Anchored by closer Steve Cishek, many familiar names project to return to the reliever corps, including Mike Dunn, A.J. Ramos and Bryan Morris. The Marlins ‘pen had a 3.33 ERA last year over 510.0 innings, and was one of the more taxed bullpens in baseball. A few spots in the bullpen could be decided in Spring Training, with Aaron Crow, Carter Capps, Preston Claiborne and Andre Rienzo among the candidates to make the club.
The Caribbean World Series in San Juan, Puerto Rico is underway and runs through this Sunday, February 8. Among the competing nations are Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela. If you are itching for some baseball, this series should quench your thirst for the time being. Pitchers and catchers report to major league Spring Training in just a couple weeks, so we’re finally almost there!
Thursday, the three-person panel that a day earlier heard arguments between the club and right-hander Mat Latos to determine his 2015 salary sided with the team. Latos will earn $9.4 million, $1 million less than the amount he sought in his final season before free agent eligibility. Latos as a member of the Cincinnati Reds last season earned $7.25 million. Injuries limited him to 16 starts.
It's unclear if the Marlins can afford a rotation that includes Shields, Haren and Mat Latos, who will make either $9.4 million or $10.4 million. One of those two figures will be decided at Latos' arbitration hearing this month.
Jack McKeon's father said, "I'll make a deal with you. You promise to get a college education and I'll let you sign to play pro ball." "Trader Jack" took the offer, and he's been wheeling and dealing ever since.
An arbitration panel sided with the Marlins on Thursday in their $1 million difference with Mat Latos, who will make $9.4 million this season. The right-hander was seeking $10.4 million. MLB.com confirmed an ESPN report of the ruling. The team has not commented.
The Pirates stayed busy Wednesday by acquiring right-hander Arquimedes Caminero from the Marlins for cash, filling Pittsburgh's 40-man roster and adding another name to the spring bullpen competition.
Around The League
Whether as the result of injuries or simply unforeseen struggles, a number of players widely expected to put up big numbers fell far short of expectations in 2014. Here are a few potential Comeback Player of the Year candidates.
DETROIT -- For the second time in four years, Victor Martinez has suffered a major knee injury during offseason workouts. This one doesn't appear to be as severe, but it'll put at least the start of his season in question. The Tigers announced Thursday that Martinez has torn the medial meniscus in his left knee. Martinez tore the cartilage last week during workouts in Florida and underwent an MRI and exam on Wednesday in Lakeland, Fla., where the tear became clear.
TORONTO -- Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos doesn't expect to add another second baseman before the start of the regular season, but he left the door open for moves to reinforce the Toronto bullpen. Toronto began the offseason with needs in both areas, but the focus has shifted in recent months after additions were made elsewhere. The Blue Jays now seem relatively content with the internal candidates -- Ryan Goins, Maicer Izturis, Steve Tolleson and Danny Valencia -- to address the middle of the infield.
SAN DIEGO -- If general manager A.J. Preller sees fit to add a starting pitcher, or other players, between now and Opening Day, he'll have the blessing of executive chairman Ron Fowler. Repeating what he said in October, he reiterated Thursday that Preller will continue to have the ability to add payroll to help strengthen what figures already to be an improved team.
At Fish Stripes
Anybody within the National League East could be a rival. But where do the Rays fit in?
Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is absolutely ecstatic about the 2015 Marlins edition, noting a major difference between this revamp and the 2012 version. Let's see if that sentiment lasts if the Marlins struggle.
The 33-year old veteran could still possibly land in Miami.
The Miami Marlins are still on the ever-dwindling list of rumored James Shields suitors. Could the Marlins end up on top in this race?
If the Miami Marlins signed James Shields to a reasonable contract, how much would they expect to improve next year? We turn to the projections and find out.