The Rays will name 12 candidates to replace Joe Maddon. Which is kind of crazy.

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that today the Rays will name 12 candidates to potentially replace Joe Maddon. He lists several possibilities and gives a brief summary of what they bring to the table. It’s a useful quick-guide.

But the question I have is why they are interviewing anyone and not just giving the job to Dave Martinez.

Martinez has been the Rays’ bench coach since just after the 2007 season. He was there for the whole Rays Ascension under Joe Maddon and, by most reports, was Maddon’s right-hand man. He has been long talked about as managerial material and has interviewed for multiple top jobs. He is reported to have a good relationship with the players and the front office. I can’t remember anyone ever saying a thing about him other than “Dave Martinez is gonna be a manager one day.”

On a team that would’ve kept Maddon around in a heartbeat and clearly had no desire to change course on the field (Topkin reported the other day that they intend to keep the current coaching staff) how is Maddon’s protege not the one and only choice for the job?

 

Batting champion Luis Arraez beats Marlins in salary arbitration

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — AL batting champion Luis Arraez won his arbitration case and will get a $6.1 million salary from the Miami Marlins, who acquired the All-Star infielder from the Minnesota Twins last month.

Miami argued for $5 million during a hearing before John Stout, Mark Burstein and Scott Buchheit. Arraez received a raise from $2.2 million.

Marlins pitcher Jesus Luzardo went to a hearing and asked for a raise from $715,000 to $2.45 million, while Miami proposed $2.1 million. The case was heard by Stout, Melinda Gordon and Richard Bloch, who were expected to issue their decision.

Arraez hit .316 with eight homers, 49 RBIs and a .795 OPS last year for Minnesota, starting 61 games at first base, 34 at designated hitter and 31 at second. The 25-year-old was traded on Jan. 20 for starting pitcher Pablo Lopez and a pair of prospects: infielder Jose Salas and outfielder Byron Chourio.

Arraez is eligible for free agency after the 2026 season.

Luzardo, a 25-year-old left-hander, was 4-7 with a 3.32 ERA in 18 starts last year, striking out 120 and walking 35 in 100 1/3 innings. He is 13-18 with a 3.59 ERA in 45 starts and 16 relief appearances over four big league seasons.

Luzardo also is eligible for free agency after the 2026 season.

Seattle defeated Diego Castillo in the first salary arbitration decision this year, and the relief pitcher will get a raise to $2.95 million rather than his request of $3,225,000.

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Twenty-two players remain scheduled for hearings, to take place through Feb. 17. Among them, utilityman Dylan Moore and the Seattle Mariners have a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.