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Our Noticias, 5/15/20: Appreciating Larry Beinfest; undrafted free agency; GIFriday

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New insight into the career of one of the most impactful executives in Marlins history, plus interviews with former Marlins J.T. Realmuto and Dan Straily.

Philadelphia Phillies v Miami Marlins
The COVID-19 pandemic has come at an awkward time for J.T. Realmuto, who was hopeful about finalizing a long-term contract extension with the Phillies by Opening Day.
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Why Beinfest’s baseball career stalled

New York Mets v Florida Marlins

Larry Beinfest’s impact on the Marlins is severely underrated. He led the front office for 12 seasons, as general manager from 2002-2007 and president of baseball operations from 2008-2013. The results speak for themselves—during that span, they won a World Series title and nearly half their games overall (.486 regular season winning percentage). Consider that in the other 15 Marlins seasons combined, the franchise has only a .443 winning percentage and one summer above the .500 mark.

When Marlins Park opened with back-to-back crappy campaigns, Beinfest was relieved of his duties. Understandable, but why hasn’t he surfaced since then?

On Thursday’s Local Hour of the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, former Marlins president David Samson explains what happened to his “close friend.” Jeffrey Loria fired Beinfest at the end of the 2013 season (against Samson’s wishes), and likely sabotaged his opportunities with other clubs by speaking ill of him to fellow MLB owners:

“Many GMs roll over. To this day, many GMs roll over to the owners because it’s the owner!

“Larry stopped rolling over and he got fired because of it, and the other owners would’ve known that.”

Longtime baseball scribe David O’Brien, who now covers the Braves, reported that Beinfest was a candidate for the vacant Atlanta GM job in the fall of 2017. But that didn’t pan out and remains a “free agent” at age 56.

During the conversation, Samson also shares a few anecdotes about Ichiro Suzuki and (uncharacteristically) finds himself in agreement with Derek Jeter! He says the upcoming Marlins baseball operations furloughs are justified heading into an abbreviated season.

I realize that most of this audience despises Samson, but for those interested in more behind-the-scenes stories, listen to his guest appearance on the Fish Across the Pond podcast.

Undrafted free agent frenzy

In anticipation of the most talented crop of undrafted free agents in the modern MLB Draft era, Baseball America has selected and ranked the top 25 of all time (subscription required). However, the article includes dozens of honorable mentions in various groups.

For example, Mike Redmond (draft-eligible in 1992) is among the most accomplished undrafted catchers. Bryan Harvey (1984) became an All-Star with the Angels and Marlins despite his modest roots.

Right-hander Trevor Richards, who you’ll remember from the 2018-2019 Fish, was not included because he got his start in affiliated ball when the club technically purchased his contract from the independent Frontier League.

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