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13 posts from December 2008

December 10, 2008

(Mild) Tradewinds Blowing? -- Andino

           Good morning from the Bellagio, where the latest rumor floating in winter meeting land involves Marlins infielder Robert Andino, who was said to be dangled to Pittsburgh, perhaps for catcher Ronny Paulino.

           That deal, if the speculation is true, would make a lot of sense for the Marlins. Andino is out of options and there's no place to put him on their infield-rich roster. And they've been looking for a right-handed hitting catcher to split duties with John Baker.

          Paulino, 27, was the Pirates' full-time catcher in 2006 and '07, but spent last season in the minors or was injured (high ankle sprain). Thus, he hit just .212 in 118 at bats for the Pirates. He is having a bang-up winter league season in the Dominican Republic (hitting .310 with six home runs nad 18 RBI in 58 at bats).

          Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez made no secret of his admiration for Paulino in the past, always referring to him as "The Babe" for the way he hits the Marlins.

         If the Marlins were able to obtain Paulino, they would likely non-tender Matt Treanor if they are unable to trade him by the end of the week.

        Without providing specifics, Larry Beinfest, the Marlins' president of  baseball operations, told reporters on Tuesday that he was awaiting word from two clubs the Marlins extended mid-level trade offers to. He said he expected to hear back from those teams by Wednesday. 

December 09, 2008

Hermida to Left?

LAS VEGAS – Jorge Cantu might not be on the only Marlin changing positions next season if the club decides to send him across the diamond to first base. The Marlins are strongly considering shifting Jeremy Hermida to left field and having Cody Ross play right.

            One insider said there was a better than 50 percent chance that alignment change would be made in another step to improve the club defensively.

            In his daily sit-down session with reporters at the winter meetings, Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest acknowledged that the defensive switch involving Hermida and Ross had been discussed internally.

            The belief is that Ross can cover more range and get to balls quicker than Hermida, with one result being fewer runners taking the extra base – either from first to third or second to home -- on base hits.


            Ross has played all three outfield positions, including 103 games in right field during his major league career. But Hermida has made only two prior starts in left, both coming during his rookie season in 2005.

            With the fleet-footed Cameron Maybin expected to take over in center, the Marlins are hopeful their outfield defense will improve

December 08, 2008

Mr. Marlin Does Vegas


UPDATE: The Marlins announced this afternoon that Jeff Conine had been hired to serve as assistant to president David Samson.

It appears that Jeff Conine is now on board with the Marlins in an official capacity. What that is, specifically, is uncertain. The team has made no announcement. But the former player is due to arrive today (Monday) at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas as part of the team's contingent of front-office and baseball personnel.Conine

         Conine's agent said last month that the Marlins planned to hire one of the franchise's most popular figures, but it was uncertain what role he would serve.

         Other team officials milling around the Bellagio, site of the meetings, are former manager Jack McKeon and advisors Tony Perez and Andre Dawson. McKeon's first order of business upon arriving to Sin City on Monday from his home in North Carolina: attending morning mass at a local Catholic church.