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?
The Red Sox have more or less withdrawn from the Edwin Encarnacion sweepstakes, with Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald noting that much of their reluctance hinges on the likelihood that they’d exceed the new $195 million luxury tax threshold by locking the DH into a lucrative deal. That doesn’t leave them without options, however, and FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported that the club could be interested in 29-year-old corner infielder Pedro Alvarez, as well as fellow free agents Mike Napoli and Matt Holliday.
After playing just 10 games at DH from 2010 to 2015, Alvarez suited up as the Orioles’ primary designated hitter and part-time third baseman in 2016. His defense is sub-par, to say the least, but he batted .249/.322/.504 with 22 home runs for Baltimore in 2016.
According to Heyman, the Red Sox envision using Alvarez in much the same way the Orioles did. He’d have a place as the team’s DH with the occasional infield start, while Hanley Ramirez would keep his post at first base. Whether the Red Sox make offers to Napoli, Holliday or Alvarez, they’re expected to pursue a short-term deal in order to stay under budget.
The Braves signed left-handed reliever Jacob Lindgren to a one-year deal, according to a team announcement on Sunday.
Lindgren, the Yankees’ top draft pick in 2014, was nicknamed “The Strikeout Factory” after blowing through four levels of New York’s farm system in 2014. He started the 2015 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and was called up for his major league debut only two months into the 2015 season. The 22-year-old lasted seven innings with the club before succumbing to bone chips in his elbow, and underwent bone spur surgery in June before trying his luck again during spring training in 2016.
In August, the Yankees shut Lindgren down for the remainder of the season so the lefty could undergo Tommy John surgery. With a projected return date of 2018, Lindgren was non-tendered by the Yankees on Friday.
While the Braves won’t get the benefit of Lindgren’s top prospect skill set in their bullpen anytime soon, he will remain under club control if they keep him on their 40-man roster beyond the 2017 season (per ESPN’s Keith Law).