Fish Bites: Cespedes Edition

The Miami Marlins have made it clear they want a deep bench, by signing veteran outfielders Austin Kearns and Aaron Rowand to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training.

"I wouldn’t expect him to sign here in the next day, two days, one week, maybe two weeks," Marlins President David Samson said, on his weekly 790 The Ticket radio show Wednesday. "We’ll see. We’re going to try as hard as we can. That said, there’s other teams — maybe some teams thought they were getting Prince Fielder for four years and then all of a sudden they weren’t."

That quote, released by Marlins President David Samson on Wednesday, revealed so much about where the club stands on Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Although Samson assured that Cespedes would not sign with Miami within the next few weeks, he also openly admitted the front office will "try as hard as they can" to try and land the Cuban outfielder. Being realistic about the situation, Samson also acknowledged that there are "other teams" that Cespedes could choose. Miami, although once thought to be, might not be the best location for Cespedes to play even though it is closest to his home in Cuba.

-According to multiple sources, Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball. Cespedes' name has been linked to multiple teams, most recently the Cubs and the Marlins, respectively. Cespedes' poor Dominican League numbers were not thought to decrease his value or make him less attractive.

-MLB.com has reported that the Marlins have signed outfielder Austin Kearns to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Kearns, who is familiar with the NL East after two separate stints with the Nationals, hit .200 with two homers and seven RBIs in 2011 with the Cleveland Indians. Kearns will compete with in-house names Scott Cousins, Bryan Petersen, and others for a bench spot.

-Arbitration hearings have been set for the beginning of February for Emilio Bonifacio and Anibal Sanchez. The Marlins' offer only fell $250,000 short of Bonifacio's desired amount, but fell $1.1 million short of Sanchez's desired amount. Both will be key contributors in 2012.

-Pitcher Josh Johnson began throwing off of a mound this week for the first time since early May. Johnson, injured for most of 2011, will throw three bullpen sessions every week from now until the start of spring training. Johnson's health is essential to the Marlins' success.

--MLB.com has also reported that if Chris Coghlan wants to compete for a roster spot in 2012, he will first have to prove he is healthy. After being hurt and inconsistent, Coghlan says that he is "completely healthy and ready for spring training".

Around The League

-MLB.com posted an article saying three stars in Hanley Ramirez, Miguel Cabrera, and Mark Trumbo will all be playing third base during the 2012 season.

-Probably the most notable baseball signing of late, the Detriot Tigers have officially signed Prince Fielder to a nine year, $214 million dollar contract. The signing of Fielder will force ex-Marlins Miguel Cabrera to play third base.

-The Washington Nationals have signed RHP Brad Lidge to a one year contract. Lidge, who most recently pitched for the Phillies, has been inconsistent in his career due to injuries.

-Yankees catcher Jorge Posada has recently announced his retirement.

-Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants have agreed to terms on a two year contract.

-Ex-Marlin Cody Ross has recently signed with the Boston Red Sox.

At Fish Stripes

-Christian Yelich and Matt Dominguez have recently made MLB's Top 100 Prospects List.

-The Marlins' new logo has sparked some debate, however their home run feature may be the new topic of discussion.

-How many times will you head down to Little Havana to see the new Miami Marlins play? Vote here.

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