Straily addition opens rotation competition

Acquisition of veteran righty creates depth for Marlins

Straily addition opens rotation competition

MIAMI -- Rotation spots will be up for grabs when the Marlins open Spring Training on Feb. 14 at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.

For much of the offseason, it appeared Miami's big issue would be how the starting five would line up. But the acquisition of Dan Straily from the Reds on Thursday swings the competition wide open, with at least seven or eight candidates vying for rotation spots.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prado among additions to Venezuela's WBC '17 team

World Baseball Classic squad expected to also include Escobar, Prado, Leon

Prado among additions to Venezuela's WBC '17 team

Team Venezuela is adding firepower to its already star-studded World Baseball Classic roster, with Ender Inciarte, Alcides Escobar, Martin Prado, Victor Martinez and Sandy Leon all expected to represent the country in the upcoming Classic, according to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi.

Venezuela opens play March 10 in Jalisco, Mexico, as part of Pool D. The country won a bronze medal in the 2009 Classic, but suffered a first-round exit in 2013.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins announce Minor League field staffs for 2017

Marlins announce Minor League field staffs for 2017

MIAMI -- The Marlins will have some continuity as well as some newcomers on their Minor League staffs. The organization on Friday announced its field staffs for the upcoming season, with Arnie Beyeler returning as the manager of Triple-A New Orleans.

Randy Ready will manage at Double-A Jacksonville, and Kevin Randel takes over as manager at Class A Advanced Jupiter. Todd Pratt and Mike Jacobs, a former Marlins first baseman, will each be managing for the first time. Pratt is at Class A Greensboro, and Jacobs is at Class A Short-Season Batavia.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Here's what it looks like when you learn you're headed to the Hall of Fame

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Here's what it looks like when you learn you're headed to the Hall of Fame

Few of us will ever know what it's like to play baseball professionally. Even fewer will know what it's like to reach the apex of that profession and make into a Major League game. And even fewer still -- 317, to be exact -- will know what it feels like to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

But we plebeians can get a little glimpse of what it feels like to learn you're going to be a Hall of Famer. All three members of the Class of 2017 were caught on camera at the exact moment they got the phone call informing them that they're headed to Cooperstown in July, and you can watch the emotions flow forth below.

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World Series hero Pudge elected into HOF

Rodriguez caught one season with Marlins in 2003

World Series hero Pudge elected into HOF

MIAMI -- Ivan Rodriguez may have spent one season with the Marlins, but the 14-time All-Star catcher certainly made an enduring impact on the organization. A rock behind the plate, Rodriguez was a driving force on the 2003 World Series championship team.

On Wednesday, Rodriguez received the game's highest individual honor, as he was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The native of Puerto Rico also has the distinction of being a first-ballot selection.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins reel in Straily for prospect haul

Miami sends trio of top-ranked youngsters to Reds for righty starter

Marlins reel in Straily for prospect haul

MIAMI -- Before the non-waiver Trade Deadline on Aug. 1, the Marlins explored trade options for Dan Straily. The club was in the market for controllable starting pitching

On Thursday, Miami was finally able to seal the deal, but it came at a high price. The Marlins parted with three of their top 16 prospects -- right-handers Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfielder Isaiah White -- to acquire Straily, who becomes a front-runner to win a rotation spot.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Watch Ivan Rodriguez react to being elected to HOF

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Watch Ivan Rodriguez react to being elected to HOF

A Hall of Fame career takes a lifetime of devotion to the sport of baseball. From the earliest days of playing catch to grueling workouts with no end in sight, it is only the players with the greatest combination of talent, luck and willpower that even reach the Majors -- much less become the greatest of all time. After managing to check all of those boxes off and putting together a career among the very best, how could one possibly react when told that they've gained admission to the Hall of Fame as one of baseball's immortals? 

Thanks to Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, whose golden glove and rocket arm terrified basestealers and whose bat threatened opposing pitchers, we know.

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Volquez's brother killed in Dominican Republic

MIAMI -- Marlins right-hander Edinson Volquez is dealing with another family tragedy.

Brandy Volquez, the Miami pitcher's younger brother, was stabbed to death at a barbershop in Santo Domingo, according to multiple news reports out of the Dominican Republic.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pudge's batch of batterymates a who's who

From Ryan to Rivera to Strasburg, Cooperstown's newest catcher guided talented hurlers

Pudge's batch of batterymates a who's who

Ivan Rodriguez got the call to Cooperstown on Wednesday, when the Baseball Writers' Association of America officially made him only the second catcher in history to earn induction to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

"Pudge" received 76 percent of the vote in large part because of his prowess behind the plate, where he caught nearly 2,500 games, led his league in caught-stealing percentage nine times and won 13 Gold Glove Awards. Between the ages of 19 and 39, Rodriguez donned the mask for six organizations, and from the very beginning until the very end, he teamed up with many talented pitchers.

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Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Photo: Marlins Park becoming Formula One track

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Photo: Marlins Park becoming Formula One track

For six months or so, Major League ballparks serve as the home for all the dingers, dramatics and fan shenanigans of the baseball season. And then, all of a sudden, the lights go dark. What about the rest of the year? Unlike us, stadiums can't just continually refresh Twitter for Hot Stove rumors, so how should they spend the offseason?

As it turns out, Marlins Park came up with a pretty cool answer: Turn into a Formula One track.

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Around the Horn: 'Layers of quality' in Marlins' bullpen

Additions of Ziegler, Tazawa boost Miami's strong relief corps

Around the Horn: 'Layers of quality' in Marlins' bullpen

Spring Training for the Marlins gets underway with pitchers and catchers workouts beginning on Feb. 14 at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. As the countdown continues, MLB.com is taking a position-by-position look at how Miami's 2017 squad is shaping up. This is the second in a multipart Around the Horn series that will run periodically until camp starts. Today's focus: the bullpen.

MIAMI -- After coming up short in the free-agent sweepstakes for closers Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen, the Marlins redirected and signed a couple of veterans to help solidify an already deep bullpen.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Garrett No. 3 on Pipeline's Top 10 LHP Prospects list

Hader leaps from No. 6 to top of list, Groome slides into No. 2 spot

Garrett No. 3 on Pipeline's Top 10 LHP Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2017 Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday, Jan. 28, with a one-hour show on MLB Network at 8 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

Exactly half of last year's Top 10 left-handed pitching prospects list graduated off of prospect lists during the 2016 season. The top three -- Julio Urias, Blake Snell and Steven Matz -- all had large impacts, with Urias even pitching in the postseason. Four of the other five are still on the list, including new No. 1 Josh Hader.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Stanton primed for return to MVP form?

Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers questions from Marlins fans

Inbox: Stanton primed for return to MVP form?

When will Giancarlo Stanton be that MVP-type player for the Marlins?
-- @lalo_827Marlins

First and foremost is health. That's the obvious answer. A Grade 3 left groin sprain limited Stanton to 119 games in 2016, and a broken left hamate bone ended his season after 74 games in '15. When he was runner-up in the National League MVP voting to Clayton Kershaw in '14, Stanton played in 145 games and paced the NL in home runs with 37. His season, of course, was cut short after he was struck on the face by a pitch on Sept. 11.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fireballer Steckenrider eager for shot at bigs

Fireballer Steckenrider eager for shot at bigs

MIAMI -- When Spring Training begins on Feb. 14, hard-throwing reliever Drew Steckenrider will get his first taste of big league camp. The right-hander, ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the Marlins' 18th overall prospect, is trending toward reaching the Majors at some point in 2017.

Before taking that next significant step on the field, Steckenrider recently received valuable insights into what life is like in the big leagues. The 26-year-old took part in the MLB/MLBPA Rookie Career Development Program from Jan. 5-8 in Leesburg, Va. Prospects from all 30 clubs attended the annual event.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins avoid arbitration with Ramos, 4 others

Marlins avoid arbitration with Ramos, 4 others

MIAMI -- The Marlins avoided arbitration with five of their six eligible players on Friday, including All-Stars A.J. Ramos and Marcell Ozuna. But the club was unable to reach agreement with right-hander David Phelps prior to the 1 p.m. ET salary exchange deadline.

Because of their "file and trial" policy, the Marlins will resolve Phelps' salary for 2017 at a hearing prior to the start of Spring Training. Miami also avoided arbitration with right-hander Tom Koehler, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and infielder Derek Dietrich.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins may try Realmuto at first vs. southpaws

Athletic catcher would give Miami another option at uncertain position

Marlins may try Realmuto at first vs. southpaws

MIAMI -- In J.T. Realmuto, the Marlins believe they have a cornerstone player and a future All-Star. He is one of the most athletic catchers in the Majors, and he's an emerging leader on a team that hopes to be in postseason contention in 2017.

To maximize Realmuto's skill set, Miami is considering giving the 25-year-old some action at first base, primarily against tough left-handers. This will create more opportunities to keep Realmuto's bat in the lineup, and it'll reduce his daily grind behind the plate. The Giants have been doing this with Buster Posey, their All-Star catcher, for years.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Anderson, Peters among Marlins' spring NRIs

Anderson, Peters among Marlins' spring NRIs

MIAMI -- Two of the Marlins' most highly regarded prospects will get a taste of big league camp when Spring Training opens on Feb. 14. On Thursday, Miami announced that left-hander Dillon Peters and third baseman Brian Anderson are among nine non-roster invitees to Spring Training.

Anderson, a standout in the Arizona Fall League, is rated by MLBPipeline.com as the Marlins' fourth overall prospect, while Peters ranks 13th. The two were part of the 2014 Draft class; Anderson was a third-round pick from the University of Arkansas, while Peters was selected in the 10th round from the University of Texas.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: New approach for rotation

After devastating loss of ace, Marlins hope for durability from starters, with bolstered 'pen as security

Around the Horn: New approach for rotation

Spring Training for the Marlins gets underway with pitchers' and catchers' workouts beginning on Feb. 14 at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla. As the countdown continues, MLB.com is taking a position-by-position look at how Miami's 2017 squad is shaping up. This is the first in a multipart Around the Horn series that will run periodically until camp starts. First up: Rotation.

MIAMI -- The absence is so glaring and the sense of loss is so immense, but the Marlins are now prepared to push forward in 2017 with a rotation that no longer has All-Star ace Jose Fernandez.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gordon, MLB players help launch DR hunger initiative

Gordon, MLB players help launch DR hunger initiative

MONTE PLATA, Dominican Republic -- Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon said he "didn't think twice" about joining in the Food for the Hungry Foundation's Striking Out Poverty initiative, which launched a program to help nine communities in need in the Dominican Republic.

"I'm very happy to be able to help this community in Monte Plata," Gordon said Tuesday while in the town, located some 25 miles from the capital, Santo Domingo. "I know that there are a lot of communities in need and it's important to support Food for the Hungry."

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Dionisio Soldevila is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins should sign Utley as infield depth

Marlins should sign Utley as infield depth

MIAMI -- For 13 years, the Marlins got more than their fill of facing Chase Utley. The six-time National League All-Star second baseman frequently feasted on Miami pitching.

But that was then, and this is now. Utley, 38, is in the twilight of his outstanding career. The left-handed-hitting veteran remains a free agent, and the Marlins are still in the market for position player depth. If agreeable, the two sides could make an ideal fit.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Despite the frigid temperatures throughout many big league cities, Major League Baseball's announcement Tuesday of the first workout dates of Spring Training should be enough to warm the hearts of baseball fans everywhere.

The following are the first Spring Training workout dates, subject to change, both for pitchers and catchers and full squads of the 30 Major League clubs. 

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Inbox: Will Ramos become a trade chip?

Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers fans' questions

Inbox: Will Ramos become a trade chip?

If the Marlins are in the postseason race, do you see A.J. Ramos being a trade chip? He is getting pricey and we have other options at closer (Kyle Barraclough and Brad Ziegler).
-- @ThePooj

What you suggest really isn't normally how teams have made additions around the non-waiver Trade Deadline. But I get what you are suggesting. The organization has created bullpen depth, not only on the big league roster, but also at the Double-A and Triple-A levels. But if Ramos is performing, I'd highly doubt the Marlins would deal their closer. More logical trade options would be some of the candidates who start off in the Minor Leagues. Keep in mind that the likely teams that would want Ramos are contenders, not clubs rebuilding. As for Ramos becoming pricey, that wouldn't be an issue after the season. On the flip side, if the Marlins are not contending by midseason, you may see core players being dealt away.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins face decision on out-of-options Urena

If righty doesn't make Opening Day roster, Miami could risk losing him

Marlins face decision on out-of-options Urena

MIAMI -- When pitchers and catchers begin Spring Training workouts on Feb. 14 in Jupiter, Fla., the Marlins won't have many pitching vacancies. Injuries and performance will obviously factor into how the Opening Day roster ultimately looks, but as of now, five rotation and six bullpen spots appear set.

That leaves one or maybe two places in the 'pen open. It also means Miami has to make a tough decision regarding Jose Urena.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miami molds super 'pen to fit Marlins Park

Ground-ball rate one of factors club looked at when identifying potential additions

Miami molds super 'pen to fit Marlins Park

MIAMI -- The Marlins' newly constructed bullpen will come at batters from all angles and directions. Brad Ziegler has a submarine-style delivery, and Junichi Tazawa mixes in a forkball.

The two recently signed free agents join closer A.J. Ramos, an All-Star in 2016, and hard-throwing right-handers David Phelps and Kyle Barraclough in what Miami hopes becomes a "super 'pen." Manager Don Mattingly will have a variety of reliever options. What the organization hopes they all share is a style that fits with spacious Marlins Park.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins exploring market for bench candidate

Club would like to sign veteran right-handed hitter who can play first base

Marlins exploring market for bench candidate

MIAMI -- Roster spots are becoming scarce with the offseason moves the Marlins have already made, but the club still could use an experienced bat off the bench. The ideal candidate would be a right-handed hitter who can play first base.

Working in Miami's favor is that the free-agent market still has several proven players available.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins to try left-handed Bour vs. southpaws

First baseman has only 103 career at-bats against lefty pitchers

Marlins to try left-handed Bour vs. southpaws

MIAMI -- A right high ankle sprain cost Justin Bour two months of his 2016 season and limited the left-handed-hitting first baseman to just 90 games. The way the Marlins are talking now, they're open to giving him an opportunity to make up for lost time by giving him more opportunities to face left-handed pitching.

In Bour's first couple of seasons in the big leagues, Miami has always had a right-handed-hitting alternative to face tough left-handers.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fife, Moore headline Marlins' non-roster invitees

Fife, Moore headline Marlins' non-roster invitees

MIAMI -- Right-hander Stephen Fife, who formerly pitched for Miami manager Don Mattingly in Los Angeles, and first baseman Tyler Moore are among 14 non-roster invitees to Spring Training, the Marlins announced on Tuesday.

Several of the players, such as outfielder Matt den Dekker and right-hander Javy Guerra, have previously been reported. After the holiday break, the club made the signings official, and all 14 will be at big league camp when Spring Training begins in February.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins determined to push forward in 2017

Club must step up, but believes it can be contender

Marlins determined to push forward in 2017

MIAMI -- In the face of tragedy, the Marlins bonded together. As one, they dealt with the death of Jose Fernandez, lifting each other's spirits and making it through a trying time.

Now, collectively, the organization is determined to push forward. Without its ace and most energetic player, Miami remains committed to the core of the club, and the organization believes it can be a contender in 2017.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.