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Fish Bites: Cespedes Watch Continues

Boy, the season cannot start quickly enough. The offseason has been a blast, but Spring Training will alleviate some of that uneasy dullness that precedes what should be an exciting season.

- Of course, there may still be one more thing to do for the Miami Marlins, and that is to sign Yoennis Cespedes. Cespedes is coming to visit this week (H/T Baseball Nation), and hopefully that meeting does enough deal-sealing to get him in Miami and working with us. It certainly is a risky move, but the Marlins have little to lose if they will be paying him $8 million a season; that is the equivalent price of a league-average player. If the Marlins fail on this transaction, they won't be risking the $20-plus million a season it would have taken to pursue one of the big-time free agents from this offseason.

- Meanwhile, the new stadium is filling in nicely for the Fish. The Marlins have chosen the food vendors for the stadium's outer plaza. The one that interests me the most is Holiday Bakery, which is supposedly a Cuban-style bakery. Among the indoor vendors includes a pork sandwich place that also sounds delicious.

- Soon, the grass will also be laid down at the stadium. Interestingly enough, the Marlins will grow the grass a bit longer to slow down the infield and take advantage of the speed the team has in the lineup. Hopefully it helps them get to those balls in the deep infield gaps as well.

- One thing the Fish couldn't do was find a naming-rights deal before the season starts; it seems the new stadium will be "Marlins Park" for the time being.

- If you are so excited about the Marlins starting this year that you will be watching Spring Training games, check out this quickie primer.

- Ehsan Kassim of Marlin Maniac has an important question to ask: should the Marlins go all out with Josh Johnson and his innings? I'll have my answer to that question later today.

- Griffin Klett of Marlins Daily discusses Heath Bell's arsenal. He uses pitch type run values retrieved from FanGraphs, but I'm not a fan of those values, as they tell you what happened but are not necessarily explanatory.

Around the League

- Amazin' Avenue finds a reason to revisit that terrible Rick Ankiel meltdown. It was hard to watch.

- Over at The Good Phight, a discussion on why leaving Domonic Brown in Triple-A this year isn't all bad. I can't say i agree, but given what we've seen the Marlins do in their mishandling of Cameron Maybin, maybe it would not be bad idea to just leave a youngster alone to develop his game at the cost of a possible win on a very good, probably playoff-bound team.

- Over at Federal Baseball, the always excellent Patrick Reddington ponders whether the Washington Nationals should have Bryce Harper in the majors immediately or delay his debut to gain an extra year of service time. To me, it's no question: delay his debut. The Nationals are good, and they may very well be fringe contenders like the Marlins, but Bryce Harper for an extra year is so worth the few games you may lose not having him aboard.

- There was no reason to really link to the most recent link dump over at Talking Chop other than to recognize the good that is Around the NL East author royhobbs. He's been nothing but cordial to the Marlins faithful, and he has been a bit of a "closet fan" in the sense that he quietly roots for the team. I've got a lot of respect for the way he introduced himself to the new crew when we got in. Now that we're all on SBNation, I look forward to working more with him, gondeee, and the rest of the crews nOt onlyon TC, but on all of the SBNation NL East blogs.

At Fish Stripes

- On Monday, I discussed the latest installment on Ricky Nolasco and his problem with runners on by introducing zone data from Pitch f/x.

- The voting for the FIsh Stripes All-Time Florida Marlins Team shortstop is done!

- The Marlins dodged a bullet by avoiding the "winner's curse" in Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols.

- If you missed it over the weekend, FishNFinz asks how you will be enjoying the Marlins?

- Also, he wants you to put in your favorite captions for this latest Wild Pitch and for you to vote on last week's caption. Click on the link, check out last week's picture, and vote!