On Friday afternoon, the Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis Cardinals were able to pull off a trade. The Angels traded defensive stalwart in center-field Peter Bourjos for the Cardinals third baseman David Freese.
In his rookie campaign of 2013, Fernandez was phenomenal in the truest, most basic sense of the word. He was, simply put, a phenom. To make the Miami Marlins' Opening Day roster—something no one could have expected, including Fernandez himself—at the tender age of 20 without ever having faced even a single batter above A-ball is one thing. To do all that and then proceed to dominate major league hitters and earn the National League Rookie of the Year Award, well, that's something else altogether.
The team has seemingly been quiet, as have most Major League Baseball teams so far this off-season. The Marlins may have seen a potential contender in the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes, that should be happening a year from now, potentially drop out, as Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers Trade: Are Rangers out on Stanton?
Margery Roberts has watched baseball from a recliner in her living room at Summit Park Assisted Living for the last two years. On a shelf overlooking her TV is a baseball, cradled in the palm of a glove-shaped trophy. A plaque on the trophy reads, "In memory of grandpa Dale Roberts." To the 79-year-old Jackson resident, the ball is a symbol of love — love of the game and love of her grandson and favorite Major League Baseball player, Miami Marlins third baseman, Ed Lucas.
The Marlins eventually came up, but the visit wasn’t professional. It was personal. I asked plenty of questions during my one-on-one with Michael Weiner last April. The tape recorder wasn’t on and I wasn’t scribbling answers as we chatted in his office at the Major League Baseball Players’ Association in New York. Not that I wasn’t interested in Weiner’s take on any number of baseball-related matters. He was the head of the players’ union. The conversation remained on point. Two relatively young guys – me 40 and Weiner about 10 years older – comparing notes on brain cancer.
If the Marlins sincerely hope to retain their core players long term, the organization must do a better job of creating a more stable environment. Along with player turnover, there also has been sweeping changes in regards to managers, coaches and this season, the front office. Around a young core, the organization is seeking to build for a better tomorrow. A centerpiece in their plans is Giancarlo Stanton, eligible for arbitration for the first time.
The Marlins are willing to part with some of their surplus pitching in hopes of landing impact hitters, but they are not considering moving their No. 2 starter. Nathan Eovaldi is not a trade option. The Marlins see their top of the rotation being Jose Fernandez and Eovaldi, giving them two young, controllable power arms for years to come.
Around The League
The math has changed on the Tigers' payroll with Prince Fielder's trade to Texas for Ian Kinsler. The math on Detroit's rotation has not. No amount of payroll shedding is likely to eliminate that issue.
The Angels and free-agent reliever Joe Smith agreed to a three-year contract worth just over $15 million on Saturday night, sources confirmed to MLB.com. The deal, first reported by Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com and MLB Network, won't be announced until Smith completes a physical next week.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweeted on Saturday night that St. Louis and free agent Jhonny Peralta are "closing in on a deal," although the terms were not specified. Peralta is expected to play shortstop for the Cardinals, Crasnick added.
The Yankees are on the verge of completing a bold upgrade behind the plate, agreeing to terms on Saturday with free-agent catcher Brian McCann on a five-year contract worth at least $85 million. McCann, widely regarded as the top available catcher on the market, will need to pass a physical before the deal becomes official. The Yankees have not made an announcement regarding the signing.
At Fish Stripes
Under infield coach Perry Hill, the Marlins know playing well defensively is will continue to be a key element to their development and success. Plus links on Colin Moran, Giancarlo Stanton, and Andrew Heaney.
The Miami Marlins are intent on acquiring cost-controlled, young talent. Could a prospect swap with the Chicago Cubs be a ticket to that acquisition?
The Miami Marlins continued to focus on their pitching staff by placing six players, four of them pitchers, on the 40-man roster in advance of the Rule 5 Draft. These players include prospects Jose Urena and Angel Sanchez among others.
The Miami Marlins may be interested in signing perennial laughingstock Yuniesky Betancourt. Let the fan base riot in panic!
The Miami Marlins aren't the only team looking to add a pair of bats this offseason. Despite a limited free agent class, the Marlins are expected to make two or three low key signings that they hope will improve their inconsistent offense.