This should give NL three straight all star games with Miami the favorite in 2017 with Washington in picture— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 15, 2015
This year, ESPN left the Marlins out of its Opening Day baseball marathon. Yesterday ESPN released its planned slate of live games on Opening Day, Monday April 6. Despite the Marlins reshaping much of its roster this offseason and looking like a much improved team, the Worldwide Leader did not seem to take notice.
In addition to possibly being in the James Shields sweepstakes, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Marlins is monitoring the market for Yoan Moncada, a 19-year old Cuban sensation that could be the next big thing.
As a file-and-go team, the Marlins will negotiate until arbitration figures are exchanged on Friday. Once the team and player submit figures, the Marlins cease talks and prepare for a hearing. Team members eligible for salary arbitration are: right-handers Mat Latos, Steve Cishek, Aaron Crow, Henderson Alvarez, and David Phelps, left-hander Mike Dunn, and second baseman Dee Gordon.
The Marlins have added another piece to their backup outfield mix, but they still haven't found the missing link for their fourth spot. Tyler Colvin signed a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training, giving the organization a left-handed-hitting option with big league experience.
Reliever Nick Masset, who appeared in 51 games with the Rockies last season, signed a Minor League contract with the Marlins on Wednesday that includes an invitation to Spring Training. The Marlins typically don't announce each Minor League signing, but MLB.com has confirmed the Masset deal.
Giancarlo Stanton, with his immense power, certainly is the centerpiece of a vastly improved Marlins lineup. But does the two-time All-Star present the most problems for an opposing pitcher? According to right-hander Mat Latos, one of the new additions to Miami's rotation, speedy Dee Gordon is the player who can create the most havoc in the lineup.
Building a strong bullpen has traditionally been one of the Marlins' toughest challenges. So the organization is trying a slightly different approach this offseason by bringing in pitchers who offer versatility and flexibility. When Spring Training gets underway for pitchers and catchers on Feb. 20, you will see newcomers such as Aaron Crow, David Phelps and Andre Rienzo unsure if they fit into the plans as starters or relievers.
Around The League
WASHINGTON -- A day after acquiring infielder Yunel Escobar from the Athletics, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo indicated that Ian Desmond will be the team's shortstop in 2015, but didn't rule out trading, him either.
ST. LOUIS -- Seeking to avoid an arbitration hearing and get cost certainty for both parties in future years, right-hander Lance Lynn and the Cardinals agreed to a three-year contract on Thursday. The value of the contract is $22 million, with appearance incentives included that could push the final value slightly higher. The length of the deal buys out all three of Lynn's remaining arbitration-eligible seasons, but it does not cover any of his pending free-agent years. That means Lynn, 27, is projected to hit the open market after the 2017 season.
ATLANTA -- Now that the Braves have traded Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Evan Gattis, why would they choose to keep Craig Kimbrel when their offense is unlikely to be strong enough to provide the elite closer with consistent save opportunities? Wouldn't it be wise to take advantage of his current trade value and avoid the risk that he might follow the same path as other closers, who have abruptly come to realize the short shelf life of dominance in this role?
CHICAGO -- Anthony Rizzo sent a message to the rest of the National League Central: The Cubs intend to win the division.
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The 32-year old will get a chance to compete for a bullpen spot.
The Marlins would prefer to take it year-by-year with the 28-year old closer.
The Miami Marlins and James Shields seem like a good fit, but the Fish are being careful with their tight payroll restrictions and Shields's salary demands.