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Offishial news, 1/5/21: Puig and Duvall rumors; Christina De Nicola; marijuana

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Although the Marlins reportedly prefer left-handed-hitting reinforcements, they’re casting a wide net that includes former MLB All-Stars Puig and Duvall.

If you can’t get Adam Duvall out, why not get him in a Marlins uniform?
Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Expensive outfield search

By now, you are probably aware of the Jon Heyman report regarding the Marlins’ interest in acquiring a veteran left-handed batter to join their crowded right field competition. Fish Stripes’ own Juan Páez has suggested Nick Markakis, Nomar Mazara, Josh Reddick and Eddie Rosario as realistic targets.

But righty free agent bats Adam Duvall and Yasiel Puig are on Miami’s radar as well, per reports from Craig Mish and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, respectively.

Duvall clobbered the Marlins in 2020 as a member of the Braves, including going yard three times during the infamous 29-9 game. More than a year ago, before shifting their focus to Corey Dickerson, the Marlins tried to sign Puig. However, they fell short of his asking price. Then, the Cuban All-Star was nearly Duvall’s teammate, agreeing to terms with Atlanta shortly before Opening Day. That contract was voided when he tested positive for COVID-19.

Despite their handedness, Duvall and Puig have both been productive against right-handed pitchers in recent seasons. That’s understandably intriguing to the Marlins who ranked dead last in the majors last year with 36 home runs off of righties. Their adequate RF defense is also a big plus considering Miami’s players at that position in 2020 combined for just 13 RBI and a .534 OPS (30th in MLB in both categories).

You can compare their career production here. Puig has the superior résumé overall and the advantage of being two years younger, but they have a lot in common when we focus on the 2016-2020 timeframe.

Frisaro’s successor

Congratulations to Christina De Nicola on her new role as the full-time Marlins beat reporter for MLB.com! She already has an endorsement from Joe Frisaro who retired from the beat last week after providing coverage for 19 seasons.

Christina, a South Florida native, first interned for MLB.com nearly a decade ago. Since then, she has filled in for Joe on many occasions and often attended Marlins Park games to handle coverage for the visiting teams when the usual writers didn’t make the trip to Miami.

Follow Christina on Twitter and Instagram and check Marlins.com for her articles.

Walk-off Links

  • Lewis Brinson, Monte Harrison and potentially some other major leaguers are scheduled to be at Gibson Park beginning at 1 p.m. ET. It’s the latest stop in The Players Alliance’s national pull-up tour, delivering food, clothing, baseball equipment and additional resources to Black communities.
  • Non-roster invitee Sandy León will earn a $1.25 million salary from the Marlins if he cracks their active roster this spring. The contract is similar to what fellow journeyman catcher Bryan Holaday got from Fish entering the 2019 campaign.
  • Estrellas Orientales, Lewin Díaz’s team in the Dominican Winter League, now face elimination after suffering an extra-inning loss on Monday and falling behind 3-0 to Gigantes del Cibao in the best-of-seven semifinals. Díaz went hitless, but made a few key defensive plays to keep the game as close as it was.

  • Former right-handed pitcher Ryan Tucker alleges that the Marlins—and Major League Baseball as a whole—“screwed over” cannabis users like him during the 2000s and 2010s. MLB finally removed natural cannabinoids (including marijuana, THC and CBD) from its banned substance list in December 2019.
  • One of Kim Ng’s former bosses and one of her former employees share valuable anecdotes about what makes her special.
  • MLB Network ranked Ng’s hiring as Marlins general manager at No. 9 on its countdown of top moments from 2020.
  • This Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp job posting refers to the team as the Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate. It’s the first evidence I have seen that the Jumbo Shrimp officially accepted the invitation to move up the MiLB ladder after decades at the Double-A level.
  • We have made it through 80 chapters of the All-Time Marlins Countdown.
  • LDogSr wants to see the Marlins prepare themselves for the inevitable transition to an automated strike zone that will devalue catcher framing skills.
  • Even though Don Mattingly is the reigning National League Manager of the Year, Louis Addeo-Weiss thinks it isn’t too soon to contemplate the Marlins’ future at that key position.