Now that their dream candidate has abandoned them — or vice-versa — the Marlins still need a manager, and Jon Heyman says that they’re “strongly” considering Diamondbacks’ coach Bo Porter for the job. Keep in mind that Heyman also had Valentine in San Juan today managing the Marlins, so it’s possible that his sources with the Feesh are less than solid.
Still, if Porter is being considered it would be quite a reversal from last week when his name first came up as a candidate. At the time it was thought — probably correctly — that the Marlins were just going through the motions of interviewing Porter and interim manager Edwin Rodriguez so as to appease a Commissioner’s Office which fines teams who don’t interview minority candidates (Porter is black).
It’s possible, I suppose, that whoever is sourcing Heyman’s story is merely floating Porter in order to make him seem like less of a token candidate and to distract the media from what appears to have been a trainwreck of a hiring process with respect to Valentine.
But it’s also possible, is it not, that the Commissioner’s Office’s insistence on teams considering minority candidates is paying off. I mean, sure, maybe Porter first came on the radar as a formality on the way to hiring Bobby Valentine, but if he sticks on the radar as a viable candidate after not being seriously thought of in the first place, hasn’t the “interview minorities” policy worked some good?
It’s an interesting question that would be even more interesting if Jeff Loria wasn’t kind of crazy and impossible and annoying.
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.