ORLANDO -- Make no mistake. When the Marlins jettisoned Heath Bell after one of the most nightmarishly awful seasons in franchise history, they were ecstatic that Arizona agreed to pick up more than half of the $18 million still owed the reliever.
But the D-Backs didn't swallow all of it, and the Marlins are still paying some of the freight on Bell -- $6 million next season, to be precise. That's a big chunk of change for a team with one of the lowest payrolls in the majors. To illustrate, consider that it will represent anywhere from 12 to 15 percent of the team's projected 2014 payroll of $40 million to $50 million.
Assuming the Marlins don't spend big on a free agent signing, or take on a large contract in a trade, only Giancarlo Stanton will likely end up costing the Marlins more than Bell. Stanton could make upwards of $7 million in his first year of salary arbitration. That's right. Bell could end up being the second costliest player in the Marlins' payroll ledger.
The good news for the Marlins is that after the '14 season, Bell will be off the books.
Gaunt might be too strong an adjective. But Jose Fernandez was looking decidedly thinner Monday when he was on hand to receive Rookie of the Year honors. One reason: he forgot to bring a sportcoat to Orlando and ended up borrowing owner Jeffrey Loria's jacket, which was a loose fit on the pitcher.
Another: Fernandez hasn't been resting on his rookie laurels.
"I've lost a lot (of weight)," Fernandez said. "I've been biking, been doing 50 to 60 miles a day on my bike. I've been doing it every morning, waking up at 6, which is weird because I like to sleep. But I'm a little in love with my bike."
Fernandez said that, by winning Rookie of the Year, he intended to treat himself to a new bike.
"I'm going to get me a present," he said. "I'm going to get me a better bike."
Fernandez wasn't surprised when he found out he was one of three finalists for the Rookie of the Year award. But he said he was shocked when he was named as one of three finalists for the Cy Young Award as the National League's top pitcher.
"I found out on my Instagram," he said. "When I saw they came out with the N.L. Rookie top three, I was like I was kind of expecting that. And then they go to the National League Cy Young candidates, and my picture, and I'm like 'No way. There's no way.' That caught me by a big, big surprise."
Fernandez said he thinks the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw will win N.L. Cy Young, which will be announced on Wednesday. The Cardinals' Adam Wainwright is the other finalist.