As far as I’m concerned, every team makes a concerted effort to get their players represented in the All-Star game, but this Associated Press report makes it look like the Marlins might be pushing it a little bit:
If a fan fills out 200 All-Star ballots, available at any of 30
locations around Sun Life Stadium, the Marlins will reward him or her
with two tickets to an upcoming home game.
There’s two caveats:
All eight Marlins on the ballot must be voted for every time, and the
ballots need to be turned in by the conclusion of the sixth inning.
The Marlins are offering smaller prizes for 50 or 100 completed ballots,
such as a Hanley Ramirez figurine.
Okay. Two things. One, the Marlins have a hard enough time getting their fans to come out to the ballpark, so I’m guessing only a small minority will actually be willing to fill out 200 ballots. And two, if there is some Marlins’ superfan who is willing to go all “Sanchez, Uggla, Ramirez, Cantu, Baker, Coghlan, Maybin, Ross” on the ballot 200 times, well, God bless ’em. The Marlins need more fans like you. Why not get rewarded for your efforts?
It’s not like there’s much integrity in the voting process anyway. Did ya’ notice Jimmy Rollins is currently the leading vote-getter for the shortstop position despite only playing in 12 games this season? Okay, so let’s not go crazy here. Besides, Hanley Ramirez could use the boost.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.
With the Braves on the cusp of formalizing their one-year deal with Kurt Suzuki, the market for free agent catcher Matt Wieters is dwindling. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick references an inside source that lists the Angels, Rockies and Reds as potential suitors for the 30-year-old’s services.
Wieters is coming off of an eight-year career with the Orioles. In 2016, he played through his first full year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014 and batted .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and a .711 OPS in 464 PA. A return to Baltimore in 2017 isn’t out of the question, Crasnick writes, citing some within the team that would be open to Wieters stepping into a DH role and catching platoon with Wellington Castillo. However, he also points out that the front office appears divided on the veteran catcher, and sees the Orioles as a long shot for the foreseeable future.
The Angels have already been tied to Wieters this offseason, while the Rockies and Reds don’t appear to have made any formal inquiries so far. Both could use a veteran presence behind the dish, as the Rockies are planning to platoon rookie catcher Tom Murphy with 24-year-old Tony Wolters in the spring. The Reds, meanwhile, are banking on a quick recovery for 28-year-old Devin Mesoraco, who missed most of the 2016 season after undergoing shoulder and hip surgery and forced the club to rely almost exclusively on back-up backstop Tucker Barnhart.