Ever since the signing of Garrett Jones to be the primary first baseman there has been an ongoing discourse in the Marlins blogosphere regarding the need for a platoon partner. Jones has a well chronicled history of failure when facing left handed pitching.
A minor league pitcher in the Miami Marlins' organization has been given a 50-game drug suspension. The commissioner's office said Friday that right-hander Ronny Fermin had been penalized. Fermin is on the roster of the Marlins team in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League.
The Orioles have signed veteran infielder Alex Gonzalez to a minor league deal with an invitation to major league spring training, the club confirmed. Gonzalez, who turns 37 in February, hit .177 with a .203 on-base percentage in 118 plate appearances through 41 games with the Milwaukee Brewers last year. He is a veteran of 15 major league seasons and was an All-Star for the Florida Marlins in 1999. He has a career batting average of .246 in 1,600 major league games with six different teams.
Carlos Zambrano, the former Chicago Cubs ace who last pitched in the major leagues in 2012, apologized through a Venezuelan newspaper for starting a brawl during Venezuela's winter league series final on Saturday. His apology was reported on Monday by El Nacional newspaper, according to the Associated Press.
The Marlins signed veteran outfielder Reed Johnson to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to spring training. Johnson, 37, has spent 11 seasons in the majors with the Blue Jays, Cubs, Dodgers and Braves. Johnson, who swings from the right side, has a career .282 batting average.
Marlins Minor League pitcher Ronny Fermin has been suspended 50 games for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Fermin, 19, signed a Minor League contract with the Marlins in November. The Dominican right-hander received the suspension after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance.
The Marlins seemingly filled their need for a right-handed-hitting outfielder on Friday, signing veteran Reed Johnson to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. Johnson, 37, hit just .244/.311/.341 with one home run and 11 RBIs in 74 games for the Braves last season. In parts of 11 Major League seasons, Johnson owns a .282/.339/.409 batting line while playing all three outfield positions.
The major moves may be completed, but the Marlins will continue exploring additional personnel pieces up until the start of Spring Training. Even then, they likely won't be done shopping. "Certainly, you're looking at some potential non-roster invites," Marlins president David Samson said. "We're looking to bring people in to compete, because you just don't know. What we've learned over the years is you have injuries. The more depth you can have going into a camp, the better it is."
Around The League
On the campus of Manual Arts High School, near the University of Southern California, memories of a young Paul Blair came flooding back Saturday in a memorial service filled with stirring music and messages of love and admiration.
The Nationals and newly acquired right-hander Doug Fister avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal Saturday morning. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
O's third baseman Manny Machado -- who had a torn medial patellofemoral ligament repaired in his left knee -- will essentially relearn to run with the hope being that he will be cleared at his next appointment in approximately six weeks to start playing in spring games.
Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp said he rushed back from each of his injuries last season and vowed not to repeat those mistakes this year as he recovers from ankle and shoulder surgery.
At Fish Stripes
The Miami Marlins are counting on Christian Yelich to be an excellent performer. But given his lack of power, could he turn into the next failed athletic outfield prospect in Miami?
The bottom of the Fish Stripes top prospects list won't generate much excitement, filled mostly by uninspiring pitching prospects. Among these pitchers sit Angel Sanchez and Austin Brice.
A recent New York Daily News Post quoted a source saying the Marlins are a "trendy" pick to be surprise contenders because of the job the scouting department has done this offseason. Plus links on Justin Nicolino and Derek Dietrich.
The Miami Marlins are reportedly among the teams interested in Jeff Baker, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman. Baker is an option to consider if the Marlins are looking for a platoon partner for Garrett Jones at first base.
The Miami Marlins will once again count on Nathan Eovaldi to deliver on some of his promise show last season. Can he improve on the fiery fastball and deliver a full season of strong pitching?