John Sickels posted his Miami Marlins Top 20 Prospects list and while there’s some optimism in Miami because all of the signings, but the farm system is thin right now with the top guy getting only a B+. Topping that list is outfielder Christian Yelich. This guy can rake and he’s a power/speed guy but Sickels talks about how he has a problem against left handed pitching. Number two is also an outfielder, Marcell Ozuna. He’s also a solid power/speed guy and he’s also good out in the field. It’ll be fun to see whether these two guys both make it into the Marlins outfield.
Number three is the top pitcher, Jose Fernandez and he’s the last of the straight B’s. He hasn’t pitched yet though and it’ll be interesting to see if he ends up in as a starter or as a reliever. Rounding out the top five is J.T. Realmuto (C) and Matt Dominguez (3b).
The Miami Marlins signed a top free agent Wednesday but it was not Albert Pujols! The team signed veteran LHSP Mark Buehrle to a 4 year, 58 million contract, the team’s 3rd high profile signing in three days. The southpaw, who broke in with the Chicago White Sox in 2010, was 13-9 with a 3.59 ERA over 205 1/3 innings in 2011. He is one of 6 pitchers all time to throw both perfect game AND no hitter. You cannot underestimate the role of new Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen in this signing, who was Buehrle’s manager with the White Sox from 2004 thru 2011. The signing also allows the other members of the rotation to fit in slots that are more ideal as well as realistic. RH Josh Johnson, Buehrle and RHs Ricky Nolasco, Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad should form an excellent starting staff. Many media reports had the Marlins close to signing St. Louis Cardinals superstar 1B Albert Pujols but team president David Samson confirmed at the Winter Meetings Wednesday night(12-7) that the team was out of the bidding. Several outlets had the Miami offer being for 10 years and 220 million dollars. Pujols or no Pujols, this has been a huge week for the Marlins. The team has now focused on LHSP C.J. Wilson, a free agent from the Texas Rangers. However,he is reportedly close to signing with the LA Angels.
Numerous media sources are reporting that free agent (and ex New York Met) SS Jose Reyes has signed with the division rival Florida Marlins late Sunday night. No specific documented numbers have been established but ESPN’s Buster Olney has the deal at 6 years, 106 million. Fellow ESPN expert Jayson Stark has a 6 year,102 million number with an option for a 7th year guaranteed at $4 million. Reyes,28, played 9 years for the Mets and won the National League batting title this season after hitting .337. During his tenure in Queens, he batted .292 with 370 steals and 740 runs scored. As more information becomes available, I will comment further but this looks like a done deal. This is a tremendous move for the Marlins, obviously, supplying them with an elite leadoff man and defensive stud at SS. Additional reports have current Florida SS Hanley Ramirez agreeing to move to 3B in the spring of 2012, a major position of weakness for the club. Supersub and spark plug Emilio Bonifacio and 2009 NL Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan will battle for the vacant center field position. Meanwhile, many media outlets have the Marlins preparing to meet with St. Louis Cardinals free agent 1B Albert Pujols agent Monday or Tuesday at Baseballs Winter Meetings “to make an aggressive run at Pujols over the next two days,” according to Stark. Incredible off season so far for the young and up coming Florida franchise.
Numerous media reports late Thursday night, early Friday morning(December 1st and 2nd) state the Marlins and free agent closer Heath Bell(Formerly of the San Diego Padres) reaching agreement on a 3 year deal. The contract is for 3 years/27 million and will be finalized after Bell takes a physical in Miami December 2nd. The Marlins have reportedly decided to non-tender their 2011 closer Juan Carlos Oviedo(formerly known as Leo Nunez) as he continues to deal with the ramifications of his identity scheme in his homeland , the Dominican Republic.
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