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Offishial news, 3/26/21: Gone-zalez; final day of HOF voting

The Marlins’ final weekend of fake baseball includes games against the Astros, Cardinals and Mets.

Miami Marlins v St. Louis Cardinals Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Gio hangs ‘em up

Sudden but not completely surprising: Gio Gonzalez is ready to enter the next phase of his life. The 35-year-old says on Instagram that he’s at peace with the decision to retire after parts of 13 major league seasons and nearly 17 years in pro ball overall.

In my estimation, Gonzalez was seventh or eighth on the Marlins starting pitching depth chart. Even though they won’t miss him during the early portion of the season, that depth will eventually be tested as they handle young arms with caution and run-of-the-mill injuries pop up. Couldn’t hurt to reach to veteran free agents like Aníbal Sánchez or Mike Leake, right?

“Fish Tank” in Jacksonville

I wonder if the timing of Gio’s decision had anything to do with the decision to make Jacksonville’s 121 Financial Ballpark the Marlins’ alternate training site. A group of 20-28 players will report there next week, clearing space for minor league spring training to take place in Jupiter. Among the individuals expected to head north: recently optioned 40-man roster prospects José Devers, Lewin Díaz, Jerar Encarnación, Braxton Garrett, Monte Harrison and Jordan Holloway, and free agent non-roster invitees Sandy León, Luis Marté, Shawn Morimando and Zach Thompson. As a reminder, the 2021 MiLB season has been pushed back to a May 4 start date.

Here is the full list of MLB alternate training sites. To give the Marlins’ ATS some character, we will be referring to it as the “Fish Tank” moving forward.

Walk-off links

  • Alex Contreras and I spent more than an hour chatting with Paul Severino, the TV play-by-play announcer who’s beginning his fourth season as voice of the Marlins.