Results tagged ‘ Josh Johnson ’

Marlins payroll projects at $58 million

The Marlins aren’t waiting until moving into their new ballpark to bump up payroll.

After taking care of all their arbitration business on Tuesday, the Marlins’ have already allocated more than $52 million on 13 players. By the time their 25-man roster is completed, their Opening Day number projects to be about $58 million.

It’s the franchise’s highest payroll since it opened 2005 with a $60.4 million figure. That squad featured Carlos Delgado, Mike Lowell, Luis Castillo, Josh Beckett, Dontrelle Willis, Paul Lo Duca and Juan Pierre.

In 2010, the Marlins’ payroll to start the season was $47.4 million, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

Hanley Ramirez will be the highest paid player on the team with a base salary of $11 million. Josh Johnson will be making $7.75 million, while Javier Vazquez is signed for $7 million, and Ricky Nolasco is set to earn $6 million.

Payroll increases are expected over the next few seasons, after the team moves into their new retractable-roof ballpark, which is set to open in 2012.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Nolasco signing now official

It’s now official.

The Marlins on Friday announced the signing of Ricky Nolasco to a three-year contract.

Both sides reached agreement on the deal on Sunday night, and the deal became official after the 28-year-old right-hander completed his physical, which was on Thursday.

The three-year contract is worth $26.5 million, and it includes base salaries of $6 million in 2011, $9 million for 2012 and $11.5 million for 2013. Based on innings pitched, Nolasco also can earn bonuses of up to $500,000 for each season, or another $1.5 million total.

Projected as the Marlins’ No. 2 starter, Nolasco was 14-9 with a 4.51 ERA in 26 starts in ’10. He struck out 147 and walked just 33. With a 54-39 record, the right-hander is second in Marlins’ history in wins. Dontrelle Willis is the franchise leader with 68 victories.

The Marlins’ rotation is solidified with ace Josh Johnson, Nolasco, Javier Vazquez, Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad.

– Joe Frisaro

Would pursuing Greinke make sense?

Speculation at the Winter Meetings had the Marlins expressing trade interest in Royals’ ace Zack Greinke. There was little substance to the rumors, and the story faded as fast as it surfaced.

But now that the Phillies have assembled their dream rotation by adding Cliff Lee, should the Marlins counter and make a run at Greinke? Such a move would create a formidable one-two punch with Josh Johnson and Greinke. It certainly would stack up with Philadelphia’s duo of Roy Halladay and Lee.

South Florida already has the “Big Three” with Wade, LeBron and Bosh in basketball. So the possibility of having Greinke in the Marlins’ rotation would clearly stir plenty of excitement in a big-event market. For Internet sites, newspapers, blogs and talk radio, this would give the fans and the media plenty to talk and write about.

But at what cost could making a “dream rotation” happen? This is the sticking point, and the major reason why it is highly doubtful that Zack Greinke will  become a Marlin in 2011.

To even get the Royals seriously to engage in trade talks for Greinke, the Marlins would have to be willing to part with Mike Stanton. Foremost, the now 21-year-old slugger would be the centerpiece. The asking price may also include Logan Morrison. Then, the Marlins would likely have to be prepared to include Ricky Nolasco as well a prospect or two. In all, it would take about four or five players, including major parts of the current club, to land the former Cy Young award winning right-hander.

Some have speculated that Nolasco and Leo Nunez could get the deal going. It wouldn’t even pique Kansas City’s interest.

Considering the Marlins already have a formidable rotation with Johnson, Nolasco, Javier Vazquez, Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad, there isn’t the urgency to acquire Greinke. At least not at the price of trading perhaps the best young power hitter in the game, who is under club control through 2016.

As the Marlins front office has repeatedly stated, the price of quality starting pitching is extremely high. It is either costly in terms of contracts (Lee will make $120 million over five years), or players offered to obtain a true ace. Grooming your own starting pitching — like the Giants have done — remains the most effective way to build a rotation.

When you look at the possible return for someone like Greinke, it also shows why the Marlins have no intentions of trading Johnson to the Yankees or anywhere else.

With Lee going to the Phillies, it didn’t take long for reports out of New York to suggest the Yankees inquire about JJ. For the record, the Marlins’ ace is not on the market. But if he were, Florida wouldn’t narrow its trade partner to exclusively the Yankees. A player like Johnson would generate wide appeal, and even the best package the Yankees may be able to offer might not stand up to other clubs.

The bottom line for the Marlins on the Greinke front is — is it worth overpaying for a right-hander they’d have under contract for two years?

– Joe Frisaro

How Lee decision impacts Marlins

Landing Cliff Lee gives the Phillies the strongest rotation in the game.

The pending signing also reinforces what the Marlins have been preaching for a long time — Pitching and defense wins.

“A good team just got better,” Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said of Lee joining Philadelphia. “Our plan has been to build a team to win, and to do that, you have to beat the best teams. So, we’re planning to do just that.”

Well before Lee picked Philadelphia, Florida’s front office has been working towards crafting a formidable starting rotation. The recent free agent signing of Javier Vazquez was another step in piecing together a top-flight starting five.

The Marlins certainly like their rotation of Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Vazquez, Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad. The team feels they can match up favorably on most nights. It’s just a matter of these young starters gaining consistency, along with staying healthy.

With Lee off the market, the Marlins certainly aren’t looking to trade away their top starters. There will be speculation about Nolasco, who has a three-year contract offer on the table that hasn’t been agreed upon.

But Nolasco has two more years left in arbitration, and the Marlins certainly value him as either their No. 2 or No. 3 starter, depending on the competition in Spring Training shapes up.

Florida is prepared to go year-to-year with Nolasco, who remains a highly valued right-hander for the cost. The team has no urgency to move him.

Obviously, the Marlins would listen to offers, but to trade Nolasco, Florida would covet pitching in return. Because the team is trying to compete in 2011, they would seek a big league-ready starter in any trade.

Johnson, who has three-years remaining on his contract, is a franchise player who isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The Marlins are looking for Johnson to be their Opening Day starter in the first game in their new ballpark, which opens in 2012.

In order to contend in the NL East, the Marlins will be banking on their rotation. They won’t be looking to break it up.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins on the mend

With a modest payroll, success for the Marlins’ largely rests on the team staying healthy.

Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest touched on that Wednesday during the announcement that Edwin Rodriguez would return as manager.

“We need to keep our starting pitching healthy,” Beinfest said. “We need to keep JJ, Ricky, Anibal and Vollie pitching deep into September. We really can’t afford to lose our starting pitching like we did this year.”

Josh Johnson missed the final few weeks with a back and shoulder ailment. Nolasco was out down the stretch with a meniscus tear in his right knee. Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad pitched down the stretched, and both actually finished up strong.

The Marlins will be counting on Johnson, Nolasco, Sanchez and Volstad to be four workhorses in 2011.

“One of the things we’re looking for the team to do too is to just grow up a little bit,” Beinfest said. “We’ve transitioned a little bit some of the guys who had been here since ’06. … Health and the arms will be important.”

Currently, several players are on the mend this offseason. Johnson and Nolasco are recovering nicely, and neither should have any restrictions when Spring Training gets underway.

Chris Coghlan is recovering from a meniscus tear in his left knee. Coghlan recently was checked out by team physician, Dr. Lee Kaplan. As of now, he doesn’t have a timeline to start baseball activities.

Hanley Ramirez, who was bothered with left elbow inflammation, will soon be examined again by Kaplan to determine when he will begin baseball activities. Ramirez is spending much of the offseason in Miami working out. 

John Baker underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, and he hasn’t begun baseball activities.

Sean West, who was in the Arizona Fall League, has been sent home with a left elbow strain. The 6-foot-8 lefty is scheduled to see Kaplan. The team doesn’t think the injury is serious, but more will be known after the visit.

Alex Sanabia, who missed his final start due to a right forearm strain, is making progress. The team didn’t think the ailment was serious.

Also on Wednesday, Beinfest noted that the team has had on-going discussions with Terry Bross, Dan Uggla’s agent, regarding a long-term contract for the power-hitting second baseman. There has been little movement, however, on a multiyear deal with Nolasco, who has two more seasons left in arbitration.

Beinfest said he was given his payroll range for the ’11 season. He didn’t give any estimates, but he noted payroll will be higher than the $46 million in 2010.

Look for Florida’s payroll to be in the $50 million range.

– Joe Frisaro
 

 

JJ shut down for season

In his heart, Josh Johnson wants to be on the mound. The reality is a mid back strain is preventing him.

So rather than risk further injury, Johnson has been shut down by the Marlins for the remainder of the season.

An All-Star for the second straight year, Johnson finishes his season with an 11-6 record and 2.30 ERA in 28 starts.

“It’s the smart thing to do. It’s not fun being on the sideline,” Johnson said on Monday. “I’ve been on this side, and pretty much worse than this. I don’t want to be on this side, and not be pitching for this team.”

The ailment worse was an elbow injury that required Tommy John ligament surgery in 2007.

Johnson last pitched on Sept. 4 against the Braves, and he finished with a loss, giving up two runs over six innings. Even with a back ailment, he struck out 12 that day.

Johnson also has been bothered by right shoulder inflammation. But the shoulder is improving, and it is his back that has been the bigger issue.

The Marlins were hoping Johnson would be able to throw a bullpen session either on Saturday or Sunday when the team was in Washington. However, his back was hurting and he wasn’t close to pitching either day.

Although Johnson isn’t using the back as an excuse, observes on the team said it was bothering him for about five or six starts before he was shut down.

– Joe Frisaro

Nolasco, Johnson injury updates

Ricky Nolasco underwent surgery on Wednesday to repair a torn medial meniscus in his right knee. Expected recovery time for the Marlins right-hander is four to six weeks.

Also on Wednesday, Josh Johnson was sent back to South Florida to have his back and shoulder examined by team physician, Dr. Lee Kaplan.

Johnson has some inflammation in his shoulder, but no structural damage. He has also has a mid-back strain.

The most encouraging news about JJ is his ailment is not serious at all.

The right-hander will rejoin the club on Friday in Washington. Nothing has been determined if he will be able to pitch any time soon.

Nolasco, who finished the season with a 14-9 record and 4.51 ERA, had attempted to pitch through the knee problem. He last pitched on Aug. 28 at Atlanta, logging two innings.

“We have to make sure that JJ is ok, not only for the time being, but we have to make sure that his career is not in jeopardy,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said.

If Johnson is cleared to pitch, the earliest he would be in the rotation is on Wednesday, Sept. 15 against the Phillies at Sun Life Stadium.

– Joe Frisaro
 

JJ to visit Dr. Kaplan

Pitching woes are piling up for the Marlins.

Now their ace is going to be out for an undetermined amount of time.

Two-time All-Star Josh Johnson is traveling to South Florida on Wednesday to have his back and shoulder examined by team physician, Dr. Lee Kaplan.

Johnson cut short a between starts bullpen session on Tuesday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.

The 26-year-old two-time All-Star was slated to pitch on Friday against Washington at Nationals Park. Alex Sanabia now will start that game.

“The priority here is to make sure JJ is fine,” Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said.  “He’s going to see Dr. Kaplan tomorrow. We’re going to check his back and his shoulder. We want to make sure everything is alright with him.”

– Joe Frisaro

 

Marlins-Braves Sunday lineups

Josh Johnson takes the mound on Sunday as the Marlins look to take the series with the Braves at Turner Field.

The teams split the first two games in Atlanta. Derek Lowe will pitch for the Braves.

Cameron Maybin was given a day off to get Emilio Bonifacio some playing time.

 

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1) Emilio Bonifacio, CF

2) Logan Morrison, LF

3) Hanley Ramirez, SS

4) Dan Uggla, 2B

5) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

6) Chad Tracy, 3B

7) Mike Stanton, RF

8) Brad Davis, C

9) Josh Johnson, P

 

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1) Omar Infante, 2B

2) Jason Heyward, RF

3) Martin Prado, 3B

4) Brian McCann, C

5) Eric Hinske, 1B

6) Alex Gonzalez, SS

7) Melky Cabrera, LF

8) Rick Ankiel, CF

9) Derek Lowe, P

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

Marlins lineup for Tuesday

The Marlins and Mets open a three-game series at the Mets beginning on Tuesday night. Josh Johnson will make the start, seeking his 12th win.

Cameron Maybin is batting seventh, filling in at center field now that Cody Ross has moved on to the Giants.

 

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1) Hanley Ramirez,SS

2) Logan Morrison, LF

3) Gaby Sanchez, 1B

4) Dan Uggla, 2B

5) Mike Stanton, RF

6) Wes Helms, 3B

7) Cameron Maybin, CF

8) Brett Hayes, C

9) Josh Johnson, P

– Joe Frisaro

 

 

 

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