The Marlins have yet to make any formal announcement, but their coaching staff is just about set.
The new outfield/first base coach is expected to be Dave Collins, who played from 1975-90.
Florida’s new pitching coach will be Randy St. Claire, formerly with the Nationals. The new infield/third base coach will be Josue Espada, the organizations Minor League infield coordinator. Reid Cornelius is lined up to be the bullpen coach. Cornelius was the pitching coach at Double-A Jacksonville.
Returning to the staff are bench coach Carlos Tosca, hitting coach Jim Presley and bullpen coordinator Pierre Arsenault.
— Joe Frisaro
If you’re looking for a sleeper to emerge and be a big contributor for the 2010 Marlins, keep an eye on Gaby Sanchez.
Author and baseball stats expert Bill James certainly is.
In the recently-released Bill James Handbook 2010, Sanchez is projected to have a strong season.
“In any season, the vast majority of players play in a manner that seems a natural extension of what they had done before,” James said in the book. “When that happens, our projection should be reasonably accurate.”
Sanchez played mostly first base at Triple-A New Orleans this year, and he finished with a .289 batting average with 16 home runs and 56 RBIs. He appeared in 21 games with the Marlins, and had 21 at-bats with two home runs.
If the Marlins don’t bring back Nick Johnson and Jorge Cantu, that would be a sign they are leaning toward either Sanchez or left-handed hitting Logan Morrison to win the first base job.
In James’ book, he projects these numbers for Sanchez: .279 batting average, with 15 home runs and 59 RBIs.
James also has some forecasts for a few other Marlins. Here are some other projections:
* Hanley Ramirez: .315 average, 27 home runs, 86 RBIs, 117 runs scored, 31 stolen bases, .926 OPS
* Chris Coghlan: .310 average, 10 HRs, 66 RBIs, 92 runs, 20 steals, .840 OPS
* Dan Uggla: .252 average, 30 HRs, 90 RBIs, 97 runs, three steals, .815 OPS
* Cody Ross: .269 average, 23 HRs, 80 RBIs, 70 runs, five steals, .801 OPS
— Joe Frisaro
The Rays are shopping Akinori Iwamura.
According to the St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Bay faces a deadline to avoid picking up a $4.85 million option for the 30-year-old second baseman.
The Times, citing an industry source, said the Rays are weighing trade options. But the potential suitor is not the Cubs or Dodgers, two teams that have reportedly been linked to Iwamura.
Would the Marlins have interest? Indications are, yes, but the team wouldn’t take on $4.85 million.
As part of Iwamura’s contract, the Rays have until one day after the World Series ends to pick up the option or pay a $550,000 buyout, which would make Iwamura a free agent.
Iwamura batted .290 in an injury-plagued 2009. A severe knee injury limited him to 69 games and 231 at-bats this year. Since coming over from Japan, Iwamura has a career batting average of .281 in three seasons.
The Times added that the Rays may be trying to pull off a sign-and-trade deal.
The upcoming general managers meetings promise to be interesting, because that’s when trade talks really heat up.
The Marlins are expected to deal Dan Uggla this offseason. If they could secure someone like Iwamura, it would increase the likelihood of Chris Coghlan staying in left field.
— Joe Frisaro
A couple of potential future stars — or at least big league contributors — will be showcased on Saturday night in the Arizona Fall League.
Third baseman Matt Dominguez and outfielder Bryan Petersen have been selected to the East squad in the Rising Stars Showcase, which will be played at Surprise Stadium in Arizona.
The game, which starts at 8:15 p.m. ET, will be televised on the MLB Network. A live video feed also will be available on MLB.com.
In all 50 prospects will be on the two rosters.
All the Marlins prospects in Arizona are playing for the Mesa team.
Dominguez, 20, was the Marlins first-round pick in 2007. Petersen was selected in the fourth round that year.
Dominguez and Petersen were part of Double-A Jacksonville’s Southern League championship squad. Most likely, both will be in Spring Training with the Marlins.
Nationals prize prospect, Stephen Strasburg, the No. 1 overall pick in 2009, will also be on the East team.
The compete rosters are here:
— Joe Frisaro