The Marlins were a contender for Robinson Cano? Really?

17 Comments

Silly season is upon us when it is asserted that, until very recently, the Marlins were legitimate contenders to sign Robinson Cano. But that’s what Joel Sherman says:

Surprisingly, one club that comes up from time to time is the Marlins. The theory: They are further along than you think because of their accumulation of young talent and no owner has proven more impetuous – in spending and selling off – than Miami’s Jeffrey Loria.

But it’s not happening now. It was, Sherman suggests, a decision that was just recently made out of practicality or some such.

I’d be really curious to hear what Robinson Cano’s agents would say — in private anyway — about the notion of him signing with the Marlins. Methinks that, based on that, Marlins sources could say anything they want about how seriously they were considering making a run at Cano and it wouldn’t have made a difference.

Remember kids: free agent deals take two sides. The team and the player. If you hear from just one side about how serious they are and the signing makes absolutely no sense for the other side, you’re likely reading a p.r. piece, not a real report of anything serious.

Giants remove pitching coach Dave Righetti

Getty Images
2 Comments

After 18 years, 12 winning seasons, seven postseason runs and three World Championships, Dave Righetti is no longer a pitching coach for the Giants. He was removed from his post on Saturday, when the team announced a few reassignments as they shake up their coaching staff. Heading into the 2018 season, Righetti will serve as special assistant to general manager Bobby Evans, former bullpen coach Mark Gardner will step into a similar special assistant role to “assist in pitching evaluations,” and former assistant hitting coach Steve Decker will take a special assistant role in baseball operations.

According to MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Righetti was the longest-tenured pitching coach in the big leagues. He helped shape the careers of notable Giants’ aces like Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain — all Cy Young contenders (and, in Lincecum’s case, a two-time winner) at various points in their careers. He was there to assist Ryan Vogelsong during his stunning mid-career comeback in San Francisco. He helped newcomers like Chris Stratton and Ty Blach flourish even as the team stumbled to the bottom of the division. He was there to take the credit when a sterling rotation clinched the Giants’ 56-year, drought-snapping championship title in 2010 — and, when things went so horribly south in 2017, he took the blame as well.

Hardly anything went right for the Giants’ pitching staff in 2017. Madison Bumgarner was shelved after sustaining a serious shoulder injury in a dirt bike accident, Johnny Cueto couldn’t shake a cluster of blisters on his right hand and Mark Melancon found it difficult to justify a $62 million paycheck after pitching through an arm injury to four blown losses/saves and a 4.50 ERA. It would be a lot for any pitching coach to stay on top of, and given the team’s rapid descent from 2016 postseason contenders to last-place finishers in 2017, it’s not surprising that Evans felt the need to switch things up.

Successors have yet to be named for Righetti, Gardner or Decker, though Murray hears that the Giants could have interest in former major league pitching coach Jim Hickey. NBC Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic adds that Evans is searching for someone to “put a new voice” on the pitching staff and will likely target someone who, like Righetti, brings considerable experience to the role.