Josh Booty, John Roskos, Rob Stanifer, Kevin Millar, Eric Ludwick, and Bruce Aven all passed the ten day assignment period and have been sent to AAA. The Marlins release Brian Daubach.
Gregg Zaun was finally traded to the Texas Rangers in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations depending if Zuan makes the Rangers’ roster. Zaun struggled last season, hitting only .188. With Mike Redmond emerging as a solid backup, the Marlins decided to improve the starting position by acquiring Jorge Fabergas on 11/20/98. Zaun was designated for assignment, allowing the team 10 days to seek a trade. Gregg backed up Charles Johnson in the World Championship season. With his departure only 10 players from the 1997 season are still with the team: Antonio Alfonseca, Alex Fernandez, Livan Hernandez, Kirt Ojala, Luis Castillo, Craig Counsell, Edgar Renteria, Todd Dunwoody, Cliff Floyd, Mark Kotsay.
Blessed with great talent in the middle of the infield (Craig Counsell, Amaury Garcia, Alex Gonzalez, and Edgar Renteria), the Marlins are looking to trade Luis Castillo. Seattle and Toronto have expressed some interest. This depth also means that the arbitration-eligible Renteria could be traded. If Renteria departs, it will not be related to his salary, but rather a very impressive package. The Marlins wanted Tornonto to give up Chris Carpenter or Roy Halladay, two very talented Major League pitchers. Expect one of the five infielders to be traded before the season begins.
Former University of Miami catcher Jorge Fabergas is the newest member of the Florida Marlins. The Marlins received Fabergas and $500,000 from the Mets in exchange for pitcher Oscar Henriquez. Henriquez was acquired in the Alou trade. Fabergas is joining his fifth team in two seasons. The 28 year old hit below .200 with 2 home runs and 35 RBI while missing most of the season with an ankle surgery. Fabergas will make $1.85 million next season, and is a career .255 hitter with 12 homers and 135 RBI in 397 games.
The Marlins filled their fourty man roster with minor leaguers, mostly to protect them from the Rule V draft. The newest members are: Hector Almonte (P), Brent Billingsley (P), A.J. Burnett (P), Jaime Jones (OF), Nelson Lara (P), Bobby Rodgers (P), Nate Rolison (IF), Michael Tejera (P). As a result, the Marlins designated for assignment the contracts of catcher Gregg Zaun, outfielder Bruce Aven, infielders Josh Booty, Kevin Millar, and John Roskos, and pitchers Eric Ludwick and Rob Stanifer. The Marlins must trade the player, assign him to the minors, or release him. Booty is likely to end up back in AAA.
The Marlins brought back Russ Morman from Tampa Bay. The first baseman was part of the Marlins organization for 4 seasons.
The Marlins signed free agent DaRond Stovall to a minor league contract. The 25-year old switch hitting outfielder was invited to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. Stovall started last season on the Expos major league roster before being sent down to AAA.
The Marlins did not raise ticket prices for the coming season. See prices in stadium section.
The papers are officially signed. John Henry wrote a $158 million dollar check and the Florida Marlins are no longer part of Huizenga Holdings. Huizenga and Henry met in Wayne’s office, hugged and laughed, and then completed the sale. Now Henry just needs the League’s approval, a mere formality considering their familiarty with Henry.
Prospective owner John Henry and Marlins owner Wayne Huizenga have once again claimed they have no deal only to return to the negotiation table. Clearly two serious businessmen playing the negotiation game.
Dave Littlefield, Montreal Expos Director of Player Development, has been named the Marlins Assistant General Manager. Former pitcher Dave Stewart decided not to take the job, leaving Littlefield as the only other candidate.