Drastic changes could be in store for Marlins
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Marlins plan to dismiss Larry Beinfest, president of baseball operations, and replace him with Dan Jennings, the team's vice president of player personnel.
The move could be made as early as next week.
The Marlins, off on Thursday, open a three-game series with the Mets at Citi Field on Friday. Beinfest and the rest of the front office are making the trip.
Last in the National League East with a 66-84 record, the Marlins are winding down a disappointing inaugural season at Marlins Park.
The rumors and reports are not just about Beinfest. Team owner Jeffrey Loria has made it clear that everyone -- both in the front office and on the field -- will be evaluated after the season.
Nothing has been decided on the future of manager Ozzie Guillen -- who is signed through 2015 -- and, according to a source, the pros and cons of a change at manager already are being discussed. The Marlins, in considering a potential managerial change, have talked about ex-Marlin Mike Lowell as an option.
Guillen expects to be back, but he knows the sport is a business and that his club has greatly underperformed.
"How many times this week or last week did they say my name is on the hot seat?" Guillen said earlier this week. "I don't say anything about it. Do I think I did a good job with this ballclub? No. Should I be fired? Well, if you look at the big picture, of course."
If the Marlins do indeed make a managerial change, they likely will consider candidates who have no previous big league experience. The team has a number of young players who are still developing and payroll is expected to be closer to $80 million than $100 million, so a fresh voice and approach may be what the team seeks.
The question is, does Lowell, one of the most popular players in Marlins history, want to manage?
Raised in Miami, Lowell played for the Marlins from 1999 to 2005, and he was part of the 2003 World Series team. In 2007 the All-Star and Gold Glove-winning third baseman was the World Series MVP while with Boston. He retired after the 2010 season with the Red Sox.
The 38-year-old Lowell has no professional managing or coaching experience, but he possesses plenty of leadership and knowledge of the game.
Two of the top managers this season happen to be former players who have no previous professional coaching experience.
Mike Matheny replaced Tony La Russa in St. Louis, and he has the defending World Series champions close to clinching the second NL Wild Card berth.
And Robin Ventura is in a similar spot to Matheny.
Ventura took over for Guillen in Chicago, and in his first year managing at any pro level, has the White Sox in first place in the American League Central.
Other possible choices for the Marlins are Mike Redmond and Bo Porter.
Redmond, a former backup catcher for the Marlins and Twins, managed Toronto's Class A Dunedin squad this season. And Porter, a former third-base coach with the Marlins, holds the similar position with the Nationals.
Loria has repeatedly said that he will address potential changes after the season ends on Oct. 3.
Until then there promises to be plenty of speculation regarding major changes in the front office and dugout.