Jack McKeon wasted no time making his presence felt as Edwin Rodriguez’s replacement, as the 80-year-old’s first lineup since returning as Marlins manager doesn’t include Hanley Ramirez.
Ramirez has dealt with back problems for much of the season, but told reporters that he’s healthy and confused by not starting tonight.
McKeon explained to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that he benched Ramirez because he “didn’t like the way he was running yesterday” and Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports that Ramirez also showed up late to the ballpark.
Whatever the case, not exactly a great start to the McKeon-Ramirez relationship, which is interesting given that Ramirez’s various issues with Fredi Gonzalez led to his firing in mid-2010 following back-to-back winning seasons. This is what the Marlins signed up for and the media members covering the team seem absolutely giddy about the return of McKeon’s brash style, but Ramirez probably isn’t as thrilled right about now.
Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.
Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.
The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.
Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.