The Miami Marlins had a small contingent playing in winter leagues this offseason, including many of the minor league free agents that the club signed this winter. Signed in the offseason as a minor league free agent, 28-year-old outfielder Matt Angle will join the Marlins organization after spending his 2007 to 2011 with the Baltimore Orioles and the past two in the Dodgers’ organization. Angle reached the big leagues for 31 games in 2011 with the Orioles and ha s put up very solid numbers in Triple-A over the past two seasons. Angle went to Mexico to play this winter, hitting .241/.322/.370 with five doubles and three home runs in 108 at bats.
Earlier this week, we learned that the Marlins have not yet brought any extension talks to the table. The team reach a one-year pact with Stanton for the 2014 season, to avoid arbitration. It’s questionable if Stanton would even be willing to sign a long-term extension with, as he has been said to be unhappy with the Marlins decision to sell off his teammates after the 2012 season. His agent, Joel Wolfe, suggested that Stanton prefers to take it year-to-year with the Marlins and hit the open market after the 2017 season.
Among the positives to emerge from the Marlins’ front-office changes: Owner Jeffrey Loria has such faith in his executives that for the first time, he has been deferring to them on baseball decisions. "He’s far happier with the baseball department now," a friend of Loria said. "They presented him with a plan and he has agreed to everything."
Marlins general manager Dan Jennings told MLB Network Radio on Sirius/XM Thursday afternoon the sooner the club can lock in Giancarlo Stanton to a long-term deal, the better. Stanton’s future in Miami beyond 2014 was among the subjects Jennings addressed with Jim Bowden and Holden Kushner on "Inside Pitch." In his first year of arbitration eligibility, Stanton and the Marlins agreed to a $6.5 million, one-year contract. Stanton won’t be eligible for free agency until after 2016.
The Miami Marlins on Friday announced the signing of free agent Ty Wigginton to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. Wigginton before the 2013 season signed a two-year, $5 million deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. He appeared in 47 games (63 plate appearances) and hit .158/.238/.193 before the Cardinals released him last July 9. Wigginton, 36, did not catch on with another team before season's end.
For now, the Marlins and Giancarlo Stanton are pleased with the one-year, $6.5 million deal that was reached late last week, but the club clearly would like to retain its power-hitting right fielder for years to come. On Thursday afternoon, general manager Dan Jennings told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM that the team is interested in signing Stanton to an extension, stating a desire to get a deal done "the sooner the better."
A strained lat muscle landed Andrew Heaney on the disabled list to start the 2013 season. But since the left-hander was cleared to return, he hasn't slowed down. Heaney has blossomed into one of the best Minor League pitchers in the game. His exploits were certainly noticed. On Thursday night, the 22-year-old was ranked 29th overall on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list.
Around The League
Pain was almost a constant for Bryce Harper last season. So when he was able to run and hit without pain, it 'was a lot of fun," Harper said during NatsFest.
Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte enjoyed one more send-off to their illustrious careers on Saturday, as the pair of retired hurlers were honored at the annual dinner of the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
As Robinson Cano was introduced to Mariners fans for the first time at Saturday's FanFest at Safeco Field, the 30-year-old second baseman did so with the knowledge that he now carries extra pressure along with the $240 million contract he inked in December.
At Fish Stripes
The 2014 season would be a smashing hit for the Miami Marlins if Christian Yelich develops into a second-year star by improving small amounts on each aspect of his varied skill set.
The Miami Marlins signed Casey McGehee to play third base in 2014, however third base prospect Colin Moran is expected to be a plus third baseman. Moran got an invite to Spring Training and can be ready as soon as 2015.
This week marks the eleventh anniversary of when Ivan Rodriguez agreed to join the Marlins.
An in-depth look at the two prospects that just barely made the Fish Stripes's list of top prospects in the Miami farm system. In 2014, Sam Dyson came in at #19 and Nick Wittgren nabbed the final spot.