Marlins plan to fire longtime GM/president Larry Beinfest

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Larry Beinfest was hired as the Marlins’ general manager when Jeffrey Loria took over as owner in 2002 and was later promoted to president of baseball operations, but after an offseason spending spree followed by a disappointing season he’s reportedly on the way out.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today spoke to “two high-ranking executives” who say the Marlins “are planning to fire Beinfest … perhaps as early as next week.”

According to Nightengale the Marlins will promote assistant general Dan Jennings to replace him. Meanwhile, he writes that manager Ozzie Guillen is expected to keep his job with three years remaining on a $10 million contract.

Under Beinfest the Marlins won the World Series in 2003 and, despite frequently having one of the league’s lowest payrolls until now, have had winning seasons in five of his 11 years. However, the team’s last winning season came in 2009 and it’s no surprise that someone is taking the fall for the free-spending offseason likely leading to 90-plus losses moving into the new ballpark.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.