Players React to Nolasco Becoming Marlins All-Time Wins Leader

Last night, Ricky Nolasco became the Marlins all-time wins leader and his current and former teammates posted congratulatory messages for him on Twitter:

First, from Nolasco himself, thanking everyone for their wishes:

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Marlins Acquire Zambrano for Volstad

The Marlins have acquired Carlos Zambrano from the Chicago Cubs for Chris Volstad – replacing a weakness at the 5th spot in the rotation with an 11-year veteran who has a career era of 3.60. Zambrano comes with baggage, most notably his attitude, which resulted in a break down between him and the Cubs last season. Volstad, while only 25, looked like a promising young arm but he never overcame inconsistencies and tendency to give up home runs. The Marlins will pay $2.5 million of Zambrano’s $18 million salary, with the Cubs covering the rest.

Jorge Cantu Traded to Texas

The Marlins have traded Jorge Cantu to the Texas Rangers for AA right-handed pitchers Evan Reed and Omar Poveda. The trade was approved by MLB just minutes before the Marlins wrapped up a 5-0 win against the San Francisco Giants. The Marlins also sent cash to Texas to offset some or all of the $2MM remaining on Cantu‘s salary for this season.

While Poveda is on the 60-day DL following Tommy John Surgery, Reed has pitched 39 innings in AA and has 34 strikeouts with 13 walks. Not clear if he is ready to move up to the Majors where the Marlins desperately need bullpen relief.

For now, the Marlins will call up Hector Luna from AAA to backup Wes Helms and Donny Murphy. When Chris Coghlan returns from the DL, he will take over the starting 3B spot.

Stanton has Arrived

He has arrived.

Following another disappointing loss the Mets, the Marlins made wholesale changes led by the much anticipated call of Mike Stanton, who leads professional baseball in home runs and RBIs. To make room for Stanton, the Fish optioned Brett Carroll down to AAA. Also, looking for some spark off the bench, the Marlins DFA’d Mike Lamb, again, and called up the much maligned Emilio Bonifacio. Tim Wood, who allowed 3 runs to the Mets today, was sent down and Rick VandenHurk was called up.

Stanton, who the Marlins hope can wake-up their offense, finishes his AA season in Jacksonville with a .311 batting average, 1.167 OPS, 21 home runs and 52 RBIs in 52 games.

Josh Johnson Signs a 4-Year Deal

The Marlins and Josh Johnson have agreed to a 4-year $39MM deal which buys out his first two years of free agency. The deal matches JJ’s original demand of a Greinke-like deal (4 years at $38MM) which suggests the Marlins relented after the recent pressure from MLB and MLBPA.

From ESPN:

“I’m excited,” Johnson said. “It sets up me and my family for life. One of the best parts is knowing where I’m going to be the next four years. I won’t have to hear about any trade rumors or anything like that. I’m happy to be in South Florida.”

The contract buys out the final two years of salary arbitration eligibility and the first two years of free agency for Johnson, who has a 34-16 record and a 3.40 ERA in parts of five seasons with the Marlins.

With Hanley Ramirez anchoring the offense, Josh Johnson now becomes the long-term ace of the pitching staff as the Fish make another run to the playoffs and as they look towards opening the new ballpark in 2012.

Update: A few more details. JJ will earn a mere $3.75 million in 2010, $7.75 million in 2011 and $13.75 million in 2012 and 2013. Incentives include $50K for making the All-Star team, $500K for wining the Cy Young and $1MM for World Series MVP.

Wanted: Renyel Pinto on the Run From the Law

According to local reports, Marlins reliever Renyel Pinto is in a bit of trouble with the law and apparently there is a warrant out for his arrest.

On May 30, the Venezuelan pitcher was tooling his white 2007 Infiniti SUV, pimped-out with gigantic subwoofers in the trunk, through Hallandale when cops pulled him over and discovered he didn’t have a valid driver’s license. He was ordered to appear in Broward County court on June 16, but when you spend as much time flipping off the camera while lying in hammocks as Pinto does, you really can’t be be expected to alter your schedule. When he didn’t show up, his driving privileges were suspended and a warrant was issued for his arrest, with a $2,000 bond. He hasn’t been nabbed yet.

And Renyel never paid his management team:

According to a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade County on September 4, the reliever breached his contract with Coral Springs-based Pro-Management Resources Inc. when he “failed to pay” a one-and-a-half-percent cut of his $400,000 salary.

Pinto‘s name has appeared in recent trade conversations and even before this news, the Marlins shouldn’t expect to get much in return.


Chris Coghlan Named National League Rookie of the Year

Chris Coghlan has earned a well deserved recognition after being named the National League Rookie of the Year. Coghlan’s rookie year started in May and took off after the All-Star game when he lead all of baseball in hits and batting average.

While this year’s NL rookie crop was very strong, Coghlan’s record setting run in August and September combined with his overall .321 average (as well as 9 homeruns and 47 RBIs) pushed him over the edge. Coghlan’s patient and consistent approach at the plate made him a strong presence in the Marlins’ lead-off spot. He quickly began to accumulate multi-hit games and avoided long slumps. He recorded 47 his in both August and September, the most the league has seen in 30 years.

Coghlan edged out J.A. Happ of the Phillies 105-94 after receiving 17 first-place votes, 6 second-place votes, and 2 third-place votes. Amazingly, he still won even though he wasn’t named on 7 ballots (while Happ was named on all 32).

Coghlan is the third Marlin to win the ROY aware, joining Dontrelle Willis and Hanley Ramirez.

Hermida Shipped Out to Boston

The Marlins have traded Jeremy Hermida to the Boston Red Sox for left-handed pitchers Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez.

Hermida was never able to live up to high expectations batting .259 last season with 13 home runs and 47 RBIs. Now that he is in Boston, the Yankees/Red Sox obsessed national baseball media will fawn over his talent and potential. For Hermida’s sake, we hope the change of scenery will help.

Miami Herald: Marlins to Offer Josh Johnson a Deal

Barry Jackson is reporting that the Marlins are planning to offer Josh Johnson a multi-year deal:

The Marlins plan to make a multiyear offer to Josh Johnson, who’s eligible for free agency after 2011, and we hear he would be receptive to a four-year, $50 million deal. But it would be surprising if Florida offered that much over four years. In arbitration, Johnson could get $4 million-plus this winter and $10 million-plus next. If he doesn’t sign an extension, “our expectation is he will sign one of the two or three biggest free agent contracts ever for a pitcher,” agent Matt Sosnick said.

Sosnick has been suggesting for some time that JJ will command a huge deal and with the Yankees and Red Sox always looking to overpay for pitching, it’s not a stretch. But, if the Marlins can buy out his remaining two arbitration years and then lock him up for two more, that could be a big win for the organization, assuming he stays healthy and continues pitching at a high level.

Sheffield Rumors: Marlins Looking for Another Bat?

The New York Post is suggesting that the Marlins may be looking for another hitter and Gary Sheffield may be a good fit:

Sheffield, who went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs in the Mets’ eight-run, 10-hit fourth inning, has been taking care of himself and his teammates all season. He’s batting .290 with 10 homers and 43 RBIs in 245 at-bats. He certainly would be a formidable weapon for a contender in need of a right-handed bat.

According to industry sources, Florida and Texas are in search of such a commodity. As an NL team, the Marlins, for whom Sheffield played from 1993 to 1998, would get their shot at a claim before the Rangers.

While I think the Fish may be better off with another starting pitcher, the choices are slim. Despite the latest offensive surge, having another clutch hitter could be very helpful.

Anibal Back on Saturday? VandenHurk Sent Down

Rick VandenHurk was sent down to AAA clearing room for Anibal Sanchez to return to the rotation. Since his next start isn’t scheduled until Saturday in Atlanta, Gaby Sanchez was called up for the next few days to give the Fish another bat while Nick Johnson recovers from a strained right hamstring.