UPDATE: The Marlins have officially announced that Jennings has been relieved of his duties. Team president Michael Hill will take over as general manager.
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Jennings is owed $5.6 million over the next three seasons. I wouldn’t say it’s a skill, but the Marlins are really good at paying people who don’t work for them anymore.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the relationship between Jennings and Loria became frayed when Jennings played outfielder Marcell Ozuna against Loria’s wishes. Of course, the Marlins demoted Ozuna earlier this year and kept him in the minors for what was largely believed to be motivated by service time. Ozuna compared his time in Triple-A to jail and Loria probably didn’t take kindly to that. Sounds like a fun situation for Don Mattingly to walk into.
6:11 p.m. ET: On the day that we learned that Don Mattingly will be the new manager of the Marlins, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the team has dismissed former general manager and manager Dan Jennings.
This completes what has been a bizarre year for Jennings, who stunned the baseball world when he moved from the front office to the dugout after manager Mike Redmond was fired in May. Jennings led the Marlins to a 55-69 record through the end of the regular season. He wasn’t expected to return as manager, but the belief was that he’d move back to his role as general manager, a position he had held since the fall of 2013. However, it was reported earlier this month that Jennings’ relationship with owner Jeffrey Loria “deteriorated” during his time as manager and that he wasn’t coming to the office at Marlins Park or taking part in typical GM duties. In other words, the writing was on the wall. As Jackson puts it, the Marlins believe letting Jennings go is “in the best interests of the organization.”
It’s unclear who will replace Jennings as general manager, but Marlins’ vice president and assistant general manager Mike Berger would be a natural successor. And heck, we could hear some speculation about Alex Anthopoulous, who stepped down as Blue Jays general manager today.
You have to feel for Jennings after all he has been through this year, but he likely won’t be out of work for long and should find a home with an organization which isn’t nearly as dysfunctional.