Tag:Marlins
Posted on: December 3, 2011 9:29 am
Edited on: December 3, 2011 1:04 pm
 

Report: SEC investigating Marlins' stadium deal

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Marlins have been the most aggressive team in wooing free agency and they've been able to do that not only because the team is readying to open a new ballpark, but also because the new stadium was built with a sweetheart of a deal from the city of Miami that has cost the team relatively little. That deal, though, is now being investigated by the SEC -- not the one with Georgia and LSU, but the big one, the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.

The Miami Herald reports the SEC has opened what it called a "wide-ranging investigation" into the Marlins' ballpark deal with the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County. The city and county have until Jan. 6 to "deliver everything from minutes of meetings between government leaders and Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, to records of Marlins finances dating back to 2007." The SEC also wants documents about stadium parking garages built by the city government.

The city and county are paying for nearly 80 percent of the $634 million stadium. The subpoenas focus, the report says, on the Marlins trying to determine the team's ability to pay for the financing of the stadium. Last year, the Marlins' financial records were leaked and they showed that the team had received the most money in Major League Baseball from its revenue-sharing system, while not investing it back into the team. The team said it was financial strapped and needed help from the city and county to build the stadium, which it ultimately received.

The subpoenas, the report says, say:

"We are trying to determine whether there have been any violations of federal securities laws. The investigation and the subpoena do not mean that we have concluded that Miami-Dade County or anyone else has broken the law."

The city is already under a two-year investigation by the SEC for bond dealings. The newspaper says that case has already cost the city $1.4 million.

The deal with the city for the stadium has been controversial from the start, leading to a court fight in 2009 to stop construction of the stadium and the recall of Miami mayor Carlos Alvarez, a proponent of the stadium.

The stadium is scheduled to be ready for opening day 2012, with the Marlins and Cardinals playing the first game of the season at the new stadium.

Marlins vice president PJ Loyello told the Palm Beach Post's Joe Capozzi that the probe would have "no affect whatsoever on our roster plans," when asked if the investigation could slow the team's pursuit of the top free agents on the market.

The Marlins released this statement on Saturday (via MLB.com):

Yes, we are aware of the investigation that the SEC is conducting on the issuance of the county's and city's stadium and parking bonds. Of course we will fully cooperate with the SEC's investigation as needed and assist in whatever way possible. Because this is an on-going matter, it is not appropriate to comment further.
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Posted on: December 2, 2011 9:40 pm
 

Friday's rumors: Ortiz, Astros GM and more

By C. Trent Rosecrans

We're getting closer to the winter meetings in Dallas, so talks and rumors will just intensify over the weekend. Expect some deals to get done by this time next week, and by that I mean something bigger than Chris Capuano signing with the Dodgers.

New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine will be in the Dominican Republic this weekend to meet with David Ortiz, who said he hasn't decided whether he'd accept arbitration from the Red Sox. Ortiz said there have been several teams reach out to him, but wouldn't name those teams. (Boston Herald)

While a lot of the attention around the Astros general manager job has been about who isn't interviewing, but Colorado's Bill Geivett and St. Louis' Jeff Luhnow have interviewed with the Astros. (MLB.com)

Dave Magadan will return as the Red Sox hitting coach under Valentine.

Meanwhile, Chris Bosio will be the Cubs' pitching coach under manager Dale Sveum. (Appleton Post-Crescent)

The Marlins have a team policy that they won't include no-trade clauses in their contracts and it was reported that the policy could hurt the team in its pursuit of some of the biggest free agents. However, president Larry Beinfest said the policy has never hurt them before. (Palm Beach Post)

Japanese shortstop Munenori Kawasaki said in a press conference that he was becoming a free agent and was interested in playing in the United States, but only for the Mariners. Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik said he was aware of Kawasaki's statement and would consider signing the former Softbank Hawk. Kawasaki said he'd be willing to accept a minor-league deal. (Seattle Times)

Veteran utility man Mark DeRosa is gaining interest from the Nationals, Rangers, Indians and Pirates. (FoxSports.com)

The agent for Mariano Rivera said the Yankee closer's surgery to remove polyps from his vocal cords "went well, as planned." (New York Daily News)

The Royals announced TV analyst Frank White wouldn't return in 2011. While that's not a big deal on the national scale, White is one of the franchise's best players. A Kansas City native, White is one of just two players to have their number retired by the team. White had served as an analyst the last three years and had resigned as a full-time employee of the Royals in January to concentrate on his TV duties. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! tweeted that White was fired because the team thought he was too critical, which is a shame. White is one of the all-time great Royals and deserved better.

The Reds will play a game against their minor league all-stars on the Tuesday before opening day. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

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Posted on: December 2, 2011 11:36 am
Edited on: December 2, 2011 2:16 pm
 

Padres hire former Mets GM Omar Minaya

Omar MinayaBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Padres have hired former Mets general manager Omar Minaya, Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweets. CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler reports Minaya will serve under general manager Josh Byrnes in a position similar to the one Byrnes held last year, scouting Major League teams for the Padres, while also looking at the team's minor league system and scouting players for the amateur draft. According to the Associated Press, his official title will be a vice president of the team.

Minaya was fired by the Mets after the 2010. He served as the Mets GM from 2005 to 2010 and was the GM of the Expos before going to New York.

It's an odd bit of timing for the Padres, as former closer Heath Bell has left the team to sign with the Marlins, while the man responsible for sending him to San Diego is headed there. In 2006, Minaya traded Bell and Royce Ring to the Padres for Ben Johnson and Jon Adkins, in a move that worked out much better for the Padres.

Minaya interviewed for the Angels' GM job this year.

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Posted on: December 1, 2011 11:09 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 12:55 pm
 

Marlins sign Heath Bell

Heath Bell

By Matt Snyder


So you thought all that talk of the Marlins wining and dining players was just for show, huh? Well, the first domino has fallen. The newly-named Miami Marlins have signed All-Star closer Heath Bell to a three-year, $27 million contract, sources have confirmed to CBSSports.com. The deal is pending a physical, which will happen Friday. There is a vesting option for a fourth year.

For good measure, Ozzie Guillen Jr., son of the Marlins new skipper, tweeted that he's celebrating the signing with his father. And now he's slightly backing off ... meaning Ozzie Sr. probably told him he shouldn't have tweeted it out. Fun times.

Bell, 34, has been an All-Star the past three seasons as the Padres closer. He had 43 saves in 48 chances with a 2.44 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 51 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings last season. He has 132 saves over the past three seasons, which is the most in baseball over that time span. The Marlins had an obvious hole at the back-end of their bullpen after Juan Oviedo revealed he'd been using a fake name (Leo Nunez) for years and was placed on the restricted list. There wasn't another ready-made closer left on the roster. And let's be frank, "Nunez" was a pretty lackluster closer anyway.

New-look Marlins
Bell had stated many times he'd prefer to stay in San Diego, but the club seemed pretty lukewarm on signing him to a multi-year deal. And a few weeks ago, Bell said he has a home in Florida. So this was a good fit. It simply didn't seem like the Padres wanted Bell around anymore while the Marlins needed to start making a splash in free agency before their fans started to believe all these tours and reported offers were simply window dressing.

Maybe Jose Reyes is next? Hard to tell just yet, but the Marlins have accomplished at least one offseason goal: They now have a bona fide closer.

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Posted on: December 1, 2011 8:12 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 9:01 pm
 

Thursday rumors: White Sox, Prado, Kuroda, more

By Matt Snyder

The Hot Stove
Just a few days to what should prove to be a very busy Winter Meetings, so let's hit a bunch of the smaller rumors from Thursday, the first day of December.

• The White Sox are in a situation where they're most certain to be sellers on the trade market in an attempt to rebuild their barren farm system. CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports that other teams are so sure the White Sox are selling that they're inquiring about shortstop Alexei Ramirez and young pitcher Chris Sale. But, Knobler adds, the price for either would be "sky high." Talks on a contract extension with starting pitcher John Danks are in a "stalemate" and it's possible he's traded (ESPN Chicago). Remember, earlier this week we passed along the report that the White Sox were trying to deal reliever Matt Thornton and we've heard rumors involving starting pitcher Gavin Floyd and right fielder Carlos Quentin for weeks. Long-time left-handed starting pitcher Mark Buehrle is a free agent and expected to be gone. Jon Heyman reports there are 14 teams after Buehrle, so he may be the most popular player on the free agent market.

• The Rockies are still interested in Martin Prado, Knobler reports, and the Braves like outfielder Seth Smith as a piece coming back -- but the Braves also want Rockies third base prospect Nolan Arenado and, as Knobler said, that's not happening.

• It's looking less likely the Dodgers can retain starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, reports Knobler. Kuroda made $12.5 million last season and the Dodgers won't come close to paying him that much to stick around. The interesting factor here is Kuroda has said he won't pitch for any other team in America. So if he doesn't want to sign for what the Dodgers offer, he may well be headed back to Japan.

Angels infielder Maicer Izturis was discussed in trade talk between the Angels and Rockies before the Chris Iannetta trade was completed -- CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reports -- so Izturis is available. The Tigers have been connected with Izturis in rumors this week.

• The Brewers, Cardinals and Giants are all looking at free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez (Jon Heyman).

• The Rangers are hopeful of getting a long-term contract extension done with catcher Mike Napoli (Jon Paul Morosi). If he doesn't sign an extension, Napoli would be a free agent after the 2012 season.

• The Diamondbacks have made a contract offer to first baseman Lyle Overbay (Fox Sports Arizona).

Earlier Thursday we noted that the Marlins were wooing closer Heath Bell, and you can now add the Blue Jays to the mix. They are after his services, reports Ken Rosenthal.

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Posted on: December 1, 2011 5:16 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 5:19 pm
 

Logan Morrison to undergo knee surgery

By Matt Snyder

Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison will have minor arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Monday, Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post has reported. The knee had been bothering Morrison since May, as he twice ran into walls this past season. Once he even needed five stitches to close a laceration. The surgery only carries a six week recovery period, so expect Morrison to be ready for spring training. He had hoped to avoid surgery, but the other treatments weren't working.

“Well, this is four weeks and if I can still feel it doing stuff like this, how will it feel when I’m doing everything in spring training?’’ he said (Fish Tank blog).

Morrison, 24, hit .247/.330/.468 with 23 home runs, 25 doubles and 72 RBI in 525 plate appearances last season. He went through a controversial demotion to Triple-A in August, but it didn't last long.

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Posted on: December 1, 2011 2:05 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 2:24 pm
 

Sources: Marlins 'optimistic' on landing Reyes

By Matt Snyder

This just in: The Miami Marlins are actively pursuing nearly every big-name free agent this offseason. Heath Bell is the latest name, but All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes has been connected with the Marlins for quite a while in rumors. And sources have told CBSSports.com's Scott Miller that the Marlins are optimistic they will land Reyes and are simply waiting on his decision. "Hopes are high," according to sources with knowledge of the team's thinking. And it's not just the Marlins themselves thinking this way.

"Everyone seems to think Reyes is the right fit for the Marlins," a baseball source told Miller.

New-look Marlins
Not only is the fit right, but the level of interest and ability to sign Reyes seem to have dwindled the number of potential landing spots. Jon Heyman reports that the Braves, Giants and Phillies are out while the Tigers and Brewers seem "iffy." Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com says the Tigers are out barring any late intervention by owner Mike Ilitch. Also, Knobler says the Brewers are out unless there's a huge change in plans.

So that basically leaves the Marlins and Mets, right? There aren't really many other teams left looking for a shortstop.

Reyes, 28, is a four-time All-Star. He won the NL batting title in 2011 (.337) while leading the majors with 16 triples and adding a .384 on-base percentage, 39 steals and 101 runs. He averaged 158 games played per season in 2005-08, but has since not played more than 133 in a season due mostly to leg injuries.

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Posted on: December 1, 2011 1:26 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 3:13 pm
 

Heath Bell latest on Marlins' radar



By Matt Snyder


The Miami Marlins have rolled out the red carpet and given visits of their new digs to the likes of Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and C.J. Wilson. We can now add All-Star closer Heath Bell to the list. Scott Miller of CBSSports.com reports that the Marlins have interest in Bell. Jon Heyman reports that Bell has visited Miami and the Marlins seem "very aggressive." Jayson Stark of ESPN.com and Joe Frisaro of MLB.com also reported the club's interest in Bell.

In terms of going after all these free agents, Heyman also added "this is no publicity stunt."

Now, obviously the Marlins can't afford to land all these guys. But getting, say, Reyes, Buehrle and Bell could probably be done with the Marlins expecting to ramp up payroll reportedly close to $100 million as they move into a new stadium with new uniforms and Ozzie Guillen now the manager.

New-look Marlins
Bell, 34, has been an All-Star the past three seasons as the Padres closer. He had 43 saves in 48 chances with a 2.44 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 51 strikeouts in 62 2/3 innings last season. He has 132 saves over the past three seasons. The Marlins have an obvious hole at the back-end of their bullpen after Juan Oviedo revealed he'd been using a fake name (Leo Nunez) for years and was placed on the restricted list. There isn't a ready-made closer left on the roster.

Bell has stated many times he'd prefer to stay in San Diego, but the club seems pretty lukewarm on signing him to a multi-year deal. And a few weeks ago, Bell said he has a home in Florida.

So this does appear to be a good fit. Of course, as Miller reported, the Marlins are also exploring other avenues -- including via trade -- to fill the spot. Bell's an option, just not the only option.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com