Tag:Larry Beinfest
Posted on: December 16, 2011 11:16 pm

Marlins' Ramirez still mum about move to third

Hanley Ramirez

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It sounds like the Marlins are doing everything they can to help Hanley Ramirez adjust to the thought of playing third base -- or trying to drive up the price for him by making it appear they aren't looking to trade the disgruntled former shortstop who has been pushed aside for free-agent signee Jose Reyes.

"It may take a little time for him to get comfortable" with the idea of moving, Marlins president Larry Beinfest told the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson.

Beinfest said he wouldn't divulge specifics about his discussions with Ramirez, but did note that he's talked to Ramirez quite a bit. He notes Ramirez is excited to play for new manager Ozzie Guillen, who may just have to convince him to man up and accept the move. Beinfest said it much nicer, noting Ramirez's "pride."

"Even though we communicated with him and let him know what our intentions were in terms of Jose, he was the shortstop for six years, a very good one," Beinfest said. "We've asked him to move to third. Sometimes it takes a little time for things to sink in. I think he realizes we're a better team with Jose."

It's pretty hard not to come to that conclusion. Ramirez has looked more and more like a third baseman, physically, in recent years and the 28-year-old Reyes is easily superior to Ramirez defensively -- and even if the two were equal, Ramirez is more suited to third than Reyes.

An official told Jackson that the team isn't pressuring Ramirez, but would like him to publicly announce he was willing to move, but it's still two months before pitchers and catchers report, so there's no real hurry to do so -- or hurt his feelings by pressing the situation. The team can let Guillen talk to him and slowly sell him on the idea.

One person who hasn't talked to Ramirez is Reyes.

"I think he wants to be here," Reyes told Jackson. "He wants to win. I want to win, too. Hanley is one of the best players in the game. We are very good friends. I'm going to tell him I'm very excited to play with him. I think we can be one of the best left sides of the infields in history."

The Yankees had the same problem -- if you call two superstars on one team a "problem" -- when Alex Rodriguez joined the team and deferred to the incumbent, Derek Jeter at short. That worked out, in part because one player put his ego aside (if even temporarily) to make the move. If Ramirez won't do that, the Marlins could be stuck with another pouting star and appear desperate to deal him. If they keep his pouting under wraps and remain steadfast in their public stance that he'll be fine, they get a semblance of leverage in a trade. Otherwise, he's a player without a position and an attitude problem -- both things that hurt his trade value.

In the end, it looks like this will all work out, but there's two months until anyone's actually in uniform, so this is what we have to talk about.

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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: November 2, 2011 5:28 pm

Marlins' Coghlan could open 2012 in minors

CoghlanBy Evan Brunell

Chris Coghlan won the Rookie of the Year award in 2009.

Three years later, he might be plying his trade for a minor league team.

“It’s been disappointing, really, the last two years,” Marlins president Larry Beinfest told the Palm Beach Post about Coghlan's struggles the last two seasons which may leave the youngster on the outside looking in next season.

The left-handed hitter burst on the scene in 2009, playing in 128 games and hitting .321 as he romped to the Rookie of the Year award and even placed 28th on the MVP ballot for his season which also included 31 doubles and nine homers, fairly strong power numbers. The future looked bright for Coghlan, who came up through the minors as a second baseman, but played left in 2009.

The following season, Coghlan regressed to a .266/.335/.383 line in 400 plate appearances, as his season was cut short in late July by a torn meniscus. Outside of a scorching June, Coghlan was essentially a waste last season, but he still had a bright future. One problem: shoulder and knee problems plagued Coghlan in 2011, limiting him to just 65 games where he hit .230/.296/.368 in 298 PA as the club tried to masquerade him as a center fielder. It didn't work, and he finished the year out in the minors.

“He needs to re-establish himself healthy, which we anticipate he will be with the knee or knees and come in and compete," Beinfest said. "We already know he can be an offensive force, a great left-handed hitter.”

Unfortunately for Coghlan, even if he heals up, he looks destined to open the season in the minors. The Marlins will be pursuing a center fielder which would presumably block Coghlan from a spot. It's possible that he could return to second or even slide over to third as has been previously debated, but Florida seems happy with Omar Infante at the keystone position, and there hasn't been any whispers about Coghlan heading to the hot corner. So center field it is, probably in Triple-A. But if he impresses in spring training, things could change.

“I think this is an important offseason and certainly spring training for Chris to get back to where he was when he won the rookie of the year,” Beinfest added.

The Marlins are looking to compete this season and could even trade Coghlan to another team willing to take a chance on the youngster. Florida hasn't been all that eager to trade young players in the past as they are cost-controllable, but that could start changing now that the Marlins are moving into a new stadium and boosting payroll in anticipation of higher revenues.

"I think we need to become a little more open, just in general," Beinfest told MLB.com of changing ways it usually does busines. "I think we've been very protective of our zero to three [years of experience] players because we've had to be, given our payroll challenges. I think we can open up a little more now."

The Marlins, who will change from Florida to Miami on Nov. 11 when it unveils its new logo and uniforms, plan to be aggressive in free agency this season although it remains to be seen just who they can reel in. If they can't get a center fielder, that would give Coghlan a second chance at contributing.

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Posted on: June 8, 2011 11:11 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2011 12:32 am

Marlins fire hitting coach Mallee

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Several Marlins players are unhappy the way the team fired hitting coach John Mallee following Wednesday's 10-inning loss to the Braves.

According to the Palm Beach Post, general manager Mike Hill told players in the clubhouse after the game, but not all players were at their lockers, so some heard from other teammates.

The team announced the move after the game and also announced it had hired ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez to replace Mallee. Perez is the son of Hall of Famer Tony Perez, a special assistant for the Marlins.

Mallee, 42, was in his 10th season with the organization and was named hitting coach last July when Edwin Rodriguez took over as manager for Fredi Gonzalez. The team fired Jim Presley the same day it fired Gonzalez.

"I don't think it's right. I don't think it's just," outfielder Logan Morrison told the Palm Beach Post. "He had me prepared more than anybody.

"It's definitely not his fault. We let him down. Everybody has their finger on the panic button. It's hard to relax and play baseball."

Florida went into Wednesday's game hitting .255/.327/.382 with an OPS of .708, slightly above the league average. The Marlins are 10th in the National League with 239 runs scored.

The Marlins have lost seven straight, hitting .175 (11 for 63) with runners ins coring position during the streak, including 1 for 8 on Wednesday. Marlins president Larry Beinfest pointed to that stat as the biggest problem with the team and said he hoped the change would help.

Perez played for six teams, ending his playing career in Seattle in 2006. In his career, he hit .247/.326/.431.

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