The deeper they fall in the standing, the greater the chance the Marlins will be open to making moves.
In fact, there are rumbings from within the organization that they may be willing to listen to offers for just about everyone not named Josh Johnson or Hanley Ramirez. Besides those two — plus players who are not yet in their arbitration years — the club could be ready to make some changes.
There are indications that Ricky Nolasco, who has one year remaining in arbitration, could be dealt for the right price. The Marlins are in no rush to move the 27-year-old right-hander, but they would certainly listen to what is available.
Jorge Cantu is eligible for free agency after the season. While the Marlins are high on the veteran, who has been a steady run producer, they might not be in position to sign him to a multi-year deal if his salary reaches more than $10 million. Cantu appears to be the most likely Marlin to be moved before the end of the season.
Dan Uggla and Cody Ross — like Nolasco — have one year of arbitration remaining. There is no immediate urgency to trade either player. But both may bring back some parts to build upon for the future.
Nate Robertson, acquired late in Spring Training from Detroit, also could be an attractive trade piece should the Marlins be out of the race by the end of the month.
Veteran Wes Helms, a free agent after the season, may also draw interest on the trade market. The Marlins are high on Helms, and envision him someday being a coach in their system. Even if he is traded, the club may look to sign him back in the offseason.
The team certainly is looking for bullpen help, but that’s not the only area they hope to address. Offensively, they are hoping to become more balanced and less streaky.
— Joe Frisaro
After a disheartening loss on Friday, the Marlins look to even the series on Saturday afternoon against the Braves at Turner Field.
1) Chris Coghlan, LF
2) Gaby Sanchez, 1B
3) Hanley Ramirez, SS
4) Jorge Cantu, 3B
5) Dan Uggla, 2B
6) Cody Ross, CF
7) Ronny Paulino, C
8) Mike Stanton, RF
9) Anibal Sanchez, P
— Joe Frisaro
Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said he plans on using his bench more.
A different part was added to the roster on Saturday. Before facing the Braves at Turner Field, the team selected the contract of infielder Donnie Murphy from Triple-A New Orleans.
Infielder Brian Barden was designated for assignment.
Rodriguez has more familiarity with Murphy, having managed him at New Orleans.
Barden, meanwhile, had the backing of former Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez, who was dismissed on June 23. Former Marlins bench coach Carlos Tosca, who also was let go that day, was high on Barden since they both were in the Arizona system.
A defensive specialist, Barden can still remain in the organization, if he isn’t traded, clears waivers and accepts the assignment.
Barden was regarded as the Marlins best defensive player. He can play shortstop, as well as all the infield spots.
But at the plate, Barden struggled, going 5-for-28 (.179) with 12 strikeouts. His last hit was on May 18. He was 0-for-9 after striking out in a pinch-hit appearance on Friday night since his two-run single on May 18.
Murphy, meanwhile, batted .277 with 12 homers and 35 RBIs in 57 games. In Spring Training, Murphy batted .351 in 18 games. He almost made the roster, but that selection went to Barden.
Both can play shortstop, which is something the Marlins look for in their super utility player.
Murphy last was in the big leagues with the A’s in 2008.
— Joe Frisaro
The Marlins are welcoming back one of their most consistent relievers. Clay Hensley was reinstated off the 15-day disabled list on Friday, where he will be available against the Braves.
Hensley, the team’s primary eighth inning setup right-hander, had been out with a left neck strain. This week, he threw in rehab assignment games at Class A Jupiter.
To make room on the roster for Hensley, right-hander Scott Strickland was outrighted to Triple-A New Orleans.
— Joe Frisaro
The “process” ran its course. Now, the Marlins have moved forward. Edwin Rodriguez is the new manager, but questions remain as to why negotiations with Bobby Valentine broke down.
A few days ago, Valentine made some critical remarks on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.
“If this is a Major-League process, I hope I’m never in the process again. It’s very disturbing, confusing and it was insulting at times,” Valentine said on ESPN.
Valentine offered some more insight on SIRIUS XM’s Mad Dog Radio with host Chris Russo.
Here’s the conversation.
Chris Russo: “Those are some harsh words. Can you tell me what’s going on with the Marlins?”
Bobby Valentine: “I didn’t mean for them to be harsh. I just meant for them to be honest. It’s a tough process once you start getting down to a situation. We never negotiated anything and, you know, I just feel when you’re 60 years old – you know, I know Jeffrey [Loria], I’ve known him for 25 years – I just felt that being left in the dark isn’t quite the way to allow things to move forward.
But I think it’s a good situation. As I told them right from the start, someone from the outside moving in in mid-season I don’t believe is a good idea. I don’t think you can train coaches and train players to think and do what you’re expecting on the run. That’s what spring training is for. And Edwin Rodriguez has had these guys in the minor leagues. He knows the spring training process, what that organizational philosophy is. So, you know, that was a good move. If, in fact, they had to change Fredi [Gonzalez] I would think that’s probably the right way to go.”
Russo: “So in other words, Bobby, they talked to you and then left you in the dark? What do you mean ‘left you in the dark?’ They began a discussion? What happened?”
Valentine: “Yeah, basically. I mean, I don’t want to get into the details on it, Chris. You know, I mean, I was reading in the paper I wasn’t a candidate, you know? And I don’t really like that stuff. You know, we did have conversations and then the next thing I know their leaks have people writing things that I’m no longer a candidate and they’re going in another direction. Well, you know, if that’s the case tell me. I’m a big boy. It’s real easy.”
Russo: “Would you say you’re soured on this whole managerial search now for these jobs? Was the Baltimore thing decent?”
Valentine: “No. To tell you the truth, the in-season stuff where you have all the rules and regulations that are set forth – rightfully so, I guess – by the commissioner that you have to interview so many different types of people from in and outside your organization before you’re allowed to hire a person you want to, it’s a pretty tough process. I don’t know that it’s tough. It doesn’t seem like it’s the way most industries do it.”
— Joe Frisaro