The 2017 All-Star Game will be played at Marlins Park. Officials are expected to announce within the week that Miami has been awarded the Midsummer Classic for the first time, multiple sources with knowledge of the agreement confirmed Tuesday to the Miami Herald.
Coming up short in the James Shields sweepstakes didn't necessarily set the Marlins back, but it did increase the importance of the rest of the rotation candidates stepping forward. Miami's starters ranked 12th in the National League last year in innings pitched, which is a major reason why the club actively pursued Shields, who agreed to a four-year deal on Monday with San Diego.
The Marlins have three sure things in the bullpen: Steve Cishek who had 39 saves last year, Mike Dunn who for better or worse is one the Marlins best relievers and A.J. Ramos who has the best stuff of anyone in the Marlins bullpen. All of the other positions are up for grabs and I think these are the leaders for those other bullpen spots barring the Marlins signing a free agent reliever like Francisco Rodriguez.
The Marlins appear to be content with the moves they have made this offseason, after the James Shields sweepstakes were wrapped up yesterday. With the additions of Mat Latos, Mike Morse, Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, and Martin Prado, the Marlins have their sights set on the postseason in 2015. The most likely, but not entirely likely road for the Fish to secure a playoff birth will be through the Wild Card. The competition will be tough, and plenty; the Cubs, Padres, Pirates, Mets, and Giants all figure to be in the mix for the two Wild Card spots.
The Marlins' road to Spring Training started Monday in Miami with two trucks heading north to Roger Dean Stadium. The first completed its two-hour trek around 12:40 p.m. ET, while the second pulled into the complex about 90 minutes later. Pitchers and catchers technically get underway on Feb. 20, but the team's equipment manager, John Silverman, and his staff are already getting the clubhouse in order.
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On the same day the Tigers loaded up their equipment truck headed for Spring Training, they received a major message of assurance that Victor Martinez should be ready when the team heads back north for Opening Day. Martinez underwent surgery as scheduled on a torn medial meniscus in his left knee Tuesday morning, but is expected to return to full activity in four to six weeks, putting him on track to be ready when the Tigers start their regular season April 6.
Barring the trade of a Competitive Balance pick, the final piece of the puzzle has been placed. The order is set for the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. The last variable was the signing of free agent James Shields. The Padres are set to ink the right-hander to a four-year deal, removing one last question mark about who will be picking where when the Draft begins on June 8. With the signing, the Padres will forfeit the No. 13 pick. The Royals, who had made a qualifying offer to Shields, receive a compensation pick, slotted in at No. 33 overall.
In a 90-minute meeting at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, Alex Rodriguez apologized to New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner and team executives for his suspension for performance-enhancing drug use and the hostile nature of his initial defense. The two sides released a joint statement on Tuesday evening, saying Rodriguez "initiated the meeting and apologized to the organization for his actions over the past several years."
New York Mets ace Matt Harvey has arrived at spring training, nearly two weeks ahead of the team's first official workout, and says he's willing to accept whatever innings limits the team chooses as he returns from elbow ligament-replacement surgery.Harvey participated in fielding practice Monday but didn't throw off a mound.
At Fish Stripes
Miami reportedly made a competitive proposal to James Shields, and according to ESPN's Buster Olney may have made him the highest offer. So while Shields ultimately ends up in San Diego, did the Marlins lose out, or did they rightfully back off?
The Miami Marlins really want to compete in 2015. Every team begins the offseason with the goal of improving the roster. The San Diego Padres signed James Shields on Monday and have done just that this winter. But the Marlins are not very far behind.
Miami has been notably active this offseason, and General Manager Dan Jennings recently noted the club could look to add another major league piece or two before the start of spring training. While the Marlins added a notable amount of depth to their lineup, the club was not listed as having one of the top ten lineups by Sports on Earth.
The Miami Marlins have a superstar and a budding talent in the outfield. They also have a high-variance power hitter who could be another burgeoning star in Marcell Ozuna, but what might happen if his game goes the other direction?