Let's look at Alex Gonzalez and who could be the Marlins shortstop next year. There are a lot of interesting tidbits that yield some insight and also add some confusion.
Gonzalez wants a multiyear deal which doesn't fit into the team's desired payroll purge. What are the parsimonious front office alternatives to Alex?
I guess the first place to start is to see how his season ending injury replacement fared in the AFL.
His unspectacular .612 on-base plus slugging percentage wasn't the most disappointing part of his 19 games with the Grand Canyon Rafters. Andino played so lackadaisically and with such a poor attitude that Marlins vice president of player personnel Dan Jennings personally delivered a pointed reprimand.
That's not too reassuring. Given his play after being called up and his performance, or lack thereof, in the AFL - he's not ready and he may never be ready. Now, that doesn't mean he won't be the opening day shortstop for the Marlins. He's cheap.
How is Gonzalez doing on the free agent market? He has been contacted by the Braves and the Cubs.
They both can't get Furcal which leads one to believe that Gonzalez will get an offer from another team and maybe one the same division.
Are the Marlins entering the hunt with an idea of possibly resigning Alex?
If they are, they have a most unusual way of going about it. I'm guessing that "noncommittal" is another term for still looking at other options.
Let's look at the Marlins options should they feel Andino isn't ready and Gonzalez is too expensive or signed with another club. The possibilities are Royce Clayton, Jose Valentin, Deivi Cruz, Pokey Reese, Abraham Nunez, Rich Aurilia and Nomar Garciaparra. Clayton is a Type A free agent and will cost the club a first round draft pick. Best I can tell, none of these player have been approached by the Marlins in a serious manner.
But nevertheless another possibility remains:
The Marlins entered into talks with Ordonez yesterday. Maybe it's about being a backup or maybe it's not.