Results tagged ‘ Red Sox ’

Stanton in lineup vs. Red Sox

JUPITER, Fla. — On a day their third base position became unsettled, the Marlins solidified themselves in right field.

For the first time in Grapefruit League play, Mike Stanton is in the lineup, playing right field and batting cleanup on Thursday against the Red Sox at Roger Dean Stadium.

Stanton, 21, has been out with a strained right quad, which he suffered on Feb. 27 in a scrimmage against the University of Miami.

“With Michael back, that bottom half of our lineup looks stronger with him in the middle,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said.

Earlier on Thursday, Matt Dominguez was reassigned to Minor League camp. Donnie Murphy and Emilio Bonifacio will get looks at third base until the season begins.

Javier Vazquez will pitch for Florida on Thursday, while Clay Buchholz will throw for the Red Sox.

RED SOX

1) Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2) Jed Lowrie, SS
3) David Ortiz, DH
4) Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5) Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
6) Mike Cameron, RF
7) Ryan Kalish, LF
8) Drew Sutton, 1B
9) Nate Spears, 2B

MARLINS

1) Emilio Bonifacio, CF
2) Omar Infante, 2B
3) Hanley Ramirez, SS
4) Mike Stanton, RF
5) Gaby Sanchez, 1B
6) Logan Morrison, LF
7) John Buck, C
8) Donnie Murphy, 3B
9) Javier Vazquez, P

Joe Frisaro

Miller welcomes fresh start with Boston

They joined the Marlins together, and by chance they exited one day apart from each other.

In separate moves last weekend, the Marlins traded Andrew Miller to the Red Sox, and followed that up by dealing Cameron Maybin to the Padres on Saturday.

The two deals brought three big league-ready relievers to the Marlins.

But the trade also meant the Marlins are moving past their blockbuster 2007 trade when they sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit. Miller and Maybin were the two centerpiece players Florida received in return.

Miller and Maybin are both out of options, so the Marlins would have had to keep them on their 25-man roster or else risk losing them. That fact also is a big reason why both were dealt.

“I kind of knew something would happen with me,” Miller said in a phone interview. “I kind of knew.”

Despite things not working out in Florida, Miller (24) and Maybin (23) are still young enough to develop into solid big leaguers. It’s just a matter of time, Miller believes.

“I think it’s unfortunate,” Miller said of the deal not working out for Florida. “I still believe that one day Cam is going to be an unbelievable player. I believe for us, the time hasn’t come yet, and it’s going to click one of these days for us. We’ve seen flashes from Cameron and I believe I’ve shown them before.

“For both of us, when we find that consistency and put it together, it came happen for us. There is no doubt in my mind that it will. Unfortunately, that time didn’t come with the Marlins. But they certainly gave us some opportunities. I can say nothing bad about them.”

While Miller has been primarily a starter, the 6-foot-7 lefty expects to be competing for a bullpen job with Boston.

“I know what the situation is. I’m out of options,” he said. “Going to a club like that, I’m assuming I’m going to have to battle and to put myself on that team with just Spring Training. That’s basically what I have to look forward to. I think it’s a good opportunity whenever somebody makes a trade for you.

“My assumption is what they’re going to ask of me is relieving. If that is something to find my way onto a Major League team, then that’s certainly what I’m going to go after. Nothing is ever set in stone. If I’m relieving and doing well, and something pops up and I’m starting, then I’d think there is an advantage that I’ve started in the past. That’s really not my concern. My concern is doing everything I can to find myself on a 25-man roster.”

– Joe Frisaro

Internal talks underway to keep Uggla

Can the Marlins afford Dan Uggla?

Perhaps the bigger question is can they afford not to sign their power-hitting second baseman?

Mentioned in trade rumors for more than a year, Uggla remains a core player on the Marlins. The organization knows what it has in the gritty 30-year-old. They also are not in any rush to move him.

uggla.jpgWhile teams covet Uggla, the Marlins are not likely to trade him before the end of the season.

In fact, the front office already is talking internally about signing him to a multi-year contract this fall. They have yet to approach Uggla or his agent, Jeff Borris, about a long-term deal. But those conversations are underway.

The Marlins have tested the trade market on a number of players, including Uggla. What teams have offered in return for one of the top slugging second baseman in the game has not been worth making a move.

The Marlins could see themselves having Hanley Ramirez, Josh Johnson and Uggla signed to multi-year contracts when they head into their new ballpark in 2012.

For a team like the Marlins, who are overly cautious when signing multi-year contracts, they want to make as safe an investment as possible.

An argument can be made that since his rookie season in 2006, no other Marlin has been more consistent than Uggla. Once again he is on pace for 30 homers and 90 RBIs. Later this season, he will become the team’s all-time home run leader. He has 137, which is third highest. Mike Lowell holds the mark with 143.

Uggla is making $7.8 million this season, and his salary figure will jump again in 2011, his final season of arbitration. If the Marlins consider say, a three-year contract, they might be able to work something out in the $27 million range. That would average $9 million a season.

Now, if Uggla’s demands are well over $10 million a season, something likely won’t get done. But if there is willingness from both sides, something can be worked out.

It would seem in the best interest of both parties to make that happen. If Uggla is traded or signs as a free agent after 2011, he may have a limited market to play second base. Several clubs that have coveted him in the past — Rockies, Giants, Red Sox — all talked about moving him to third base, first base or left field.

From the Marlins standpoint, rewarding the two-time All-Star would show a sign of loyalty. Consider the bargain he was before he reached arbitration in 2009. From 2006-08, Uggla collected 90 homers and he drove in 270 runs. Over that span, Florida paid him $1.136 million.

By giving Uggla a minimum three-years means he and Ramirez would solidify the middle infield for the foreseeable future, as well as keep a power bat in the middle of the order. 

– Joe Frisaro

Lates on Lowell, rumors

All of his credentials speak for themselves.

Mike Lowell is a three-time All-Star, a two-time World Series champion, a World Series MVP. But is the 36-year-old a fit for the Marlins?

The question was raised again on Thursday when the Marlins visited the Red Sox at City of Palms Park.

mike-lowell-rounds.jpgAs popular a move it would be to bring back Lowell, there continues to be strong indications that there is minimal Marlins interest, at best.

In fact, the interest is said to be “barely above zero.”

In recent weeks, there has been speculation about the Marlins showing interest in acquiring Lowell in a trade. A scout from Florida recently watched him work out.

“I know it’s a feel good story,” Lowell said on Thursday. “But they’re rumors. That’s about it.”

Miami-raised, Lowell is one of the most popular players in Marlins history. He is Florida’s all-time home run leader with 143.

Lowell was a Marlin from 1999-2005, and he was a key member of the Marlins 2003 World Series title team.

Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez was Florida’s third base coach in 1999, Lowell’s first year in the big leagues.

“For me, he was always one of those guys who only needed an opportunity,” Gonzalez said. “He came to the right place to get that opportunity. If he had stayed with the Yankees, he might now even have gotten that opportunity. The Marlins gave him an opportunity to play.”

Lowell was drafted in the 20th round by the Yankees in 1995.

“He’d be a good addition for any ball club, including the Red Sox,” Gonzalez said.

Health-wise, Lowell says: “I feel good. Better than last year.”

A career third baseman, Lowell has been taking ground balls at first base. He may have to make the switch to prolong his career.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Jimenez returned to Boston

The Marlins on Sunday morning offered Rule 5 claim Jorge Jimenez back to the Red Sox.

jorgejimenez.JPGJimenez was obtained from the Astros as part of the Matt Lindstrom trade in December. The Astros picked Jimenez off Boston’s Double-A roster and sent him to Florida, where he was competing for a third base job.

With Jimenez out of camp, the Marlins now appear to be leaning toward Gaby Sanchez winning the first base job. One scenario was for Jimenez to win the third base job, which would have meant Jorge Cantu would switch back to first base.

Now, Cantu appears to be remaining at third base.

For a Rule 5 pick to remain with a club, he must be on the active roster. The Marlins didn’t feel the left-handed hitting third baseman fit their plans. He had 18 at-bats in Spring Training.

To purchase a Rule 5 pick at the Major League phase is $50,000. If he is returned, the cost is $25,000. So the cost for Jimenez was $25,000 for Florida

– Joe Frisaro

 

Meet Hunter Jones

One of the new faces in Marlins camp is certainly no stranger to South Florida.

Lefty reliever Hunter Jones, acquired from the Red Sox as part of the Jeremy Hermida trade in November, is in the mix for a bullpen job.

The 26-year-old grew up in Palm Beach Gardens, and he went to Florida State.

The Marlins opened Spring Training on Saturday at Roger Dean Stadium. Other lefty relief candidates are Renyel Pinto, Dan Meyer and Taylor Tankersley.

Last year, Jones got a taste of the big leagues, appearing in 11 games for the Red Sox. The experience was rewarding and humbling. He posted a 9.24 ERA, and he was taken deep three times in 12 1/3 innings. Jones struck out nine and walked seven.

But two rough outings caused his ERA to inflate. Against Tampa Bay on May 9, he was tagged for four runs in two-thirds of an inning. And on Sept. 28 against the Blue Jays, he was charged with four runs in 1 2/3 innings.

On the flip side, he also enjoyed some success.

Jones showed he can be effective last April, when in four appearances, he allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings.

In the offseason, he has worked on getting more movement on his fastball, along with fine tuning his slider.

The Marlins are known for providing opportunity to young relievers. Jones hopes to continue the tradition.

“They’ve had a great track record, and hopefully I can add to that,” Jones said. “I feel like I’ve already had a fair shake. I look forward to going out there and competing.

“I feel the opportunity is greater for me here to compete. With that being said, being that I had pitched last year, and knowing what I needed to do to come into this season. I feel I’m better prepared.”

Growing up in South Florida, Jones was initially a Braves fan, because at the time, the Marlins and Rays weren’t around. And the Braves made West Palm Beach their Spring Training home. Jones attended a number of Spring Training games, and he would see players like Dale Murphy at the park.

Now he is in position where his family and friends can watch him in Jupiter.

“I feel the Marlins are definitely believing in me,” Jones said. “Whenever you get traded, you feel there is a better opportunity.”

The day Jones joined the Marlins was a hectic one. He learned he was being mentioned in the deal while preparing to catch a flight from Palm Beach to Las Vegas to attend his friends bachelor party.

“I was obviously excited,” he said. “It was kind of crazy because I was going to my best friends bachelor party in Vegas. I left a Red Sox and landed a Marlin. When I got there, everybody already knew. It was pretty cool. They all knew before me.”

– Joe Frisaro

Marlins scouting Chapman

On a rare occasion will the Marlins find themselves bidding along with teams like the payroll-rich Red Sox.

So that tells you something about how rare a prospect Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman is.

The hard-throwing left-hander, who pitched for Cuba in the World Baseball Classic, will throw for big league scouts in Houston. A representative from the Marlins is on hand, as are officials from numerous other teams.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Dan Jennings, the Marlins vice president of player personnel, is in Houston to watch Chapman. MLB.com confirmed Florida has more than a passing interest. The team will evaluate him, and then look to see if signing Chapman is a possibility.

With a large Cuban population in South Florida, Chapman would naturally have wide appeal in the Miami area. His price tag, however, won’t be cheap. The Red Sox reportedly made a $15.5 million offer, which is regarded as the low-bar figure.

The 6-foot-4, 180-pound Chapman has had his fastball clocked at 102 mph. No matter which team he signs with, chances are he will open in Double-A before being promoted to the big leagues.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Report: Uggla wants to remain at second

Dan Uggla is a two-time All-Star second baseman who has already placed his name in the record books.

By belting 31 homers in 2009, Uggla is the first player in MLB history to reach 30 homers in three straight years in which he played at least 100 games at second base.

With that kind of track record, Uggla sees himself as a second baseman. And he has little desire to switch positions, according to his agent, Jeff Borris.

Borris on Friday told Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown that his client wants to stay at second base.

“Danny Uggla’s been a full-time second baseman for the last four years,” Borris told Yahoo! Sports columnist. “He’s performed exceptionally well at that position. Although he has the athleticism to play other positions, he’s performed remarkably over these four years at second base and there should be no reason to consider a position change at this time.”

In his second season of arbitration, Uggla’s salary is slated to rise for the $5.35 million he made this year.

At this week’s General Managers Meetings, the Marlins had conversations with several clubs about Uggla. The Giants reportedly would like to add Uggla and switch him to third base. The Red Sox would consider Uggla in left field. The Orioles also reportedly have interest.

The Nationals, too, are a team that could enter into the mix. So may the Diamondbacks, the team that drafted Uggla in 2001. Former Marlins third base coach, Bo Porter, has now joined the Arizona staff.

Uggla has 121 career home runs, and he is building his legacy at second base. He has not played any other position in the big leagues besides second.

– Joe Frisaro

Inquires into Uggla

Due for a hefty pay raise, it was expected that the Marlins would measure interest for two-time All-Star Dan Uggla.

On Wednesday, a few possibilities emerged.

According to FoxSports.com, the Giants and Orioles have expressed interest in Uggla. The Red Sox reportedly also may be an option.

The Giants, the report said, may consider Uggla as an option to play third base. The thinking is Pablo Sandoval would swift from third to first base. Uggla has exclusively played second base in the big leagues, although he had some work at third base in the Minor Leagues in 2005.

If Uggla, who will see his salary raise from $5.35 million to around $7 million, is dealt, the Marlins may be more inclined to keep Jorge Cantu, according to the FoxSports.com.

The Red Sox would consider Uggla as an option for left field.

Look for the Nationals also to show interest in Uggla.

– Joe Frisaro

 

Penny an option?

Are the Marlins considering turning to their past to help them at the moment?

According to the Miami Herald, the Marlins are one of a handful of teams interested in veteran right-hander Brad Penny.

A member of Florida’s 2003 World Series title team, Penny has been released by the Red Sox. He will become a free agent after clearing waivers on Monday.

The Rockies, Rays, White Sox and Rangers also have been mentioned as possible suitors for Penny.

Indications are the Marlins not be the frontrunner for Penny, who played for Rockies manager Jim Tracy when they were both with the Dodgers.

Also, it is not clear if Florida feels Penny would help in the rotation. His best fit could be in the bullpen.

According to a league insider, Penny still can help a team, and returning to the National League would likely help the veteran.

– Joe Frisaro

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