According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com “indications are Bo Porter has emerged as the frontrunner” for the Marlins’ managerial opening.
Porter was the Diamondbacks’ bench coach this season before being let go in the housecleaning that went along with Kirk Gibson being named full-time manager earlier this month. Prior to that he was the Marlins’ third base coach from 2007 to 2009.
Frisaro reports that Porter “already has been making inquiries about candidates for his coaching staff” and adds that the Marlins haven’t even spoken to interim manager Edwin Rodriguez since the season ended, suggesting that he’s not viewed as a legitimate candidate for the full-time position despite a 46-46 record after replacing Fredi Gonzalez in mid-June.
The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.
Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.
Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.