September 2011

Andres acquired as part of Guillen compensation

MIAMI — A pitching prospect is heading to the Marlins in a move that completes the Ozzie Guillen transaction.

As part of the compensation with the White Sox, the Marlins on Thursday announced that they have obtained right-handed pitcher Ricardo Andres.

The 20-year-old from Maracay, Venezuela, appeared in 12 games for the Bristol White Sox in the Rookie Appalachian League.

Technically, the Marlins obtained Andres from the White Sox in exchange for two Minor Leaguers — right-hander Jhan Mariñez and infielder Ozzie Martinez.

Prior to the Marlins announcing on Wednesday that they’d signed Guillen to a four-year contract, the Marlins and White Sox had worked out the Andres for Marinez and Martinez deal. But it was contingent on the Marlins being able to sign Guillen.

Technically, the Marlins didn’t trade for Guillen, who was released from his contract with Chicago on Monday.

Guillen could have talked with other teams, but he was quickly approached by the Marlins.

Late Tuesday night, the Marlins had come to terms with Guillen, who will make $10 over four years. He will make roughly $2.5 million a year, compared to $1.8 million in ’11 with the White Sox.

Joe Frisaro

Guillen’s deal for four years

MIAMI — Ozzie Guillen, who will be introduced as Marlins’ manager at 1 p.m. ET Wednesday, has signed a four-year contract.

According to a source, the deal is four-years and for about $10 million, or roughly $2.5 million a year.

Guillen, the source said, was making $1.8 million with the White Sox.

Still in discussion is Guillen’s staff. Joey Cora is expected to be the bench coach, joining Guillen from Chicago. Jeff Cox also is believed to be joining the Marlins.

Hitting coach Eduardo Perez is under contract for next season, and he should return. Joe Espada also should be retained.

The Marlins met with the current staff on Wednesday morning, but the team didn’t inform the staff of their intentions for 2012.

The addition of Guillen has already created speculation that the Marlins will pursue Mark Buehrle in free agency. The club is looking for left-handed starting pitching, and C.J. Wilson already is a projected free agent target.

Joe Frisaro

Infante reaches two-year agreement

MIAMI — After weeks of negotiations, the Marlins have reached agreement with second baseman Omar Infante on a two-year contract.

The deal is believed to be worth $8 million over the two years. According to a team source, Infante is scheduled to take a physical on Tuesday, and once that process is completed, an announcement is expected.

Infante, 30, and reliever Mike Dunn were  obtained from the Braves last November for Dan Uggla.

Infante earned $2.5 million this season.

The veteran made it clear he wanted to remain with the Marlins. By coming to terms now, he avoids going through the free agent process.

Joe Frisaro

McKeon to retire after season

MIAMI — Jack McKeon, the winningest manager in Marlins history, announced on Monday that he is retiring as manager at the end of the season.The decision is not shocking since McKeon stepped in as interim manager on June 20 after Edwin Rodriguez resigned.At age 80, McKeon is the second oldest manager in MLB history. Only legendary COnnie Mack, 87, was older.

McKeon is Florida’s all-time winningest manager, posting a 280-255 record in his tenure with the organization.

With 62 years of professional baseball experience, McKeon helped bring tremendous credibility to the Marlins, guiding them to the 2003 World Series.

In May of ’03, McKeon replaced Jeff Torborg. At the time, he was 72. The Marlins went 75-49 with McKeon at the helm in ’03, and they claimed the National League Wild Card with a 91-71 overall record.

Florida upset the Yankees to win the title, earning McKeon the ’03 NL Manager of the Year award.

McKeon retired after the 2005 season, and since then he was a special advisor to team owner Jeffrey Loria.

Since replacing Rodriguez, the Marlins are 39-48 in McKeon’s second stint.

In 2012, the Marlins will move into their new ballpark, and they will be moving in a different direction.

The organization will consider White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, if he becomes available. Bobby Valentine and Larry Bowa also could be in the mix.

On Monday, the team interviewed third base/outfield coach Joe Espada and Nationals third base coach Bo Porter for the manager job.

Joe Frisaro

Uggla, Gonzo have hurt Marlins

MIAMI — Alex Gonzalez hit one of the biggest homers in Marlins’ history, when he delivered a walk-off liner that beat the Yankees in Game 4 of the 2003 World Series.

Gonzalez now is delivering game-changing homers with the Braves against the Marlins. In fact, he’s done it all season.

On Tuesday night, Gonzalez opened the scoring with a home run off Anibal Sanchez in Atlanta’s 4-0 victory. It was the veteran shortstop’s four homer of the season against the Marlins. At Turner Field recently, Gonzalez hit a game-winning, three-run shot.

Gonzalez isn’t the only former Florida standout to come up big this year against the Marlins.

Dan Uggla has homered five times off the Marlins this year.

Uggla and Ryan Howard have hit the most home runs off the Marlins this year.

Most homers off Marlins in 2011

Ryan Howard 5
Dan Uggla 5
Alex Gonzalez 4
John Mayberry 4
Jimmy Rollins 4

Most RBIs off Marlins in ’11

Ryan Howard 17
Dan Uggla 14
David Wright 13
Alex Gonzalez 12
Matt Holliday 12

Joe Frisaro


High-profile names on Marlins wish list

Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Jose Reyes headline the list of potential free agent position players expected to hit the market after the World Series.

Already, all three have been mentioned as possible targets of the Marlins. In terms of making inquiries, that may end up being the case.

One of the more realistic big names that clearly is on the Marlins’ radar is Aramis Ramirez, the Cubs’ 33-year-old third baseman.

Internally, the Marlins already view Ramirez as a possible fit for a lineup looking to mix in an established veteran to a youthful squad that includes Logan Morrison, Gaby Sanchez and Mike Stanton.

Ramirez is in the final season of a five-year, $75 million contract, which includes a club option of $16 million in 2012. Now, if the Cubs choose to exercise the ’12 option, Ramirez is free to void it and become a free agent.

Ramirez would bring an established defensive presence and a right-handed power bat.

The club could see an infield of Aramis Ramirez at third, Hanley Ramirez at shortstop, Omar Infante at second and Sanchez at first.

While top prospect Matt Dominguez, 22, is getting some big league seasoning now, the addition of an established middle of the lineup hitter like Aramis Ramirez would give the rookie more time to develop.

After a disappointing 2011, the Marlins are expected to be highly active in the offseason, addressing everything from their manager, coaching staff, Minor League operations and big league roster.

In 2012, the franchise will unveil a new beginning, in their new, retractable-roof ballpark.

With new revenue streams, payroll is expected to jump substantially — from $58 million to around $80 million.

For the first time in more than a decade, big name free agents will be sought.

The team will look for a power bat like Aramis Ramirez, but the larger focus will be on starting pitching. Specifically, left-handed starters. Already, C.J. Wilson is being talked about.

The Marlins, according to sources, clearly will explore signing Wilson. As they will Aramis Ramirez.

But the Rangers’ lefty isn’t the only pitcher the club will look at. They basically will check out the possibility of signing all available starting pitchers. As hard as it is for Florida fans to imagine, the possibility does exist that the team will make a pitch for the prize pitcher who could be out there, CC Sabathia, who could decide to opt out of his current contract.

As intriguing as it would be for the Marlins to get into, say, the Pujols sweepstakes, chances are they’d look at Aramis Ramirez and C.J. Wilson instead.

As disappointing as 2011 has been for the Marlins, the organization already is internally looking at what could be in ’12. The new stadium has created new optimism to lure in established stars.

Joe Frisaro

Nolasco seeks 11th win

ATLANTA — The Marlins may have dropped a 7-1 decision on Tuesday night, but they still have a chance to take the series on Wednesday afternoon against the Braves at Turner Field.

The game starts at 12:05 p.m. ET in Atlanta.

Ricky Nolasco (10-10) is going for win No. 11, which would bring him three behind Dontrelle Willis on the franchise all-time victory list. Willis won 68, while Nolasco is at 64.


Bonifacio RF

Petersen CF

Infante 2B

Dobbs LF

Sanchez 1B

Murphy SS

Dominguez 3B

Hayes C

Nolasco P

Joe Frisaro


LoMo expected to miss Atlanta series

ATLANTA — Logan Morrison returned to South Florida to get an MRI on his right knee, and the soonest the Marlins left fielder is expected back in the lineup is Friday at Washington.

Morrison bruised his right knee after sliding into the brick wall at Pittsburgh on Friday night.

The Marlins open a three-game set at Atlanta on Monday, and manager Jack McKeon ruled the left fielder out for the series.

“Morrison won’t be back, for sure,” McKeon said. They sent him to Miami for an MRI.

“He’s still hurting. His knee is swollen. They’re going to get him checked out in Florida. Give him an MRI and maybe have the knee drained.”

Joe Frisaro

Dobbs gets first start in left field

ATLANTA — With Logan Morrison resting a bruised right knee, Greg Dobbs is making his first start of the season in left field.

The versatile Dobbs has mainly appeared at third base, where he has seen action in 93 games. Dobbs also has been in right field three games, and first base in four games.

Manager Jack McKeon has been patching together a lineup, especially with Mike Stanton resting a tight right hamstring.

The Marlins open a three-game set with the Braves at Turner Field on Monday. Chris Volstad is facing Brandon Beachy.


Bonifacio RF

Infante 2B

Dobbs LF

Sanchez 1B

Buck C

Petersen CF

Murphy SS

Dominguez 3B

Volstad P

Joe Frisaro




Sanchez’s latest one-hitter

As a rookie in 2006, Anibal Sanchez no-hit the D-backs.

Since then, the Marlins right-hander has shown near no-hit stuff on several occasions. On Saturday night, Sanchez tossed a one-hit shutout at Pittsburgh.

It was Sanchez’s third one-hit career shutout. In fact, the  Marlins have had eight complete-game one-hitters. Sanchez has three of them.

MARLINS one-hit, complete-game, nine-inning shutouts:

Kevin Brown 7/16/97 vs. LAD
Ryan Dempster 5/7/00 vs. NYM
Alex Fernandez 4/10/97 vs CHC
Pat Rapp 9/17/95 vs COL
Anibal Sanchez 7/29/10 vs. SFG
Anibal Sanchez 4/22/11 vs COL
Anibal Sanchez 9/10/11 vs PIT
Dontrelle Willis 6/16/03 vs NYM

Joe Frisaro