A six-pack of Marlins notes on a Saturday:
• MLB, which has high regard for Marlins bidders Jorge Mas and Derek Jeter, would welcome the idea of them combining forces.
But barring a change of heart on Jeter’s part, it’s not going to happen.
Credit Mas for reaching out to Jeter several weeks ago to offer him an opportunity to join his group.
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But we’re told that Jeter rejected that offer.
Jeter, you see, wants to control everything - both the business and baseball side of the operations, as Jeb Bush associates have said.
Problem is, Jeter - for all his cache - isn’t bringing enough to the table financially (reportedly $25 million) to necessarily justify running the entire show.
Bush’s people had no issue with Jeter wanting to run baseball operations, but they couldn’t understand why Jeter wanted to oversee the business side. (Bush was contributing only about $10 million before parting with Jeter and joining the Wayne Rothbaum/Tagg Romney group.)
Mas and Jeter continue to pursue the team, but there’s no indication of an imminent resolution.
Mas has been going about this sensibly, carefully studying the Marlins books and asking for an exclusive negotiating period which wasn’t granted.
FYI: Fox’s Ken Rosenthal reported that union executive Jose Cruz Jr. could end up with a role with the Marlins if Mas buys the team.
A Mas associate knew of no specific role to be determined at this time - it would be premature - but acknowledged that he’s certainly liked by Mas and associates.
Drafted by the Mariners with the third pick in the first round of the 1995 amateur draft, Cruz was a Gold Glove outfielder in 2003 and hit .247 with 204 home runs in 12 seasons. He’s the son of the former MLB outfielder Jose Cruz.
• AJ Ramos’ particularly deflating squandered save opportunity against the Dodgers on Friday night - the Marlins could have been just four games under .500 with a win - was his second blown save in 19 chances this season.
For his career, he’s now 89 for 108 in save chances.
The concern is his ERA, 2.82 for his career, has swelled to 4.19 this season and he has allowed 45 base-runners in 34 1/3 innings. Ramos, who is available in trade talks, has 43 strikeouts in those 34 1/3 innings but has relinquished four home runs.
• With Martin Prado available in trades, the good news is Miami has two quality third base prospects: Brian Anderson (.255, 14 homers, 55 RBI at Double A Jacksonville) and James Nelson (.320, five, 43 at Single A Greensboro).
“Nelson stands out - good hitter, good instincts, runs well, good baserunner,” Marlins advisor Jack McKeon told me. “He has the makeup to move up quickly.”
(McKeon, in his Marlins role, sees the Greensboro team a good bit.)
Anderson is obviously closer to the majors, and while his power numbers have been good, you would like to see a higher batting average.
• Though the Marlins aren’t actively shopping Dee Gordon, they would consider moving him for the right price. The Angels, Royals and Blue Jays have discussed him, according to Fanragsports.com.
Gordon, earning $7.5 million, has three years and $37.9 million remaining on his deal, with a $14 million team option for 2021.
• Ichiro Suzuki, 43, and hitting .220, won’t retire after the season, his translator said. But it’s difficult to envision the Marlins bringing him back.
Meanwhile, reliever Brad Ziegler, who told me he considered retiring before signing with Miami, said he will definitely not retire this offseason amid his worst season ever (1-3, 6.52 ERA).
Ziegler, 37, is earning $7 million this season, $9 million next.
• Though it’s widely assumed J.T. Riddle (hitting .255) will remain the starting shortstop, manager Don Mattingly said he will “stay open-minded” about allowing Miguel Rojas (back soon from injury) to compete with Riddle for the starting shortstop job.
Mattingly believes in competition at positions not held by established, highly-productive veterans, as most coaches/managers do.
But he said he also “likes the role Miggy had” as a super utility player before his injury.