Results tagged ‘ Blue Jays ’

Hill signs Minor League deal

The Marlins have added some big league experienced starting pitching depth to their Spring Training roster.

Right-hander Shawn Hill, who made four starts with the Blue Jays, has signed a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. If Hill, 29, makes the team, he will earn $600,000.

Hill was 1-2 with a 2.61 ERA for Toronto last year, throwing 20 2/3 innings.

Hill broke in with the Montreal Expos in 2004. The right-hander also has pitched for the Nationals and Padres.

He has made 44 big league starts, and is 9-18 with a 4.74 ERA.

— Joe Frisaro



Marlins out of Chapman sweepstakes

For weeks, the Marlins have been in hot pursuit of Cuban standout Aroldis Chapman. But with the price to secure the left-handed pitcher surpassing the $20 million mark, the Marlins no longer are seriously in the running.

According Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald, the Blue Jays have an offer of $23 million on the table for Chapman. The Angels also are making a push to sign the hard-throwing Cuban defector.

The story says the Marlins raised their offer from five-years, $13 million to $16 million. The report, quoting an unnamed Florida source, said the club hasn’t completely given up hope of signing Chapman. But the team is well aware there are higher bids out there.

With their limited economic resources, the Marlins aren’t prepared to reach the $20 million mark.

With no state income tax in Florida, the Marlins were hoping a slightly less offer for Chapman may have swayed the 21-year-old to sign.

Chapman has been working out in South Florida with his close friend Kendry Morales of the Angels. Chapman’s ties to Morales could ultimately become a deciding factor.

There is a chance Chapman will make his decision soon, perhaps over the weekend.

— Joe Frisaro

Market for Hermida

Speculation continues to run high that the Marlins will trade outfielder Jeremy Hermida this offseason.

The 25-year-old former first-round pick in 2002, came off a rough season, batting .259 with 13 home runs and 47 RBIs. A strained right oblique on Sept. 2, limited him to one pinch-hit appearance in the final weeks of the season.

Hermida will be entering his second season of arbitration. He made $2.25 million this year, and by the nature of the system, he’d be in line for a raise.

The Marlins are hopeful Cameron Maybin will win the center field position, and Cody Ross is expected to return. Ross, also in his second season of arbitration, could be earmarked for right field, making Hermida expendable.

Some teams believed to be interested in Hermida are the Mariners, Rays, Mets and Blue Jays. The Cubs also could have interest.

Even though Hermida has yet to perform as so many envisioned, he does have value on the open market. He still would be a more affordable option than many soon-to-be free agent outfielders. Also, in arbitration, a team could control his rights for two seasons.

Several scouts feel Hermida may be one of those players who benefits by a change of scenery.

— Joe Frisaro



Marlins home attendance increase

A story in USA Today on Wednesday outlined how Major League Baseball overall is experiencing a 6.5 percent drop in attendance, based on numbers obtained through

The Marlins, however, enjoyed a 9.7 percent increase, averaging 18,075 in 78 dates at Land Shark Stadium. Instead of 81 dates, that number was down three due to three doubleheaders, two caused by rainouts.

The Marlins wrapped up their home schedule on Sunday against the Mets, and the team drew more than 30,000 in its final four home dates.

“Our attendance is up,” Marlins president David Samson said in a recent interview.

If not for rain delays, the team feels the crowds would have been bigger. In all, the Marlins attracted more than 1.4 million fans.

“There is no question, I think it would have been closer to 1.8 [million],” Samson said if not for the weather. “We [were] in the race until the final week. The definition of in the race is when there is no ‘x’ next to our name.”

That Marlins were officially eliminated on Tuesday night.

Other teams to see a dramatic increase in attendance are the Royals (13.9 percent) and Rangers (10.8 percent).

Teams on the decline are the Nationals (22.8 percent), Blue Jays (21.8) and Padres (21.6).

Overall, however, the league projects more than 75.2 million fans, the fourth most in baseball history, according to USA Today.

“Given that we are in the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, it’s stunning,” commissioner Bud Selig told USA Today of still attracting more than 75 million people. “This year is a great testament to the huge popularity of our sport.”

— Joe Frisaro


Historic weekend in Washington

History on several different levels is being made by the Marlins.

In sweeping the Nationals over the weekend, the Marlins improved their fastest start ever to 11-1. The way the Marlins also won the three games at Nationals Park.

According to Elias, never before has an MLB team ever won a three-game series the way the Marlins did. That’s by trailing in the ninth inning, and rallying to victory in all three games.

You have to go back to the Tigers from Sept. 17-19, 1998, to find a team that has won three straight in this fashion. But then, Detroit beat two different teams. The Tigers rallied to beat the Blue Jays on Sept. 17, and on Sept. 18-19, they came back against the Twins.

— Joe Frisaro