The only thing we know for sure is that Edwin Rodriguez is still the manager of the Marlins. Which, given what I said the other day about the whole Puerto Rico thing, is nice. Otherwise: pure chaos.
As Drew chronicled last night in a series of updates that reflects just how wacky the situation is down in Miami, Bobby Valentine is no longer being considered for the Marlins’ job. Probably, anyway. Late last night Ken Rosenthal reported what everyone else is saying — the deal is off — but added one little tidbit: the dispute between Valentine and the club was apparently not about money. Rather, it was about “philosophy.”
That could mean anything. As Rosenthal notes, there appears to be some dissent between Loria and team president David Samson, the latter of which is not a Valentine fan. It could also have to do with timing and the leaks of his impending hiring and any number of things. Loria is apparently nuts and Valentine has never been accused of being some kind of ego-free zen master, so it could have broken down over the backdrop for the press conference for all we know.
What we do know, however, is that the Marlins are a train wreck at the moment. Rosenthal sums it up the best: “At best, the Marlins are confused. At worst, they are in turmoil. Either
way, they are an embarrassment.” He also calls Loria a “low-rent George Steinbrenner.” That made me laugh, but I don’t think you can divorce Steinbrenner’s, um, colorful nature from his high-rent ways. He thought he could — and often did — buy whatever he wanted. That’s pretty much what characterized everything he did and what made him the unique phenomenon that he was, for good and for bad. Loria, on the other hand, is just a jerk and a cheapskate and those are really a dime a dozen.
But back to the Marlins: who would possibly want that job now?
Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks and outfielder A.J. Pollock have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year extension. The deal is worth $10.25 million, per ESPN’s Buster Olney.
Pollock was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. The 28-year-old requested $3.9 million and was offered $3.65 million by the Diamondbacks when figures were exchanged on January 15. It wasn’t much of a gap, but the two sides were ultimately able to find common ground on a multi-year deal. Pollock will still be under team control for one more year after this new deal expires.
Pollock is coming off a breakout 2015 where he batted .315/.367/.498 with 20 home runs, 76 RBI, and 39 stolen bases over 157 games. He ranked sixth among position players with 7.4 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), according to Baseball Reference.
The Blue Jays and 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $29 million contract, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.
Donaldson was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter. He filed for $11.8 million and was offered $11.35 million by the Blue Jays when figures were exchanged last month. It wasn’t a big gap, but since the Blue Jays are a “file and trial” team, they bring these cases to an arbitration hearing unless a multi-year deal can be worked out. As opposed to last winter, they were able to avoid a hearing this time around. Donaldson was originally a Super Two player, so he’ll still have one year of arbitration-eligibility once this two-year deal is completed.
The 30-year-old Donaldson is coming off a monster first season in Toronto where he batted .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers while leading the American League with 123 RBI.
Brandon Belt filed for $7.5 million and was offered $5.3 million by the Giants when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. That’s a pretty sizable gap. While there’s still a chance that an agreement will be worked out at the last minute, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that an arbitration hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
The Giants haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing since 2004, when they lost to catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Schulman hears from one person involved that because of the gap between Belt and the Giants, there’s a real chance this will break that string and require a hearing.
Belt batted .280/.356/.478 with 18 home runs and 68 RBI over 137 games in 2015, but he dealt with concussion symptoms for the second straight season. An arbitration hearing could bring some unpleasant conversation to the surface.
The Padres have inked veteran utility player Skip Schumaker to a minor league contract, per FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
Schumaker, who turned 36 last week, has spent the last two seasons with the Reds. He batted .242/.306/.336 with one home run and 21 RBI over 131 games last season while making starts between all three outfield spots and second base. Cincinnati cut ties with him in November after declining a $2.5 million club option for 2016.
While Schumaker had to settle for a non-guaranteed deal here, it would be no surprise to see him land a bench job with the Padres come Opening Day.