GM Dan Jennings to be named the Marlins new manager. And it’s a terrible idea.


Marlins owner Jeff Loria is nothing if not impulsive and dismissive of things like plans, continuity and logic when it comes to running his baseball teams, so why not do something like this? Jon Heyman of CBS and Joe Frisaro of are reporting that the Marlins intend to name their current general manager, Dan Jennings, as the replacement for Mike Redmond in the Miami dugout. The announcement is supposed to happen at 11AM this morning.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Mike Goff, a longtime friend of Jennings’ and current advance scout for the Marlins will be Jennings’ bench coach. Goff managed in the Reds and Giants organizations. Jennings’ general manager role will be filled by assistant GM Mike Berger with team president Mike Hill pitching in.

Jennings has not managed or coached anywhere since a stint as a high school coach in Alabama 30 years ago. Since 1986 he has climbed the scouting ladder, eventually joining the Marlins front office in 2002. He finally completed his climb to GM in 2013, and remains a loyal soldier to Loria, carrying out his rebuilds, splurges and fire sales. As Ken Rosenthal notes here, Jennings’ very act of accepting the job is likely due to that loyalty more than some notion that the move makes any kind of sense.

And it doesn’t make sense. Yes, there have been some low-or-no experience managers hired in recent years — Mike Redmond was one of them — but they had all at least played baseball at a high level, which Jennings has not. Given that a manager’s primary job these days, or at least so the conventional wisdom goes, is to maintain harmony and order in the dugout and in the clubhouse, not having worked in a professional dugout or clubhouse, ever, puts Jennings at a serious disadvantage.

Craig Counsell, Mike Matheny, Brad Ausmus, Matt Williams, Robin Ventura and others all have an air of authority to them based on their playing careers that, their inexperience managing notwithstanding, provides them instant credibility with players. Jennings has none of that. And he likely cut, traded or dealt in a tough manner with some of these guys, because that was his job as GM. Where does his authority come from if not his experience as a coach or manager or his stature as a guy who has been there and done that?

From Jeff Loria’s caprice, I guess. His arrogance. Maybe his cheapness, too, as the Marlins are currently paying Ozzie Guillen and Redmond to not manager their club. Since Jennings was already on the payroll, this saves Loria some coin, I suppose.

It also provides the second example in the space of two weeks of a major league team hiring a relatively inexperienced white manager without first considering qualified minority candidates as per the Selig Rule. We didn’t hear a peep when the Brewers did it. Will we with the Marlins? Especially considering that literally any candidate, minority or otherwise, is more qualified than Dan Jennings.

Maybe the Marlins will skate there. After all, this is a team owned by a guy who, for whatever reason, was allowed to destroy one team in Montreal and then, as a thank you for his services, was literally given money by Major League Baseball to buy the Marlins, who he has mismanaged for a decade. I guess someone at the league office loves the guy.

And I guess some other teams might get the benefit of the doubt with a move this unconventional. The Marlins, however, and especially Jeff Loria, have done nothing to earn that benefit. And unlike the folks at MLB, fans and observers have no reason to cut Loria and the Marlins any slack.

Good luck, Dan Jennings. You’ll need it.

MLB free agent watch: Ohtani leads possible 2023-24 class

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CHICAGO – The number will follow Shohei Ohtani until it is over. No, not Ohtani’s home runs or strikeouts or any of his magnificent numbers from the field. Nothing like that.

It’s all about how much. As in how much will his next contract be worth.

Ohtani is among several players going into their final seasons before they are eligible for free agency. There is still time for signatures and press conferences before opening day, but history shows a new contract becomes less likely once the real games begin.

There is no real precedent for placing a value on Ohtani’s remarkable skills, especially after baseball’s epic offseason spending spree. And that doesn’t factor in the potential business opportunities that go along with the majors’ only truly global star.

Ohtani hit .273 with 34 homers and 95 RBIs last season in his fifth year with the Los Angeles Angels. The 2021 AL MVP also went 15-9 with a 2.33 ERA in 28 starts on the mound.

He prepared for this season by leading Japan to the World Baseball Classic championship, striking out fellow Angels star Mike Trout for the final out in a 3-2 victory over the United States in the final.

Ohtani, who turns 29 in July, could set multiple records with his next contract, likely in the neighborhood of a $45 million average annual value and quite possibly reaching $500 million in total.

If the Angels drop out of contention in the rough-and-tumble AL West, Ohtani likely becomes the top name on the trade market this summer. If the Angels are in the mix for the playoffs, the pressure builds on the team to get something done before possibly losing Ohtani in free agency for nothing more than a compensatory draft pick.

So yeah, definitely high stakes with Ohtani and the Angels.

Here is a closer look at five more players eligible for free agency after this season:


Nola, who turns 30 in June, went 11-13 with a 3.25 ERA in 32 starts for Philadelphia last year. He also had a career-best 235 strikeouts in 205 innings for the NL champions.

Nola was selected by the Phillies with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 amateur draft. There were extension talks during spring training, but it didn’t work out.

“We are very open-minded to trying to sign him at the end of the season,” President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said. “We’re hopeful that he’ll remain a Phillie for a long time.”


Chapman hit 36 homers and drove in 91 runs for Oakland in 2019. He hasn’t been able to duplicate that production, but the three-time Gold Glover finished with 27 homers and 76 RBIs in 155 games last year in his first season with Toronto.

Chapman turns 30 on April 28. Long one of the game’s top fielding third basemen, he is represented by Scott Boras, who generally takes his clients to free agency.


Hernández was acquired in a November trade with Toronto. He hit .267 with 25 homers and 77 RBIs in his final year with the Blue Jays. He was terrific in 2021, batting .296 with 32 homers, 116 RBIs and a .870 OPS.

The change of scenery could help the 30-year-old Hernández set himself up for a big payday. He is a .357 hitter with three homers and seven RBIs in 16 games at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park.


The switch-hitting Happ is coming off perhaps his best big league season, setting career highs with a .271 batting average, 72 RBIs and 42 doubles in 158 games. He also won his first Gold Glove and made the NL All-Star team for the first time.

Chicago had struggled to re-sign its own players in recent years, but it agreed to a $35 million, three-year contract with infielder Nico Hoerner on Monday. The 28-year-old Happ, a first-round pick in the 2015 amateur draft, is on the executive subcommittee for the players’ union.


Urías, who turns 27 in August, likely will have plenty of suitors if he reaches free agency. He went 17-7 with an NL-low 2.16 ERA in 31 starts for the NL West champions in 2022, finishing third in NL Cy Young Award balloting. That’s after he went 20-3 with a 2.96 ERA in the previous season.

Urías also is a Boras client, but the Dodgers have one of the majors’ biggest payrolls. Los Angeles also could make a run at Ohtani, which could factor into its discussions with Urías’ camp.