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?
Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.
Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.
It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.
“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”
Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.
This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.
With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.