Expect a flurry of signings over the coming 24 hours as the Marlins work out one-year deals with their six remaining arbitration players: Dan Uggla, Jorge Cantu, Cody Ross, Anibal Sanchez, Leo Nunez and Renyel Pinto. If the two sides can't come to agreement, they'll exchange salary figures on Tuesday and prepare for hearings in February, when an independent arbitrator will pick one side or the other in the salary dispute.
Signing Uggla and Pinto doesn't ensure either player's future with the club, and Uggla knows this. The Marlins plan to continue dangling both players. I spoke to Uggla a couple of days ago and he says that he "doesn't have a clue" about where he'll be on Opening Day but is still planning to head to Jupiter for spring training as he always does.
"I would definitely love to come back," Uggla said. "I love South Florida. I'd love to be there Opening Day with the Marlins. But I don't know what their plans are."
Now, speaking of Opening Day and the Marlins....
Did anyone catch the news out of the Dominican Republic over the weekend that involved Jose Offerman, who reportedly punched an ump during a winter league game? Offerman, a former major leaguer who manages the Licey Tigers, went ballistic after one of his players was ejected for arguing balls and strikes.
That player: Marlins catcher Ronny Paulino.
Considering Offerman's temper, it's a wonder he didn't go off on Frank Pulli when the home plate umpire called him out on strikes in the Marlins' inaugural game in 1993. Offerman, then the Dodgers' leadoff hitter, was punched out by Pulli, so to speak, on a Charlie Hough pitch that was a good foot outside, give or take an inch.
And that's how Marlins baseball began.