Barely one month after his widely acclaimed hiring as their general manager, Jared Porter was dumped by the Mets on Tuesday. ESPN broke the disturbing story of how he harassed a female reporter, an all-too-familiar example of exploiting the power dynamic between those who work in baseball and those trying to cover it.
With Porter in charge, the Mets made the splashy acquisitions of Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco. He also presumably had a key role in negotiating their involvement in a three-team trade with the Padres and Pirates, which was completed later in the day on Tuesday.
According to president Sandy Alderson, the team will leave its GM position vacant for the foreseeable future. Hours after Alderson’s press conference, top free agent outfielder George Springer chose the Blue Jays over the Mets, agreeing to a six-year, $150 million deal.
Benintendi talks revisited?
Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi was linked to the Marlins last week, inspiring this article of mine. But then, within hours, Boston media squashed the possibility of a deal, suggesting that several other teams had emerged as more serious suitors.
On Tuesday, Rob Bradford of WEEI clarified where things presently stand. The 26-year-old is legitimately being shopped. Craig Mish corroborates that and hears that the Marlins are still “pursuing” him.
In one of their negotiations with an unidentified team, the Red Sox have asked for “a younger corner outfielder [than Benintendi] along with a minor-league pitcher not necessarily on the 40-man roster,” Bradford writes. Just for fun, imagining that the Marlins were on the receiving end of that, I could see a pairing of Jerar Encarnación and Josh Roberson.
Ultimately, I’m skeptical of the Sox making this move now. They would have an easier time obtaining a good prospect haul once the 2021 season gets underway and Benintendi puts to bed any doubts about his skill set deteriorating.
Protect the youth
More so than any other team, Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated believes the Marlins as presently constituted will face a big challenge trying to get their young pitchers valuable reps without jeopardizing their health. Although in a vacuum, you’d think a shortened 2020 schedule saved their arms from wear and tear, it’s impossible to anticipate what the consequences would be if their workload doubles or triples year over year.
General manager Kim Ng recognizes that, too:
“We have talked about their [throwing] programs and what it looks like given that last year was shortened. We just need to be really careful with them, and not just from a strict innings standpoint. We need to pay attention to the stress they are under and in a certain way we can measure and value that with proper diligence.”
“A lot of it takes place during the season—making sure we are monitoring them, and especially the stressful innings they pitch, and making sure we don’t push them any further than they can handle.”
When pressed for specifics, Ng said that fluctuations in a pitcher’s arm angle, release point and velocity would be red flags.
Spring training non-roster invitees Luís Madero and Zach Thompson profile as potential spot starters over the course of a long season. But I will continue to pester the Fish to invest even more in that department, signing or trading for an accomplished major leaguer—even if it’s somebody well past his prime—to contribute.
- About 7,000 people have appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at Marlins Park beginning on Wednesday (1,000 per day over the next week). This milestone comes less than 10 months after the ballpark began being used as a drive-thru testing site.
- We gave away a Don Mattingly bobblehead on Tuesday. Might do that again before Opening Day. In the meantime, pre-order it here.
- The Marlins were one of 24 teams in attendance to evaluate Aníbal Sánchez and Julio Teherán in a free agent workout on Tuesday, Christina De Nicola of MLB.com confirms. Their presence was easy to anticipate considering it was held in Miami.
- De Nicola joined us on the Fish Stripes podcast! Get familiar with Joe Frisaro’s successor.
- Her latest Marlins.com articles include the best single-game pitching performances in franchise history and an international breakdown of former players.
- Miguel Rojas co-hosted the Marlins Hot Stove Show with Kyle Sielaff. Corey Dickerson called in to do a segment with them.
- You probably saw the strong showing that the Marlins had on the Baseball America 2021 preseason top prospects list. Now hear from Andre Fernandez, who was involved in that process.
- Isan Díaz played just four winter ball games in Puerto Rico before heading back to the U.S. More details about this coming in Thursday’s Offseason Fish article.
- Garrett Cooper could be a sneaky-good fantasy baseball value at first base.
- Two-thirds of fans surveyed by SB Nation Reacts are in favor of a permanent universal designated hitter rule. Make your voice heard in future surveys by signing up here.
- The future home of the High-A Beloit Snappers, ABC Supply Stadium, is gradually coming together.
- Sixto Sánchez and Max Meyer are both among MLB Pipeline’s top 10 right-handed pitcher prospects. The top 10 left-handers list will be revealed on Wednesday (I do not expect any Marlins to make the cut).
- Nasim Nuñez (SS) and Víctor Víctor Mesa (OF) were selected to Pipeline’s All-Defense second team.
- Reminder: tune in for general manager Kim Ng’s pre-taped remarks during the inauguration primetime special.
- Vicent Baldayo has a breakdown (in Spanish) of the team that Ng inherited, her key moves so far and possible next steps.
- Our own Nicole Cahill is organizing a fantasy baseball-themed fundraiser. Proceeds benefit children and teens dealing with mental health challenges.
- And lastly, a TikTok user gave each of the MLB team logos a minor-league makeover. Here is the Marlins one: