Diving into the depths: Florida Marlins

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Florida Marlins
Rotation
1. Josh Johnson
2. Ricky Nolasco
3. Anibal Sanchez
4. Chris Volstad
5. Andrew Miller
6. Sean West
7. Rick VandenHurk
8. Ryan Tucker
9. Hayden Penn
10. Burke Badenhop
11. Graham Taylor
Barring a surprising addition, it will be a three- or four-man competition for the final two spots in Florida’s rotation this spring. I have Volstad as the clear favorite for one of the two spots. VandenHurk should take a backseat to Miller and West for the other job, but he’s out of options, something that could really help his case.
Bullpen
1. Leo Nunez
2. Dan Meyer
3. Brian Sanches
4. Renyel Pinto
5. Burke Badenhop
6. Cristhian Martinez
7. Taylor Tankersley
8. Tim Wood
9. Rick VandenHurk
10. Jose Veras
11. Derrick Turnbow
12. Clay Hensley
13. Hunter Jones
14. Scott Strickland
15. Ryan Tucker
16. Chris Leroux
17. Jay Buente
18. Jose Ceda
The Marlins were on the lookout for an inexpensive closer, but no one has been cheap enough yet. As is, it appears to be Nunez’s job. There should be five near locks for the pen unless Pinto is traded. The veterans could leap over Martinez and Wood with strong springs, but there’s no reason to pencil in names like Veras and Turnbow yet.


Catcher
1. John Baker
2. Ronny Paulino
3. Brett Hayes
First base
1. Logan Morrison
2. Gaby Sanchez
3. Jorge Cantu
4. Wes Helms
Second base
1. Dan Uggla
2. Chris Coghlan
3. Emilio Bonifacio
4. Danny Richar
5. Brian Barden
6. Donnie Murphy
Third base
1. Jorge Cantu
2. Emilio Bonifacio
3. Wes Helms
4. Brian Barden
5. Jorge Jimenez
6. Donnie Murphy
Shortstop
1. Hanley Ramirez
2. Emilio Bonifacio
3. Brian Barden
4. Donnie Murphy
It looks like the Marlins are leaning towards keeping Cantu at third and letting the youngsters battle it out for the first-base job. It would assure a weak infield defense, but that’s typical of the Marlins.
I’m putting Morrison ahead of Sanchez, based on comments from the team that they think he’s ready for the majors. Sanchez has the more extensive track record and would hit for more power, but Morrison could offer more in the way of OBP and defense.
Left field
1. Chris Coghlan
2. Brett Carroll
3. Emilio Bonifacio
4. Jai Miller
5. Scott Cousins
Center field
1. Cameron Maybin
2. Brett Carroll
3. Cody Ross
4. Emiliano Bonifacio
Right field
1. Cody Ross
2. Brett Carroll
3. Mike Stanton
4. Scott Cousins
A fourth outfielder who can hit is still a need. Carroll’s incredible defensive numbers justify his spot on the roster, but it’d be nice if the Marlins had another fallback in case of injury or a poor showing from Maybin.

Tim Lincecum is working out in an “secret location”

Tim Lincecum
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A free agent pitcher on the decline coming off of major surgery and still looking for work on February 12 isn’t exactly the definition of Big News. But as newspaper men have known for ages, if you make a bit of information sound cool enough, it becomes news.

Or, in some cases, you can make a lack of information sound cool. If you hear about a trade rumor but aren’t able to actually find out the identity of one of the teams, call it a “mystery team.” Oooh, isn’t that dramatic? Aren’t you privy to all kinds of intrigue! Or, how about this: that free agent on the decline is doing what scores of other ballplayers looking for work are doing and is working out in the Phoenix area, trying to catch on someplace. That’s kind of boring. And you don’t even know who he’s auditioning for or where to boot. Man, that’s not the sort of information that’s gonna be fun or interesting to report.

Wait!

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 7.44.02 AM

There. “Secret location.” THAT sounds exciting. THAT separates this bit of news from the dog-bites-man “baseball player playing baseball” non-story. *reporter cracks knuckles* “Now to sit back and wait for the plaudits for my amazing reporting skills to come rolling in.”

CC Sabathia: getting in shape and ready for baseball

sabathia getty
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CC Sabatha made headlines in October when he abruptly left the Yankees to go into alcohol rehab. After a month there he came back and gave interviews about his decision and his battle with the bottle and then disappeared into the offseason the way most players do.

He emerged the other day and spoke with the New York Daily News’ Mark Feinsand and says that he’s ready for baseball once again. Indeed, in some ways he’s more ready now than he usually is by mid February. He’s been throwing bullpen sessions for the past three weeks — he normally waits until he gets to Tamps — and he says his troublesome knee is feeling good.

 

Sabathia will turn 36 during the season. In 2015 he was 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA in 29 starts and posted his lowest strikeout rate in a decade. Late in the season, however, with the help of a knee brace, he was at his most effective in some time. He won’t need to return to 2008 form in order to help the Yankees this season, but he will need to look more like he did in September if he is to help the Yankees to the playoffs.

Jacob deGrom open to extension with Mets

New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom talks during media day for the Major League Baseball World Series against the Kansas City Royals Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
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The Mets are currently enjoying the spoils of the best young rotation in the game, but the big question is whether this is just a brief window or the start of sustained success. Given the huge prices on the free agent market, it’s going to be next to impossible to keep the band together, but at least one member of the rotation is open to sticking around for the long-term.

While there haven’t been any talks yet, All-Star right-hander Jacob deGrom told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post that he could see himself discussing an extension with the Mets.

“I’m a little bit older, so I might be more willing to do something like that,’’ deGrom told The Post at Mets pre-camp. “You just have to look at what is fair so both sides get a decent deal. It’s something I’d have to look into and make sure I agree with it.’’

It makes sense from deGrom’s perspective. He broke into the majors later than most prospects, so he’ll be 28 this June. Depending on whether he qualifies as a Super Two, he’ll be arbitration-eligible for the first time after either 2016 or 2017. Either way, he’s under team control through 2020, which means that he’s currently on track to hit free agency after his age-32 season. The market might not be kind to him even if he manages to stay healthy, so it could behoove him to get as much guaranteed money as possible right now. The Mets could always decide to play things year-to-year, but perhaps deGrom would be willing to settle for a discount in order to get them to buy out a free agent year or two. It’s a really interesting situation to think about, but odds are the two sides will wait on contract talks until he’s arbitration-eligible for the first time.

DeGrom owns a 2.61 ERA in 52 starts over his first two seasons in the majors. Among starters, only Zack Greinke, Jake Arrieta, and Clayton Kershaw have a lower ERA since the start of 2014.

Royals, Mike Moustakas avoid arbitration with two-year deal

Kansas City Royals' Mike Moustakas celebrates after hitting an RBI single against the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Seriesagainst the Toronto Blue Jays  on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP
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The Royals and third baseman Mike Moustakas have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $14.3 million deal, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

The deal, which was initially discussed last month, buys out Moustakas’ final two years of arbitration. Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports that it’s believed he’ll make $5.6 million in 2016 and $8.7 million in 2017.

The 27-year-old Moustakas posted an underwhelming .668 OPS over his first four seasons in the majors, but he enjoyed a big postseason in 2014 before breaking out last season by batting .284/.348/.470 with 22 home runs and 82 RBI.