Major League Baseball isn’t planning to announce its full 2012 schedule until sometime in September, but a source with knowledge of the situation told the Associated Press on Thursday that the Marlins will open their spanking-new $515 million ballpark on April 4 with a visit from the St. Louis Cardinals.
The currently unnamed stadium is being constructed in the Little Havana section of Miami, about two miles from downtown. It’s about 75% finished.
The “state-of-the-art” baseball-only park will feature a retractable roof, a capacity of around 37,000 and seats that are “among the closest to the playing field in all of baseball,” according to the Marlins’ official website.
The franchise will be changing its name from the Florida Marlins to the Miami Marlins at some point this winter.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.