As usually happens with grieving processes confusion and anger has begun to give way to humor for lots of Marlins fans. Here’s a roundup of some of the best reactions of the past 24 hours.
- Another rebranding is suggested for the team in the wake of the latest trade.
- Some people are hoping Bud Selig will “force” Loria into selling the team.
- Billy doesn’t seem too upset about the whole thing, though.
- One fan is hoping to convince the government to look at Loria’s ownership issue (and with 25,000 signatures, it may happen!).
- Logan Morrison talks about playoff odds with Jon Heyman on Twitter.
- San Francisco Chronicle’s Hank Schulman gets in on the fun.
There were also several revelations that occurred, like:
- Zack Cox is now the Marlins’ 7th highest salary.
- The over/under on the Marlins’ average attendance for next year is 18,500.
- The Marlins’ ticket sale team is still hard at work.
- Nearly half of last year’s Opening Day roster has been traded.
- There are tremendous tax implications for the new Blue Jays players.
News is still trickling in and being confirmed, but it appears the Marlins have traded a large chunk of their starting players – and contractual obligations – to the Toronto Blue Jays. The trade will leave Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton as the only two players left from the 2012 Opening Day lineup.
The deal is set to send starting pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson, catcher John Buck, shortstop Jose Reyes, and utility player Emilio Bonifacio north of the border. In return – and stop me if you’ve heard this before – the Marlins are receiving a boat load of prospects.
The details are still hazy, and with nothing official yet, we are relying on “sources” and Twitter feeds. It appears the Marlins will be receiving Jake Marisnick, Henderson Alvarez, Adeiny Hechavarria, Yunel Escobar, Jeff Mathis, and Justin Nicolino. A quick breakdown of each player:
- Jake Marisnick, 21 year old outfielder, is a former 3rd round draft pick who was rated as the 67th top prospect by Baseball America prior to the season. He possesses a lot of tools, but doesn’t yet have the stat line to show for it. He will turn 22 before the 2013 season starts. Last season, he split time between high-A and AA. In high-A, he had a .263/.349/.451 slash line with 6 home runs, 35 RBI, and 10 steals in 266 at bats. After being promoted to AA, he hit .233/.286/.336 with 2 home runs and 15 RBI in 223 at bats.
- Henderson Alvarez, 22 year old starting pitcher, was signed as an international free agent by the Jays in 2006. He posted somewhat mediocre numbers in the low minors until his promotion to AA in 2011, where he went 8-4 with a 2.86 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Later that year, Alvarez was promoted to the big league team directly from AA, where he went 1-3 with a 3.53 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in 63.2 innings. In 2012, Alvarez made 31 starts and went 9-14 with a 4.85 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 187.1 innings. He walked 54 and struck out 79 batters.
- Adeiny Hechavarria, 23 year old infielder, was signed as a free agent defector from Cuba. He struggled in the low minors but had success in AAA, though it was buoyed by a particularly high BABIP in both of his stops there (.471 and .371, respectively). He was promoted to the big club last season and he hit .254/.280/.365 with 2 home runs and 15 RBI in 126 at bats. He profiles as a utility fielder at this point.
- Yunel Escobar, 30 year old shortstop, homophobe. A 6 year veteran, he is the most accomplished of the group, with a career OPS+ of 99 in his years with Atlanta and Toronto. Reports had him driven out of Atlanta in 2010 due to a bad attitude. His OPS last season was .644, a career low. He also had a homophobic slur written on his eye-black at the end of the season. Ozzie Guillen supported hi.
- Justin Nicolino, 21 year old lefty starting pitcher, was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2010 Draft. He has thus far put up tremendous numbers in the low minors, with a 1.33 ERA in 61 innings in 2011 and a 2.46 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 124.1 innings in A ball last season.
- Jeff Mathis, 29 year old catcher who will turn 30 before Opening Day. He is a former first round pick who has been extremely underwhelming in his 8 years in the majors, with a career .198/.256/.314 slash line and 53 OPS+ for his career. A righty hitter, one would assume he will platoon with Rob Brantly against lefties.
Reports currently have the Marlins also sending $4 million in cash to the Blue Jays, and possibly having another minor leaguer (Anthony DeSclafani) headed back as well. We know there is a deal, but we don’t quite know all the details for sure. More as this gets sorted out. With this trade, the Marlins’ payroll obligations for next year will be around $30 million.
Update: It does appear the Marlins are getting DeSclafani in the deal. Drafted from UF in the 6th round of the 2011 draft, he made his debut as a 22 year old in A ball last year. In 28 games (21 starts) spanning 123 innings, DeSclafani went 11-3 with a 3.37 ERA and 1.38 WHIP.
Editor’s note: As I mentioned in the site update earlier today, we are debuting a new writer on Marlins Daily. The new writer is David Polakoff. If the name sounds familiar, David runs the best Marlins forum on the internet, SoFlaMarlins. You can follow David on Twitter here.
After hiring Tino Martinez as their hitting coach last week, the Marlins’ on field staff is beginning to take shape. New manager Mike Redmond will have fielding guru Perry Hill back as the first base coach, with Joe Espada returning as the third base coach. Reid Cornelius, the former Marlins hurler who has been the team’s bullpen coach for the past few seasons, will be returning to the staff in some capacity, either as the pitching coach or bullpen coach. With the exception of Perry Hill, all of these coaches have one thing in common: relative inexperience.
Hill, of course, has been with the Marlins on multiple tours of duty and has been coaching for some time. Beyond Hill, Reid Cornelius and Joe Espada are the two most experienced coaches on the staff, with both having been minor league coaches until their promotions for the 2010 season. Martinez is a first year coach, whose prior experience includes Spring Training special instructor and YES Network color commentator, and Redmond has two years of managerial experience in A-ball under his belt. The bench coach position is an important hire for the Marlins, and they would be wise to go with an experienced hand in the position.
Recently it was reported that Redmond had mentioned Don Wakamatsu as a possibility. Wakamatsu is a former big league manager and is currently the bench coach for Toronto. Joe Frisaro recently noted Ron Hassey as a name that could merit consideration. Hassey is currently the Marlins’ AAA manager and was a big league coach in the mid-1990s as well as the Mariners’ bench coach from 2005-2006.
Beyond those names, however, the others that have been surfacing are more inexperienced names. In the same article, Frisaro mentions Mike Mordecai, Andy Fox, and Dave Berg. Mordecai managed for a year in the minors with the Marlins organization before going to coach high school baseball. Berg is currently a manager in the Marlins’ system. Fox, the most experienced of the group, was a Marlins first base coach from 2007-2009, but the team fired him after the season. A final name that has come up is Mike Lowell; MLB Network Radio noted that Redmond and Lowell made an agreement to name each other bench coaches if and when one of them became a manager.
With such an inexperienced staff, the Marlins would do well to find an experienced coach to sit alongside Mike Redmond in 2013. There are plenty of former managers – Jerry Manuel, Larry Bowa, Willie Randolph, Jerry Narron – who would likely appreciate an opportunity to rebuild their reputation and take the reigns as bench coach. Given the overwhelming youth of the coaches, this team could use a baseball lifer on the bench.