Bobby Valentine no longer interested in managing Marlins

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This comes as a bit of surprise.  But not really.

Tim Kurkjian of ESPN.com is reporting that Bobby Valentine has pulled himself out of the running for the Marlins’ managerial vacancy.

Valentine gave no reason for his decision, only saying that he has “decided to go in another direction,” but it’s safe to assume that he felt disrespected by the organization when he was not named Fredi Gonzalez’s replacement in June.  The Marlins engaged in serious talks with Bobby V at that time and a deal seemed close, but Edwin Rodriguez was named interim skipper instead.

Valentine will be courted by the Mariners and Blue Jays this winter and maybe the Mets, once they figure out a new general manager.  He has options, in other words, and would rather head to a club that really wants him than one that operates in an indecisive manner.

Former Phillies skipper Jim Fregosi, former D’Backs bench coach Po Porter and Yankees bench coach Tony Pena are believed to be candidates for the job in south Florida.  Padres bench coach Ted Simmons and Dodgers minor league manager Tim Wallach have also been linked to the Fish.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.