Posted on: February 15, 2012 11:17 am

Guillen: Hanley not '100 percent' OK with move

By Matt Snyder

While it made the offense much stronger, the signing of star shortstop Jose Reyes caused some drama for the newly-named Miami Marlins this winter. That's because, as we all know, the Marlins already had a star shortstop: Hanley Ramirez. The signing of Reyes pushed Ramirez to third base, though there were rumors floating around the Winter Meetings that Ramirez had demanded a trade. Those turned out to be false, but evidently he still isn't exactly happy about the move.

Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen point blank, almost emphatically, said, "no," when asked if Ramirez was "100 percent on board" with the move to third base. He didn't even hesitate, also saying that Ramirez was upset with having to change positions. Guillen did say, however, he expects Ramirez to be 100 percent OK with the move by the time they play St. Louis (opening day of the regular season) and that everyone should "just let it be."

Here's the entire video of Guillen discussing the situation, shot by Miami Herald writer Clark Spencer:

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Posted on: February 14, 2012 10:04 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 10:12 pm

MLB, Showtime believe 'The Franchise' has legs

Ozzie GuillenBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Over the next couple of weeks, Major League Baseball and Showtime will be planning out the rest of their shoots over the course of the season for this season of The Franchise, which will follow the Miami Marlins' season. But by the time the regular season begins in April, Chris Tully, MLB senior vice president  for broadcasting, said they'll already be looking for the 2013 subject.

"We think this concept has legs," Tully said on Tuesday. "I think Showtime has as much passion for the project as we do. The challenge was getting it launched, but once we were able to get over that hurdle, the reception has been excellent."

After following the Giants in season one, Tully said several teams approached MLB about opening their doors for the cameras in 2012. But as many teams as expressed interest, there was one team that just stood out and made the decision easy -- the new-look Marlins.

"I think we're foturnate with the players already on hand and the new players they brought in. With Ozzie (Guillen), the new stadium, the new branding, the new uniforms. We're catching them at the most opportune time."

Miami Marlins
It seems so. There will be no shortage of storylines for this season of The Franchise -- the show, Tully said, will no doubt touch on Guillen, Hanley Ramirez's move to third base to accommodate newcomer Jose Reyes, the addition of Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle, as well as the opening of a new stadium. Tully confirmed a Miami Herald report that the filming has already begun, including the Marlins' meeting with Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes last week. The cameras will certainly be rolling when the Marlins' pitchers and catchers report for spring training this weekend.

But it's the stories that have yet to emerge that are the most exciting, Tully said. One of his favorite storylines in the Giants season was the unlikely emergence of Ryan Vogelsong, who hadn't pitched in the big leagues since 2006 and then made the All-Star team in 2011.

"One of the key things is giving access to viewers that they don't usually get," Tully said. "How do they interact with each other, with management and how they interact with their family and friends."

Last season the series started with a "sneak peak" in April and then started in July for a run of nine total episodes. This season is expected to be nine episodes, but it's unlikely they'll have a preview episode, starting the full nine half-hour episodes shortly after the All-Star break and running through September.

Most exciting, though, may be that we'll get the full, uncensored Guillen, who is known to like an expletive or two. Those were bleeped when he was featured as part of The Franchise's precursor The Club, on MLB Network.

"We didn't use bleeps last year," Tully said. "I don't think language is a focus or a concern."

It's just going to be a bonus.

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Posted on: February 13, 2012 12:38 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 12:48 pm

Showtime series to feature Guillen's Marlins

Ozzie Guillen

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Let the Ozzie show begin.

The Miami Marlins will be featured in this season of Showtime's The Franchise, MLB and the network announced on Monday. Last year the Giants were featured in the six-episode show that followed the Giants from spring training through the season.

The Marlins  are the perfect choice for the series, with not only new manager Ozzie Guillen, but also a new ballpark, new uniforms and new stars in Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell. Throw the ever-volatile Carlos Zambrano into the mix and you may have some television magic.

The 2012 version of the series has already started filming. The Miami Herald reported last week that a camera crew from Major League Baseball filmed the team's meeting with free-agent Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes last week in Miami, while Monday's release from MLB and Showtime noted the production has already begun.

The Marlins seem ideal for the task, just looking at the players on the team, and their new manager.

While Guillen will get plenty of face time to be sure, there's also several other entertaining players on the team. Outfielder Logan Morrison has made more of a name for himself with his antics on Twitter than his play on the field, while Bell is one of the game's great characters.

Then there's real-life baseball reasons to follow -- how will Hanley Ramirez take to moving to third base? How about Josh Johnson's return from shoulder inflammation that cost him the majority of 2011. And then there's just the sheer baseball thrill of watching Mike Stanton, one of the best young players in the game. Add a new park, new expectations and the fact that the pay-cable channel won't bleep Guillen and the Marlins were easily the best choice for Showtime -- and the viewers.

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Posted on: February 13, 2012 12:27 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 5:50 pm

A's agree to 4-year, $36M deal with Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes

By C. Trent Rosecrans

In a shocker, the Oakland A's have agreed to sign Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to a four-year deal worth $36 million, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports. CBSSports.com has also confirmed that Cespedes has been cleared by the U.S. Treasury's Department of Foreign Assets Control, meaning he's free to sign his deal with Oakland.

The Marlins were reportedly the most aggressive -- and obviously the most public -- of the bidders for the 26-year-old center fielder. The Cubs, White Sox, Indians, Orioles and Tigers were also interested in signing him. The A's were mentioned last week as having some interest in Cespedes, but were never seen as the front-runner. However, in the end the Marlins offered Cespedes the same amount of money as the A's, but over two more seasons. The Marlins offer, according to Heyman, was $36 million for six years, not the $40 million being reported by some. The A's deal precludes the team from offering Cespedes arbitration, meaning he will become a free agent after the 2015 season at the age of 30.

Oakland, it should be noted, made a strong bid for Aroldis Chapman two years ago when he signed with the Reds.

The A's signed center fielder Coco Crisp to a two-year, $14 million deal this offseason with an option for 2014. Some, though, have wondered if Cespedes isn't more of a corner outfielder than a center fielder, so he could move and the team could leave Crisp in center. Oakland, though, also added Josh Reddick and Seth Smith to its outfield this offseason.

Cespedes, though, is expected to need some time in the minors, but at $9 million a year, he's unlikely to spend much time in the likes of Sacramento, Midland or Stockton. He struggled in his showing in the Dominican Winter League, but he still has a combination of raw power and great speed.

Tim Brown of Yahoo.com first reported Cespedes had chosen to sign with the A's.

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Posted on: February 11, 2012 4:55 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2012 5:02 pm

Report: Marlins offer Cespedes $40 million

Yoenis Cespedes

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The starting point, it appears, for Cuban center fielder Yoenis Cespedes is $40 million.

A report on Cafe Fuerte, a Spanish-language blog based in South Florida, quotes a source as saying the Marlins offered Cespedes a six-year, $40 million contract. It also said he has no immediate plans to meet any other teams. However, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweeted that he's heard the Marlins' offer was less than the $40 million reported by Cafe Fuerte.

Cespedes visited Miami earlier this week and then returned to the Dominican Republic on Thursday. During his visit, Cespedes told reporters he'd like to play for the Marlins.

The 26-year-old outfielder has drawn the interest of not only the Marlins, but also the Cubs, White Sox, Tigers, Orioles and Indians.

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Posted on: February 11, 2012 4:20 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2012 8:08 pm

Marlins unretire No. 5 for Logan Morrison

Logan MorrisonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Did you know the Marlins retired the No. 5? Me either.

Well, it's been unretired, MLB.com reports. Originally set aside to honor Carl Barger, the team's first president and chief operating officer, the team has allowed outfielder Logan Morrison to don the number.

Barger died on Dec. 9, 1992, before the Marlins ever played a game. The Marlins retired the number because his favorite player was Joe DiMaggio.

Morrison, though, is doing it to honor a different No. 5, his dad's favorite player, George Brett. (I won't say what it means about me that Logan Morrison's dad and I have the same all-time favorite player.) Morrison was born in Kansas City and on Twitter, he said his father always told him to play the game like Brett. Morrison's father, Tom, died after Morrison's rookie year in 2010.

So, here's what Morrison, who had previously worn No. 20, had to say about the number change on his Twitter account:

Morrison also shared a picture of what his new jersey will look like.

The team will add a plaque in its new Miami ballpark to honor Barger.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweeted that the door to Morrison changing numbers may have been pushed open when the team offered to unretire No. 5 to woo a certain free agent first baseman who, like Brett, had worn the number for many years in the state of Missouri.

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Posted on: February 11, 2012 10:44 am

Spring position battles: National League East

By C. Trent Rosecrans

We finish our look at spring training's position battles with the National League East, home of some of the most intriguing teams in the game -- and the Mets.

Previous spring position battles: AL West | NL West | AL Central | NL Central | AL East

Atlanta Braves
Fifth starter: Mike Minor vs. Randall Delgado vs. Julio Teheran

There's not a team in baseball that wouldn't drool over having to make this decision. The three are expected to be the keystone to the rotation in the future, but Minor's still the oldest of the bunch having just celebrated his 24th birthday the day after Christmas and therefore expected to be the first to make an impact in the majors. Delgado turned 22 on Thursday and Teheran celebrated his 21st birthday last month. The left-handed Minor made 15 starts last season for the Braves, going 5-3 with a 4.14 ERA. Meanwhile, Delgado dazzled in his seven starts, going 1-1 with a 2.83. Teheran didn't live up to the expectations many had for him -- but he was just 20 and made only three starts. He'll be fine. More than fine.

Miami Marlins
Center field: Emilio Bonifacio vs. Chris Coghlan vs. Yoenis Cespedes?

This is up in the air until Cespedes makes his decision, although it seems more and more like he'll be a Marlin. There's no question the Marlins want him and there's no question they want him in center field. If he does sign with Miami, the team will have to see how ready the 26-year-old is for the big leagues. He may not start in Miami, but the goal would be to have him there for the long-haul. Bonifacio is coming off a career-best .296/.360/.393 season with 40 stolen bases, but he was aided by a .372 batting average on balls in play -- something that will likely drop, but should still be high because of his speed. He also increased his walk rate, which helped as well. Coghlan won the 2009 Rookie of the Year, but a knee injury in 2010 has hampered him since his first season. He hit just .230/.296/.368 with five home runs and seven stolen bases in 298 plate appearances last season and his future is up in the air.

New York Mets
Second base: Daniel Murphy vs. Justin Turner vs. Ronny Cedeno

Murphy's likely to get the nod, as long as he can field the position adequately. Murphy made the majority of his starts at first base last season, but with the return of Ike Davis, Murphy needs a home thanks to his .320/.362/.448 line. Turner hit .260/.334/.356 as the team's primary second baseman (71 starts), but is probably no more than a utility player in the long run. Cedeno was signed from the Pirates to back up Ruben Tejada at shortstop, but he could figure in the second base situation if worst comes to worst.

Philadelphia Phillies
Left field: John Mayberry Jr. vs. Domonic Brown vs. Laynce Nix

The job is probably Mayberry's to lose after hitting .273/.341/.513 with 15 home runs and 49 RBI last season. Brown, the team's former top prospect, struggled in his 56 games and 210 plate appearances with the Phillies last season, hitting .245/.333/.391 with five homers. Brown has the talent, but it has to actuate for him to earn more playing time. The left-handed Nix is a backup, but could add depth to the outfield with the absence of Ryan Howard at first base. A good fielder, Nix struggles against left-handed pitching, so he's not an everyday type player.

Washington Nationals
Center field: Rick Ankiel vs. Roger Bernadina vs. Bryce Harper

Well, Harper won't be in center field, but he's basically fighting for that spot. If he makes the team out of spring, he'll be in right and Jayson Werth will be in center. That still seems unlikely, as good as the 19-year-old is. Ankiel won a spring-training battle with Nyjer Morgan last year, leading to Morgan's trade to Milwaukee. The Nationals brought Ankiel back on a minor-league deal, but he's still probably the favorite. He hit .239/.296/.363 with nine home runs last season. Like Ankiel, Bernadina hits left-handed. Last year he put up a .243/.301/.362 line with seven home runs in 91 games and 50 starts in center field.

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 5:42 pm

Reyes' hair sells for $10,200 on eBay

By Matt Snyder

How much money would you spend for someone's hair? What if I told you the person in question was a Major League Baseball superstar and the proceeds were going to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation?

Well, someone would have answered that question with: Ten Thousand, two hundred dollars.

Because that just happened. Reyes' hair sold for $10,200 on eBay Wednesday afternoon.

Reyes had to cut his long hair because the Marlins have a policy in place that forbids long hair. It's probably a bit antiquated, but whatever, they are paying Reyes over $100 million for the next six seasons. The haircut was broadcast on MLB Network last Friday.

In all, it's good that five figures are going to a great cause. I just can't believe someone paid any amount of money for hair, much less five figures, but to each his own.

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