We haven’t gotten any official, on-the-record word from anyone about what’s going on with the Marlins’ manager hunt, so we may as well fight the unconfirmed “Bobby V. is out” fire with some contradictory fire from the Miami Herald:
On Sunday, a major-league source told The Miami Herald that Bobby
Valentine, who was believed to be the front-runner for the job that
opened when Fredi Gonzalez was fired last week, was no longer a
candidate. Other local and national media outlets reported the same
information, and baseball commissioner Bud Selig was notified of that
On Monday, though, another big-league source said not
to count out Valentine just yet.
“Everybody’s still a
candidate,” including Valentine, the source said.
Monday if the Marlins had told him he was no longer being considered,
Valentine text-messaged a one-word reply: “No.”
This has all the stink of an internal power struggle, not a falling out between Valentine and the team. If it was the latter, both Valentine and the Marlins would have had their spin out by now, with Bobby V. surrogates talking about mixed signals from the team and team surrogates talking about Valentine being a prima donna or whatever.
We have none of that. We do have someone leaking to the Miami reporter that they’re still considering Bobby and someone else leaking to Jon Heyman — who makes his home in Miami in the winter — that the team has moved on to other candidates.
It’s all speculation on my part, if I had to guess, the Valentine-loving Loria or someone close to him is talking to the Miami Herald and someone closer to baseball operations is talking to Heyman, each side trying to create their own reality with the spin.
Which is great fun for all of us who aren’t Marlins fans.
(thanks to Old Gator for the heads up)
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.