Tag:Marlins
Posted on: February 1, 2012 10:22 am
 

Reyes to get dreads cut on MLB Network Friday



By Matt Snyder


Bye bye, dreads.

When star shortstop Jose Reyes signed a lucrative contract to play with the Miami Marlins for the next six years, he knew he would have to leave more than his Mets career behind. Per Marlins policy, Reyes' hair is too long and he'll have to hack off the dreads. In and of itself, that's pretty boring news -- you can look at the picture above to get a decent idea of how he'll look, even though that picture was taken back in 2003.

But this is news because Reyes is making an event of cutting his hair.

“It’s official: Jose Reyes will cut off his trademark long hair Friday on the MLB Network. More details to follow,” tweeted Reyes' agent, Chris Leible Tuesday night (via Fish Tank blog).

So, if this sort of thing interests you, watch Reyes' haircut on MLB Network Friday. I can't say I'll be tuning in for that, but hey, to each his own.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: February 1, 2012 7:57 am
Edited on: February 2, 2012 8:48 am
 

Baseball's worst contracts, Part I: IF/C



By Matt Snyder


This past weekend I posted a blog about Joe Mauer feeling healthy so far this offseason and in the comments section a small discussion about bad contracts broke out. So, I figured, why not sort through all the contracts in baseball and come up with some of the worst? We're still more than two weeks from pitchers and catchers reporting, but it would be shocking to see a free agent sign for a contract that would rank among the worst in baseball -- considering the players left unsigned. So the timing works well. Let's check it out and discuss, shall we? If there's one thing baseball fans love, it's arguing.

We'll go at this in three different parts. First (now) is infielders and catchers, Thursday we'll look at the outfielders and designated hitters while Friday is pitchers.

One last note before we proceed. The way baseball's salary structure is set up, the overwhelming majority of the players can't make big bucks -- relatively speaking, of course -- until they've been in the league for about three years. Then there is arbitration, so they aren't free agents for another few years. So, most of the time, the overpaid players were underpaid -- again, relatively speaking -- when they were young studs. So you could argue it evens out. And I would in many cases. I also don't begrudge any of them for making gobs of money to play a game. They have a special talent that people pay to watch. They deserve a huge cut. So let's just try to stay on topic here, OK? Great. Let's dive in.

Catcher

Worst: Joe Mauer, Twins
Remaining contract: 7 years, $161 million

Mauer is obviously coming off a disastrous season and should improve greatly in the next few years. That being said, his health issues throughout 2011 were a bit of a wakeup call on how bad that contract will likely prove to be. He has to remain behind the plate to be worth anywhere close to $23 million per season, and what are the chances that he stays productive and healthy as a full-time catcher for the next seven years? If he moves to first base, he's a well-below average power hitter at the position and that harms the offense as a whole. While Mauer is certainly a stand-up guy and a hometown hero, it's hard to see this contract coming close to paying off for Minnesota in the end.

Honorable Mention
Victor Martinez, Tigers: This one is mitigated by the fact that the Tigers have insurance (that will reportedly pay almost half), but he's still owed $38 million over the next three seasons. In fairness to the Tigers, though, this wasn't really a bad deal when signed. They didn't know he'd get badly hurt and they'd then sign Prince Fielder to a gargantuan contract. It's just that there aren't really any other bad catcher contracts. I'm even cheating by putting Martinez here because he's predominantly a DH. I just had to list someone here.

First Base

Worst: Ryan Howard, Phillies
Remaining contract: 5 years, $125 million

The achillies injury wasn't taken significantly into account because there's no way the Phillies knew that was coming. Still, this deal was signed in April of 2010 but is just now kicking in for the start of the 2012 season. We're talking about a guy who hit .253 and only had a .488 slugging percentage last season. Jose Reyes and Shane Victorino had higher marks in slugging, which is a power stat. The 33 home runs and 116 RBI look good, but Howard is set to make $25 million per season for the next five years. He also hit just .105 with a .263 slugging percentage in the 2011 NLDS, where the Phillies lost in five games to the Cardinals due predominantly to a lack of offense. When Howard is 36 and making $25 million, it'll be an albatross of a contract.

Honorable Mention
Albert Pujols, Angels: It's actually a huge bargain for the next two seasons, when Pujols will make a combined $28 million, but by the time you get to age 42 and $30 million per year, it's pretty rough. The Angels are counting on having already made their money by then. And they very well might do so, which is why he's only in "honorable mention." We'll see.

Prince Fielder, Tigers: Similar to Pujols, the nine-year, $214 million deal doesn't look bad until several years down the road. We'll see, part two.

Mark Teixeira, Yankees: Teixiera is similar to Howard in several ways. He is actually coming off back-to-back seasons of sub-.500 slugging percentages (Howard was only below in '11) while getting most of his value from home runs and RBI, the latter of which is a team stat. The difference is Teixeira is a great defender and is owed slightly less ($115 million and change in five years). And he is completely healthy, which bodes better in his chances to right the ship these next few years.

Second Base

Worst: Dan Uggla
Remaining contract: 4 years, $52.8 million

Uggla salvaged what could have been an awful 2011 season by getting insanely hot in the second half. He ended with a career-high 36 homers, but that's about all that looks good, on the whole. He hit .233/.311/.453 with 156 strikeouts, poor defense and a career-low 22 doubles. He'll be 35 in the final year of his contract.

Honorable Mention
Chase Utley, Phillies: Past performance means he's probably earned this, but $30.575 million for the next two seasons seems awfully high for a 33-year-old coming off a .259/.344/.425 season.

Brian Roberts, Orioles: Let's just hope he finds a way to recover from all the post-concussion symptoms for the sake of his quality of life. The Orioles have far bigger problems than the $20 million Roberts will make the next two seasons.

Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Twins: OK, so $6 million for two seasons isn't much money to any team in the majors, but Nishioka was probably the worst position player in baseball last year and it's hard to see any improvement.

Shortstop

Worst: Jose Reyes, Marlins
Remaining contract: 6 years, $106 million

I don't think this was an awful signing at all, from a certain point of view. The Marlins wanted to make a splash and Reyes is the type of player that can single-handedly energize an entire lineup ... when he's in it. Yep, there's that qualifier and that's why he's here. Leg injuries -- on a player who relies on speed -- have limited Reyes to 295 games the past three seasons. Can he stay healthy for the next six? That's a tall order. Again, though, I don't think this one is egregious, and it's possible he ends up well worth the money. It's just that there aren't many bad contracts at shortstop and this represents a huge risk.

Honorable Mention
Derek Jeter, Yankees: What he means to the franchise -- in addition to how much money the Yankees can afford to spend -- says this deal isn't hurting anyone at all. But if you look at what he's likely to provide in the next two seasons, there's no way it's worth the $33 million Jeter is owed. Again, though, Jeter has earned the "pension," if you will, by this point in his legendary career.

Third Base

Worst: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
Remaining contract: 6 years, $149 million

If A-Rod hit the free agent market right now, what would he get ... half that contract? He's 36, he hasn't played in more than 138 games since 2007 and is coming off a season where he hit .276/.362/.461. I have no doubt if he stays healthy he has another two or even three great seasons left in him, but he's set to make at least $20 million during the season in which he turns 42.

Also, there are marketing bonuses in the contract for several home-run milestones from A-Rod's 660th to 763rd home runs (he currently has 629). It's probably not worth getting into in this space, because if A-Rod actually breaks the home run record, the Yankees will be rolling in the promotional dough from the event(s) and aftermath.

Honorable Mention
Brandon Inge, Tigers: When the Tigers signed Fielder and announced Miguel Cabrera was moving to third base, it made Inge a $5.5-million backup for the 2012 season.

On the other hand ...

Evan Longoria, Rays: Even if the Rays pick up all their club options on Longoria -- which they surely will, barring major injury -- the All-Star third baseman is only owed $40.5 million over the next five seasons. He's only 26 years old and already has two Gold Gloves, 113 career homers, an .874 career OPS and three postseason appearances in just four seasons. He's received MVP votes in all four of his seasons at the majors. He'll make $4.5 million in 2012 while A-Rod will make $29 million. Now that is a club-friendly contract, one that is surely the envy of general managers -- and certainly owners -- across the league.

Next

Thursday: OF/DH

Friday: Pitchers

Source for all figures was Cot's Baseball Contracts

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Posted on: January 27, 2012 9:17 pm
 

Report: Brad Penny has offer from Japanese team

Brad PennyBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Right-hander Brad Penny has an offer from the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.

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Penny, 33, was 11-11 with a 5.30 ERA in 31 starts for the Tigers last season. Penny made just one appearance in the postseason for the Tigers, starting Game 6 of the ALCS against the Rangers and was pounded for five runs on seven hits in just 1 2/3 innings, giving up homers to Michael Young and Nelson Cruz in a 15-5 loss to Texas.

In 12 seasons with the Marlins, Dodgers, Red Sox, Giants, Cardinals and Tigers, he's 119-99 with a 4.23 ERA.

The two-time All-Star has also heard from two big league teams, according to the report.

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Posted on: January 25, 2012 4:59 pm
 

Marlins sign Austin Kearns to minor-league deal

By Matt Snyder

Tuesday brought us the Prince Fielder signing and -- to an obviously much lesser extent -- Francisco Cordero signing. Wednesday? How about Austin Kearns? Yeah, that's all we've got to pass along in terms of free agents signing on this day. But it is a transaction nonetheless, as the Miami Marlins have signed Kearns to a minor-league contract, which includes an invitation to spring training, the club announced Wednesday afternoon.

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Kearns was a first-round pick of the Reds back in 1998 and was then considered one of baseball's top prospects back in 2001 and 2002. Things haven't quite gone as expected, however, as Kearns will now be joining his fifth franchise. He hit .200/.302/.287 with two homers and seven RBI in just 174 plate appearances last season for the Indians. He's still not old, at age 31, so there's hope of getting him back to a 2007-type level, when Kearns was a full-time player for the Nationals and hit .266/.355/.411 with 16 homers and 35 doubles.

If Kearns does make the team, don't expect him to be a starter. Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton are firmly entrenched as the Marlins' corner outfielders. This was a depth signing.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 5:50 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2012 5:01 pm
 

Report: Cespedes gains Dominican residency

UPDATE: Cespedes has been granted free agency, so let the bidding begin



By Matt Snyder


Now that Prince Fielder has signed, will the pre-2012 free agent talk die a quiet death? Not likely, as we can add one last big-name position player to the mix. Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes will hit the market very soon. He wasn't eligible to be a free agent until he had established residency outside of Cuba, and MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez is reporting that Cespedes has now done so in the Dominican Republic. Cespedes will be a free agent once MLB approves him.

Cespedes, 26, is an outfielder that some scouts have said could possibly have a Bo Jackson-type power-speed combination. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Cespedes hit .333/.424/.667 with 33 homers, 99 RBI, 11 steals and 89 runs in 90 games last season in Cuba.

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"He's a five-tool guy, built like an NFL running back," one scout told Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com. "He has tremendous raw power, with all the tools to be a 30-30 guy in the big leagues. His mother pitched on the Cuban national softball team, so he has athleticism in the family."

Recent reports have indicated the Cubs and Marlins are the two most likely suitors for Cespedes, though about a dozen teams have been connected to him in rumors. Considering the Fielder-to-Tigers and Pujols-to-Angels movements we've seen this offseason, all bets are off here.

Here's Cespedes hitting a home run in the Dominican Winter League:



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Posted on: January 20, 2012 9:47 pm
 

Guillen tweets: 'When I talk going to be fun'

Ozzie Guillen

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Last week White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy fired a shot at former manager Ozzie Guillen on a Chicago sports talk radio show, saying it wasn't the pitcher who "quit" on the White Sox, but the manager.

"At the end of the day, Ozzie didn't finish the season with us the last few games, so I don't know who quit on who," Peavy told Chris Rongey on White Sox Weekly on WSCR 670-AM in Chicago. "It is what it is and we're all looking forward to 2012."

That didn't sit well with Guillen, who lashed out on Twitter Friday:



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Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:49 pm
 

LeBron James crushes Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria


By Royce Young


For a second Thursday night in Miami, worlds collided. Kind of literally.

In the second quarter of the Heat's game against the Lakers, LeBron James was trying to chase down a loose ball by the sideline and lunged for it, crashing into a fan sitting courtside. But it wasn't just any old fan. It was Jeffrey Loria, the owner of the Miami Marlins.

TNT's Craig Sager asked LeBron about it at halftime to which LeBron responded he didn't know who it was he nearly crushed. And then after being told and acting like he knew, LeBron said he wanted to "get me one of those new hats they been wearing." Now that you know who he is, I'm sure you could just ask Mr. Loria after the game.

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Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:48 pm
 

Cespedes hits first homer in Dominican Republic

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Until Wednesday night there hadn't been too much to write about Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes' stint in the Dominican winter league, but the Rhiner Cruz threw him a 97 mph fastball in the sixth inning of Wednesday's game.

What happened then? Watch.



Cespedes finished 1 for 4 on the night and is now 3 for 23 (.130) with six strikeouts, while being hit by a pitch as Aguilas' designated hitter.

There are plenty of questions about Cespedes, but the guy certainly has some power -- and a heck of a bat flip.

The Cubs are thought to be the leader to sign Cespedes, with the Marlins second  and the field a distant third.

H/T: Baseball America

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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