Sanchez and Miller Round Out Rotation

Anibal Sanchez was named the Marlins’ fourth stater and Andrew Miller will pitch in the fifth spot. Miller‘s first start is scheduled for April 15th, so he will be available for long relief during the first week of the season.

Gaby Sanchez to Start… For AAA New Orleans

Gaby Sanchez was the favorite to take over at first base but after a weak spring, he is heading to AAA. This likely means Jorge Cantu will move to first base and Emilio Bonifacio will take over third.

Marlins Acquire Catcher Ronny Paulino

Apparently not satisfied with their catching depth, the Marlins have acquired Ronny Paulino from the giants for minor league right-handed pitcher Hector Correa.

Paulino, 27, was traded to the Giants from Philadelphia for left-handed pitcher Jack Taschner Friday night prior to being traded to Florida. He was previously traded to the Phillies from Pittsburgh on December 10, 2008 in exchange for catcher Jason Jaramillo. He had spent his entire career with the Pirates, posting a career average of .278 (284×1021) with 49 doubles, 19 home runs and 128 RBI in 304 Major League games.

The Santo Domingo, DR native appeared in just 40 games with Pittsburgh last season while battling a right ankle sprain. For his career Paulino has thrown out 51 of 165 (24%) of runners attempting to steal. A right-handed hitter, he owns a career .355 (92×259) average against left-handed pitchers. Paulino was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates on December 29, 1997.

I guess Mike Rabelo is still not good enough for the big leagues.

Update: The Marlins didn’t wait long. Mike Rabelo and Brett Hayes were sent down to AAA.

And Your Opening Day Starter is…

Ricky Nolasco.

I guess throwing a no-hitter in Spring Training made the decision easier for Fredi Gonzalez.

As expected, Josh Johnson will take the second spot and Chris Volstad will pitch the third game. Either Anibal Sanchez or Andrew Miller will take the fourth spot with the other going to the bullpen until April 18th, when the Marlins will need a fifth starter. Continue reading And Your Opening Day Starter is…

Stadium Vote Moved Up

Another day, another schedule change for the “final vote” on the new ballpark. This time the vote has been moved up from March 12th to March 4th for the City of Miami and March 5th for Miami-Dade County.

There’s really nothing else to add at this point because this process has become completely unpredictable. I suggest prayer as the only reliable way out of this mess.

Update: There is even talk of compromise.

Stadium Vote Postponed Until March

Well all expected today to be a good day for Miami and the Marlins but all hell broke loose and now the City of Miami has postponed the vote until March.

It all began when Commissioner Marc Sarnoff decided to renegotiate the entire deal during the hearing. He primarily focused on cost overruns for building a garage, the City getting a bigger share of the naming rights and penalties related to future sale of the team or death of the owner. An upset David Samson offered to cap the garage at the City’s contribution (meaning no overruns) and then said that reopening the other issues would require reopening the entire package. I guess Commissioner Sarnoff didn’t think that impacting the team’s estimated costs would upset the entire financial equation.

Commission Chair Sanchez said it best:

”What’s alarming is that I am appalled at how we have handled this,” Sanchez said, criticizing Sarnoff for attempting to re-write the deal on the day of the vote.

You can share your thoughts with Commissioner Sarnoff here

Marlins Willing to Sign Pudge at a Big Discount

After hearing that the Fish have no chance of signing Pudge Rodriguez, we are obviously not too surprised to find out that it’s all a ploy to convince the still-unsigned catcher to return at a huge discount. Pudge is looking for something around $5 millions while the Marlins could see an incentive-based $1 million deal.

The question is if Rodriguez’ is willing to accept a six-figure base salary and modest incentive package. The source said even though owner Jeffrey Loria is on board with a Rodriguez reunion, it would have to happen for around $1 million, including performance bonuses.

No doubt that Pudge will be an upgrade from Rabelo so let’s hope this dry market, which has left several big name players without a contract, allows an opportunistic front office to bring him back.

More Details on the Ballpark

A few more observations from reading the 5 agreements:

  • The ballpark capacity is about 37,000 and takes up 927,703 square feet.
  • Garages and parking lots will hold at least 5,713 cars with parking likely costing more than $10 per spot per game.
  • Construction formally begins on July 1, 2009 with first concrete pouring August 20, 2009. The ballpark will be completed on March 29, 2012.
  • The Marlins are locked for 35 years subject to terms of a Non-Relocation Agreement.
  • The City of Miami may develop an MLS soccer stadium on site (subject to many restrictions).
  • There are different seating sections: Batter’s Box Seats (behind home plate), Dugout Club Seats, Owner’s Box (12 seats within the Batter’s Box Seats), Home Plate Reserved (behind Batter’s Box Seats), Field Box Seats (behind dugouts), Club Level Seats, View Level Box Seats, and Standing Room Positions.
  • Suites will come in various sizes and features: Luxury Suites, Founder Suites, Super Suite, Party Suites, Owners Suite, Home GM Box,
  • Bleachers will be located in the Fiesta Deck in the outfield.
  • A 150 person Party Room will be located behind the outfield wall and will featured catered area with 2 tiers of seats.
  • The Field Box Seats and Dugout Club and both will have a pregame buffet, in-game food service and their own bar.
  • The main concourse near left field will feature a “Taste of Miami Food Court”.
  • The scoreboard will be HD (of course) and there will be several other ribbon boards througout the ballpark.
  • Interactive Kids’ Zone will be located in the outfield by Fiesta Seats
  • The swimming pool and “beach” will be located in the outfield.
  • Main retail store will be accessible from the outside on non-game days.
  • Player’s family can relax at a private lounge near the clubhouse.
  • A special room will be allocated, if and when needed, for female umpires.
  • The bullpens will have artificial turf.

Yes, There Will Be an Animatronic Marlin in the Outfield

The new ballpark will feature a large-scale animatronic marlin in a tank which will “jump” when the Fish hit a home run. It will be placed in the “Bermuda Triangle” area in center field. Above is the overview of the “Marlins Feature” from the ballpark agreements.