John Cangelosi, John Wehner, Donn Pall, and Randy Knorr have all filed for free agency.
In what appears to be the first step in John Henry’s purchase of the Florida Marlins, Don Smiley withdrew his bid to buy the team. Smiley‘s 14-month attempt to purchase the team was unable to gather enough money. This clears way for John Henry to complete his deal. In more exciting news, GM Dave Dombrowski who built a deep minor league system and a world champion re-signed for 5 more years. Despite lucrative offers, specifically from the Dodgers, Dombrowski opted to stay in South Florida. Henry has already indicated that he wants to invest more money in the payroll and name Dombrowski the president of the ball club.
News out of Wayne Huizenga and John Henry‘s representatives indicate that Henry is on the verge of purchasing the Florida Marlins. Henry has already promised to build a new stadium from his own funds. He also suggested that any public fund would be welcome and allow him to direct more of his money to the payroll. Henry also would keep Dave Dombrowski as President and General Manager. Finally, and most importantly, Henry would increase the payroll back to a competitive level, probably convincing Jim Leyland to stay. At this point, Henry still has not sold his 1% of the NY Yankees and Huizenga has not submitted his name for approval by Major League Baseball.
The Marlins have placed Craig Counsell on the DL and called up Luis Castillo to take his spot on the Roster. Counsell was hit by a pitch and broke his jaw. Castillo was the starting second baseman last season, but lost his job due to inconsistency and the need to continue development in the minors. Castillo‘s main asset is his speed.
7/31/98 — In a last minute trade, the Marlins filled the open gap in third base by acquiring Kevin Orrie from the Chicago Cubs for reliever Felix Heredia. The Marlins also receive minor league pitchers Todd Noel and Justin Speier, while the Cubs receive minor league pitcher Steve Hoff. Orie was the Cubs’ starting third baseman last year, but has struggled so far this year. Speier joins the Marlins bullpen, taking Heredia’s spot.
Florida Marlins trade third baseman Todd Zeile to the Texas Rangers for to Class A ballplayers. The first prospect is Jose Santo, a 20-year-old third baseman, who hit .299 with 21 HR and 90 RBI at Class A Savannah, ranking third in the league in homers. The other is Dan DeYoung was 13-4, 4.02 at Class A Charlotte, leading the Florida State League in wins.
Brian Meadows joined fellow Marlins starters Rafael Medina, Joe Fontenot, and Eric Ludwick on the disabled list. Meadows strained his groin muscle during a horrible outing Monday in Houston. Meadows allowed 5 runs in the first inning and never seemed to settle in. Livan Hernandez is the only Marlins who was on the opening week rotation to still pitch. Jesus Sanchez, who joined the rotation two weeks into the season, along with Livan are the only starters who are not demoted or injured.
Following successful starts in Philadelphia, Jim Leyland has moved Kirt Ojala and recently promoted Andy Larkin, back into the starting rotation. Ryan Dempster moved into the bullpen and Eric Ludwick returned to the DL. The other pitchers in the rotation will move up one day. In Houston, Brian Meadows will pitch on Monday, Ojala on Tuesday, Larkin on Wednesday, and Livan Hernandez on Thursday.
Marlins end a 3-game losing streak by outpitching the Cubs in a 2-1 victory. Brian Meadows won his NL Rookie leading 9 game. The bullpen struck out all 6 men it faced. Todd Dunwoody scored the first Marlin run only to see a Henry Rodriguez home run tie the game. But a Todd Zeile solo home run over the scoreboard in left gave the Marlins the lead they needed. 32,000 watched and cheered as Matt Mantei struck out 4 to earn the save.
After a 2-hour rain delay, the Marlins and starter Eric Ludwick jumped to a 7-1 lead over the Expos only to allow the Expos to tie the game in the top of the ninth. But Edgar Renteria took a risk by trying to reach third on an infield ground ball. Brad Fulmer’s throw ended up in the dugout, allowing Renteria to score the game winning run. Marlins 8 – Expos 7.