Bracing for mass wave of releases
The Marlins were deservedly lauded for committing to pay their minor leaguers through the month of August. The $400/week stipend is by no means life-changing money, but it will certainly help them train remotely and maintain a half-decent quality of life.
Inevitably, though, some players will be squeezed out of the organization. Per Baseball America, Minor League Baseball has all but conceded that the number of affiliate clubs is being reduced from 160 to 120 for 2021. As MLB organizations target the best possible amateur talent in the upcoming draft, undrafted free agency and international free agency, there simply won’t be opportunities for everybody to develop in an official game setting.
Hundreds of minor leaguers got canned on Thursday, including right-hander Andrew Church who excoriated the New York Mets culture on his way out the door. The Marlins have not informed any players yet, but it’s a matter of when, not if.
My hope is that Miami puts serious thought into these moves, considering context in addition to potential. Players who have been in the organization for years, who have been coachable and respectful, who are more likely to have a spouse and children depending on them—they should get every opportunity to remain employed and invited to 2021 minor league spring training in order to show what they’re fully capable of.
2003 Marlins virtual reunion
Coinciding with the replay of 2003 World Series Game 6 on FOX Sports Florida, the Marlins are arranging a Zoom call with the following championship-winning players: Luis Castillo, Jeff Conine, Álex González, Todd Hollandsworth, Derrek Lee, Mike Lowell, Mike Mordecai, Brad Penny and Juan Pierre. That leaves one glaring omission, of course: Josh Beckett, who shut out the Yankees on short rest to clinch the title.
The conversation will debut on the team’s YouTube account Monday at 7 p.m. It’s expected to be a similar format to the 1997 reunion, which ran about 46 minutes long.
Honoring Marlins history
One more plug for this Francisco Oporta FanPost about potential banner designs. And a reminder that we welcome FanPosts from our readers on practically any topic. I’m eager to amplify them with homepage placements (as was the case with Francisco’s).
Get started here.
- Alex Contreras and I co-hosted Thursday’s Fish Bites podcast episode.
- Joe Posnanski of The Athletic has included the Dee Gordon leadoff home run following José Fernández’s death in his countdown of the top 60 moments in MLB history (subscription required).
- Also from The Athletic, Andre Fernandez lists 50-plus must-follow baseball Twitter accounts.
- Also from The Athletic, Keith Law’s latest mock draft pairs the Marlins with dominant Texas A&M left-hander Asa Lacy.
- Former Marlins radio broadcaster Jon “Boog” Sciambi—who’s been leading ESPN’s coverage of Korean baseball all month—joins Sev & Geff Live Friday at noon ET. Streaming on Periscope and YouTube.
- Enter this Twitter giveaway by Sunday for your chance to win a Pudge Rodríguez game-used bat from the 2003 season.
GIVE AWAY: Giving away this beautiful Pudge Rodriguez 2003 LVS P72L, #7 on the knob. Rules to enter: follow me, tag two friends and retweet. Winner will be drawn on Sunday. Good luck! #pudge #pudgerodriguez #gameused #giveaway #louisvilleslugger #marlins @Pudge_Rodriguez pic.twitter.com/77eu5kH45L— Mlbgameusedbats (@mlbgameusedbats) May 27, 2020
- Zack Raab, Vicent Baldayo and Shaun Barrett got together with Peter Pratt for a global Marlins fans roundtable episode of the Fish Across the Pond podcast.
- Here’s José Ureña working out with one hell of a view behind him: