November 2009

Pays off to finish second

As it turns out, finishing second does have its rewards. To players on the Marlins, it means another $10,000 in their pockets.

Major League Baseball on Monday announced the postseason shares for the 2009 season. A full share for players on the Marlins is $10,424.45.

In the final month of the season, players on the Marlins voted for their shares. In all, the team

awarded 49 full shares, 7.28 partial shares and seven cash awards.

Bonus money is awarded to the first and second place teams in each division. The Marlins won 87 games, second behind the Phillies in the NL East.

A full share for the World Series champion Yankees is $365,052.73. The Phillies received $265,357.50 for a full share.

The Marlins placed second for the third time in their history. The organization has never won the division. The only Florida clubs to win more games were 1997 (92) and 2003 (91). Both of those squads reached the playoffs via the Wild Card, and they went on to capture the World Series crown.

— Joe Frisaro

Leaning against salary arbitration

If Nick Johnson and Kiko Calero sign elsewhere in free agency, it doesn’t look like the Marlins will receive draft pick compensation in return.

The Marlins are leaning against offering arbitration to both Type B free agents. Tuesday is the deadline to extend arbitration to qualifying free agents. 

What offering arbitration would mean is if either of these players opt to sign with another club, the Marlins would receive a compensatory pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. The choice would be a compensatory one, between the first and second rounds.

Johnson, the 31-year-old first baseman, made $5.5 million in 2009. If arbitration is to be extended to him, the figure would be higher, and the Marlins won’t take the risk that the veteran would accept it.

Free agents have until Dec. 7 to decide if they will accept arbitration.

Calero was a bargain at $500,000 in 2009, but the right-handed reliever is looking at a raise to perhaps more than $2 million on the open market.

The Marlins project to have a modest payroll in 2010, remaining close to the $36 million it worked with this year.

The South Florida SunSentinel reported the payroll will rise to close to $40 million. has heard it will be about the same as in 2009, give or take a couple of million.

— Joe Frisaro


Holiday ticket package

With the Holiday Season upon us, the Marlins are unveiling an attractive ticket package for the 2010 season.

For a limited time, the team is offering a Holiday Deal of 26 games for $150.

Essentially, the deal is for one game in every series the Marlins play at Land Shark Stadium next season. The seats are in the lower bowl of the ballpark.

The deal includes tickets for the home opener and the final home game of 2010.

For more details,check out the ticket package on

— Joe Frisaro


Coghlan once hit cleanup

Claiming the N.L. Rookie of the Year on Monday certainly made Chris Coghlan a household name.

The third Marlin ever to capture the award, Coghlan’s story is now well told. The 24-year-old entrenched himself as the leadoff batter, and he collected 113 hits since the All-Star Break, the most by any Major Leaguer.

Power certainly isn’t a part of Coghlan’s game, but there was a time when he did hit fourth. It was 2005 when he was still a studen at Ole Miss. In the Cape Cod Summer League, Coghlan found himself batting forth. The player hitting third that summer? Evan Longoria.

Yes, Coghlan and Longoria were teammates that summer. An opposing pitcher then was J.A. Happ of the Phillies. Happ finished second to Coghlan in the N.L. Rookie of the Year voting.

In September, I wrote about Coghlan’s Cape Cod League experience.

— Joe Frisaro


Report: Uggla wants to remain at second

Dan Uggla is a two-time All-Star second baseman who has already placed his name in the record books.

By belting 31 homers in 2009, Uggla is the first player in MLB history to reach 30 homers in three straight years in which he played at least 100 games at second base.

With that kind of track record, Uggla sees himself as a second baseman. And he has little desire to switch positions, according to his agent, Jeff Borris.

Borris on Friday told Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown that his client wants to stay at second base.

“Danny Uggla’s been a full-time second baseman for the last four years,” Borris told Yahoo! Sports columnist. “He’s performed exceptionally well at that position. Although he has the athleticism to play other positions, he’s performed remarkably over these four years at second base and there should be no reason to consider a position change at this time.”

In his second season of arbitration, Uggla’s salary is slated to rise for the $5.35 million he made this year.

At this week’s General Managers Meetings, the Marlins had conversations with several clubs about Uggla. The Giants reportedly would like to add Uggla and switch him to third base. The Red Sox would consider Uggla in left field. The Orioles also reportedly have interest.

The Nationals, too, are a team that could enter into the mix. So may the Diamondbacks, the team that drafted Uggla in 2001. Former Marlins third base coach, Bo Porter, has now joined the Arizona staff.

Uggla has 121 career home runs, and he is building his legacy at second base. He has not played any other position in the big leagues besides second.

— Joe Frisaro

Silver Slugger for Hanley

For the second straight year, Hanley Ramirez has captured the Silver Slugger Award for National League shortstops.

Ramirez won the N.L. batting title with a .342 average, and he drove in a career high 106 runs.

I’m very happy about my award,” Ramirez said on Friday. “I’m thankful to God and to my family for their support. The Marlins organization and my great teammates for their help in my getting this award. It’s all a result of hard work and dedication, and I always strive to get better and to do what I can to help my team succeed.”

Below is Ramirez receiving the 2008 Silver Slugger Award, presented to him by Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. Photo courtesy of Robert Vigon/Florida Marlins.


Aribitration-eligible Marlins

Working with a tight budget, the Marlins will have to make some tough choices regarding which of their arbitration-eligible players they will look to bring back.

In all, the team has 11 players from the 2009 roster in their arbitration years. The list includes a number of big names, including Josh Johnson, Dan Uggla, Ricky Nolasco and Jorge Cantu.

Not all are expected back, and already the Marlins have fielded inquires about Uggla and Cantu. Now, that doesn’t mean the team couldn’t one or both back.

The Marlins also are expected to make a push to signing Johnson to a multiyear contract.

Basically, players with three to six years of MLB service time are in their arbitration years. Once they reach six years, they can qualify for free agency.

Here’s a look at the service time (years and days) of the Marlins up for arbitration:

Alfredo Amezaga, 5 years, 97 days

Jorge Cantu, 5.036

Josh Johnson, 4.026

Matt Lindstrom, 3.000

Ricky Nolasco, 3.142

Leo Nunez, 3.108

Ronny Paulino, 3.112

Renyel Pinto, 3.083

Cody Ross, 4.058

Anibal Sanchez, 3.099

Dan Uggla, 4.000

— Joe Frisaro

Inquires into Uggla

Due for a hefty pay raise, it was expected that the Marlins would measure interest for two-time All-Star Dan Uggla.

On Wednesday, a few possibilities emerged.

According to, the Giants and Orioles have expressed interest in Uggla. The Red Sox reportedly also may be an option.

The Giants, the report said, may consider Uggla as an option to play third base. The thinking is Pablo Sandoval would swift from third to first base. Uggla has exclusively played second base in the big leagues, although he had some work at third base in the Minor Leagues in 2005.

If Uggla, who will see his salary raise from $5.35 million to around $7 million, is dealt, the Marlins may be more inclined to keep Jorge Cantu, according to the

The Red Sox would consider Uggla as an option for left field.

Look for the Nationals also to show interest in Uggla.

— Joe Frisaro


Maybin's surgery a success

Cameron Maybin’s shoulder surgery was a success.

The 22-year-old Marlins center fielder underwent surgery on Monday to repair a partially torn labrium in his left shoulder. Maybin is expected to be ready when Spring Training opens in February.

Maybin dealt with shoulder discomfort late in the season, but he played through.

After opening the season as the Marlins starting center fielder, Maybin was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in May, shortly after Chris Coghlan was promoted.

Maybin received ample playing time in September, especially after Jeremy Hermida went down with a right oblique injury.

In September, Maybin batted .293 with eight doubles, three home runs, 10 RBIs and 19 runs scored.

If Maybin isn’t ready when Spring Training begins, Cody Ross again could assume the center field spot.

Although Ross is in his second season of arbitration, he is expected to return. Ross projects to play right field if Maybin wins the center field job.

— Joe Frisaro

Payroll projection for 2010

For years, the Marlins have shown they can remain competitive while spending carefully.

They will be continuing that trend in 2010.

Payroll for the upcoming season will be in the neighborhood of $36 million, or slightly lower.

In 2009, the Marlins finished second in the N.L. East, winning 87 games with a $36 million roster. So expect salaries to again to be in that range.

Hanley Ramirez will enter the second season of his six-year contract. The National League’s batting champ will make $7 million in ’10 after he just collected $5.5 million.

Because a number of key players are up for arbitration, player movement is inevitable. On Thursday, outfielder Jeremy Hermida was dealt to the Red Sox for two left-handed pitching prospects.

Hermida made $2.25 million in ’09, and he will see his salary raise.

The General Managers’ meetings begin on Monday, and the Marlins expect to be active in trade talks. 

Dan Uggla, who made $5.35 million this year, will likely see he salary raise to the $7 million range. Anticipate Uggla to attract plenty of trade interest.

Jorge Cantu ($3.5 million in ’09) may also be shopped. Indications are Cody Ross will be back.

Look for the Marlins to allocate their dollars towards pitching. Josh Johnson ($1.4 million in ’09) is expected to be offered a long term contract. However, preliminary discussions on a multiyear deal have not begun. They could get underway this week.

Johnson’s 2010 salary, even if he signs a long-term contract, could be about $4 million.

Ricky Nolasco made $2.4 million this year, and likely is headed to a $3 million pay day.

The Marlins also will have to make decisions regarding relievers Leo Nunez, Renyel Pinto and Matt Lindstrom. All three are entering arbitration for the first time. All three could be targets to be moved.

— Joe Frisaro