the postseason.
These same “people familiar with the situation” say that Valentine is talking to the Marlins about a job. I suppose it’s possible that they’re talking about a GM or some other kind of front office position, but it’s not like he has any experience with that kind of thing.
I can’t at all feature the Marlins hiring the guy. In addition to the fact that Gonzalez is a good manager, he’s under contract for two more years at what I can only assume is a much lower price than what Valentine would ask for even one year. And sure, it’s possible that Valentine has undergone a sea change in personality during his time in Japan, but he never struck me as the kind of guy who would thrive in a low-resources kind of environment like Florida.
The same article has the Indians and Nats interested in Valentine as well. Neither of those seem like great fits for the guy — the Indians less so than the Nats — but at least they have job openings.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.