Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald has an interesting little tidbit about former Florida governor Jeb Bush trying to buy the Marlins and getting rejected by owner Jeffrey Loria:
According to a source, Bush made a “large offer” to buy the team this offseason, but Loria told him he’s not selling. A second source said Bush had put together a group of wealthy investors, with Venezuelan media mogul Gustavo Cisneros among possibilities mentioned.
Bush and Cisneros declined to comment when asked by Jackson, who speculates that Bush would have been CEO and managing partner of the Marlins if a sale went through. His brother, former president George W. Bush, was managing partner of the Texas Rangers once upon a time.
And then there’s this, from Jackson: “A longtime official in MLB’s offices said MLB always has hoped the Marlins would someday have an owner with deeper pockets than Loria.”
On the list of problems with Loria as Marlins owner I’d say “deep pockets” probably isn’t near the top.
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.