Remember all the Heath Bell trade talk and how a potential trade signaled that the Marlins may be keen on keeping Ozzie Guillen as manager? It turns out that those rumors were all too silly, as only a few days after Bell was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Marlins trade Ozzie Guillen to the scrap heap by firing him after just one season.
Let's be honest: no one should be surprised by this move. The Marlins had been mulling a firing for weeks now, since the end of the season. Ever since Guillen's scrum with Bell, the Marlins have been said to be seeking replacements for Guillen, with a number of former players being named as potential options. The Marlins' candidates prior to this firing potentially included former major leaguer Brad Ausmus and former Marlins players Mike Lowell and Mike Redmond.
If those names do not sound familiar in your managerial fantasy league, it is because all of them would be rookies to the manager game. The Marlins will likely be searching for inexperienced candidates to fill their hole because Guillen's original contract will still be weighing the Marlins down. Guillen still has $7.5 million over the next three years remaining in his deal signed before 2012, and the Marlins will be paying all of that money for Guillen to relax and sit on the beach. As a result, the Fish are more likely to look for a cheaper candidate rather than an expensive option, especially when the last expensive option "flopped" as badly as the team seems to think.
For Guillen, this is bad news in the sense that he ended up being the scapegoat for a bad season that was everyone's fault. The good news for him is that his contract is guaranteed and he will immediately be a hot name in the managerial free agent market, even if it takes a year or so (still earning $2.5 million) to get back in the game. Until then, he can freely do booth commentary until some team eventually laps him back up on reputation, ignoring the tarnish that 2012 left on his resume.
The Marlins will retain current bullpen coach Reid Cornelius and current third base coach Joey Espada, though both coaches will man unknown roles next season. The Fish will begin their managerial search and would be wise to get this process over with by November so that potential free agents, if the team chooses to pursue any, are not scared away.