The Marlins extended manager Mike Redmond through the 2017 season on Sunday, adding one year to his existing contract.
“You talk about continuity and you talk about stability, and that’s something [owner Jeffrey Loria] really wants for this franchise,” Marlins president David Samson said. “The feeling that we have is the team is going in the right direction, and this is the right step for continuing that growth.”
Under Redmond, who was in the second year of a three-year deal, the Marlins went from a 100-loss team last season to one that remained on the periphery of playoff contention until early September before fading down the stretch.
“I’m just excited to continue this process of building this team and this organization in the direction we know we’re headed, which is the right one, and see us making the playoffs,” Redmond said. “That’s what I came here for, to turn this thing around, to win ballgames and get us back to the playoffs.”
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Samson said the entire coaching staff also would be returning next season.
“On this last day of the season, it’s the perfect way to start this offseason, making sure everyone realizes Jeffrey’s commitment to Red and our commitment to Red,” Samson said. “We knew we were bringing him into a situation where he was going to grow with the team and we’ve watched that happen. The team and Mike have grown in lockstep.”
Samson said Redmond and the Marlins agreed to the extension shortly before taking the field Sunday against the Nationals to close out the season.
“It’s just a really good day for the Marlins to punctuate what we feel is a great season with great clubhouse chemistry,” Samson said. “Red’s a huge part of that.”
STANTON HR KING
Even though a pitch shattered his face, causing him to miss the final 17 games, Giancarlo Stanton became the first Marlin to win a home run title.
With 37 homers, Stanton easily out-distanced the Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo, who was the runner-up with 32.
“All of us were crushed when his season ended because of not just the impact he had on our lineup, but because of the kind of year he was having,” Redmond said. “We all wanted to see where he would finish up.”
The freak injury on Sept.11 in Milwaukee probably also cost Stanton any realistic shot he had of winning the league’s MVP award. Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen are considered top contenders for the coveted honor.
“I still feel like he should win that,” Redmond said. “But I’m his manager.”
Stanton led the league with a .555 slugging percentage and was second in RBI with 105.
Redmond said his second season as a major-league manager was far more enjoyable than his first when the Marlins lost 100 games.
“Last year there wasn’t a whole lot of enjoyment,” he said. “But I knew we would be better for it this year.”
Redmond said it’s easy to wonder how much better the Marlins might have done had they received the services of Stanton and pitching ace Jose Fernandez for the entire season. Fernandez was lost for the year in May.
“I think every team, you have ‘what if’s,’” Redmond said. “What if Jose stays healthy? How many more wins is that? We lost [Stanton] a few weeks ago, and that was a huge blow to our offense.”
THIS AND THAT
▪ The Marlins are having catcher Rob Brantly and second baseman Derek Dietrich take part in the instructional league in order to get a look at them at other positions.
Brantly is seeing time at first and third base, as well as catching, and Dietrich is being used at first, second, third and left field.
“We’re just trying to create versatility on our roster,” explained Michael Hill, Marlins president of baseball operations.
▪ The Marlins added two new scouting members to their baseball operations staff.
David Keller, who was formerly with the Red Sox, was hired as assistant director of pro scouting while Dominic Viola, who was with the Reds, was named special assignment scout.