Whoa — this came out of the blue. Our own Matthew
Pouliot said just a few weeks ago that Marlins’ manager Fredi Gonzalez should get canned, but I didn’t think it would actually happen. Now Joe Capozzi is reporting that the Florida Marlins have fired Gonzalez and two coaches. Edwin Rodriguez has been named interim manager.
The Marlins are currently 34-36. They’ve hit a bad stretch in the past couple of weeks, but they just took 2 of 3 from the Rays. Most projection systems had them as a sub-.500 team this season, so they’re actually overperforming.
Of course, Jeff Loria seemed none too eager to keep Gonzalez around after last season anyway, flirting with Bobby Valentine and everything. And of course, there was Gonzalez’s little tiff with Hanley Ramirez recently which, however on the side of angels Gonzalez happened to be, had to have harmed his relationship with his best player. A player that the owner buys jewelry for, for cryin’ out loud.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.