Dan Haren is ready to be part of the Marlins' rotation and ace Jose Fernandez could be back as early as June 15, according to general manager Dan Jennings. Jennings addressed Haren and Fernandez on SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio on Sunday, and noted Miami still may add a reliever before Spring Training begins on Feb. 20.
The Miami Marlins have transformed their reality, their image and their chances in just a few short months. This is not a bad offseason's work. The Marlins, of course, are able to spend the winter in an area where the construction season never ends. It may be tougher to build a winner when the front walk still has to be shoveled. Still, their direction is unmistakable. That would be upward.
If they do in fact fail to sign Shields (and even if they do sign Shields, although money would be much tighter), the Marlins’ front office should turn its full attention to Cuban phenom Yoan Moncada. A potential Moncada signing would have a number of effects on the money and baseball side of things. Considering that all 30 Major League teams will have some degree of interest in Moncada, he will certainly require a large signing bonus. However, his talent is immense despite being only 19 years old and he could make an impact at the big league level relatively soon.
Shields signing with the Padres didn’t mean he took the highest monetary offer he had. In fact, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Miami Marlins had the highest offer on the table for James Shields’ services.
It’s not a landmark deal, but the Marlins agreeing to terms with arbitration-eligible lefty Mike Dunn on a two-year contract Sunday night was notable on at least one level.
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Prince Fielder is ready for Spring Training. Fielder, who underwent neck surgery last May, was examined by Dr. Drew Dossett on Monday and given a clean bill of health. Fielder is expected to be at full strength when the Rangers begin Spring Training later this month.
Matt Harvey arrived at the Mets' Spring Training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Monday -- 10 days ahead of the club's scheduled reporting date -- and he told reporters that he is fully healthy and ready for the upcoming season. Harvey missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery immediately following the 2013 season. Though he initially expressed a desire to try to pitch toward the end of the '14 campaign, Harvey instead returned to action on Monday in an approximately hour-long workout.
Jon Lester got a head start on getting to know his new Cubs teammates, arriving in Arizona last week to get settled in the desert for his first non-Florida Spring Training. Pitchers and catchers don't have to report until Feb. 19, but Lester, the Cubs' biggest free-agent player signing this offseason, knows how important February and March will be. If the Cubs are going to contend, the players need to mesh as a unit, he said.
Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada is reportedly working out for the Padres on Monday, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay avoided a salary arbitration hearing when he reached an agreement on a two-year, $10.975 million contract with the team Tuesday.
At Fish Stripes
The Marlins came up just short of signing James Shields.
Which Marlins players will be key for the team to have success in 2015?
Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez could be a potential fit with the Marlins to add bullpen depth.
The Marlins and Mets are two teams in the NL East on the rise and could be fighting for a wild card position late in the season. Who would have the early edge to come out on top?