UPDATE, 10:34 PM: Spencer now says that Heyman got it right. Valentine is no longer in the running for the job.
UPDATE, 8:50 PM: Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald heard from a “high-placed source” late Sunday night that Valentine is still a candidate for the job.
UPDATE, 6:24 PM: This is all news to Valentine, who texted “I have no idea” to the Palm Beach Post’s Joe Capozzi when asked about Heyman’s report and whether or not he is still in the running for the job.
6:11 PM: SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports that Bobby Valentine is no longer in the running for the Marlins’ managerial opening.
What an odd turn of events. Valentine seemed like a near-lock for the gig on Friday when Heyman posted this on Twitter:
“marlins, valentine have at least a tentative deal for him to manage. he starts by monday, when florida plays mets in P.R. “
And Heyman was not alone. Many in the baseball industry, even those with close ties to both Valentine and the Marlins’ thinking were penciling the Baseball Tonight analyst in as the team’s new manager.
Now it appears that the Marlins will stick with interim skipper Edwin Rodriguez as they travel to Puerto Rico for a three-game set with the Mets. It’s a nice honor for Rodriguez, who is from the country, but whether he will have his interim tag removed altogether remains to be seen. The Marlins cut ties with manager Fredi Gonzalez last week after the club got off to a 34-36 record this season under his watch.
Jon Morosi of MLB Networks reports that talks are “heating up” between the Astros and Athletics on a Sonny Gray trade. Gray, obviously, would represent a big upgrade for the Astros’ rotation. He has a 3.66 ERA and has struck out 85 batters while walking 28 in 91 innings.
Morosi adds that Gray is not the only option for the Astros, as they are also talking to the Tigers about a potential acquisition of Justin Verlander and Justin Wilson. That would obviously be a much tougher deal to negotiate given Verlander’s 10/5 rights giving him veto power over any trade, not to mention the massive amount of money he’s still owed on his contract.
Also: I’m pretty sure that it’s in the MLB rules that any trade between the Tigers and the Astros has to involve Brad Ausmus, C.J. Nitkowski and Jose Lima, and that’s not possible given their current occupations and/or their deaths in 2010.
The Miami Marlins have sent reliever David Phelps to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for four prospects. MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand and Ken Rosenthal had rumors of the deal first, Jon Morosi, Jeff Passan and Jon Heyman (among others) all reported the trade at virtually the same time.
Phelps, 30, had a fantastic 2016 season, posting a 2.28 ERA in 64 games while striking out 11.8 batters per nine innings. He’s not been as strong this year, but he’s still been a solid setup man, posting a 3.45 ERA in 44 games while striking out 51 batters and walking 21 in 47 innings. He throws in the mid-90s and induces grounders. The Mariners could probably use rotation help more than bullpen help, but solid innings are solid innings at one point and improving your pen takes some of the pressure off of your rotation. Phelps will help Seattle with that. He’s under team control for next year too, so this is more than a rental.
The top prospect in the deal is Brayan Hernandez, a 19 year-old outfielder from Venezuela, currently playing in low-A ball. Also in the deal: righty Brandon Miller, righty Pablo Lopez and righty Lucas Schiraldi who, yes, is the son of ex-big leaguer Calvin Schiraldi. None of these guys are blue chippers, but you never know what’ll happen. It’s a volume return for the Fish.
We’ve already seen some big bullpen names move, including David Robertson, Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson. Among others who could be moved: A.J. Ramos (Marlins); Justin Wilson (Tigers); Addison Reed (Mets); Jerry Blevins (Mets); Brad Hand (Padres); Tony Watson (Pirates); Juan Nicasio (Pirates); Brad Brach (Orioles); Drew Storen (Reds); and Raisel Iglesias (Reds).