Meeting to help determine direction of Marlins
Jennings to discuss possible transition back to GM with Hill, Samson, Loria
ATLANTA -- The Marlins are in the process of making widespread changes, and what transpires during an organizational meeting on Thursday in Miami will determine the direction of upper management.
Manager Dan Jennings is scheduled to meet with president of baseball operations Michael Hill, team president David Samson and owner Jeffrey Loria regarding his transition back into the front office.
When Jennings replaced Mike Redmond as manager on May 18, the organization made it clear he could return to his general manager post after the season.
Indications are Jennings will agree to go back into his old spot, but a number of sources speculate that isn't automatic. How the meeting turns out, and if everyone at the top level shares the same vision regarding the future also could be a factor.
The Marlins (55-79) have underperformed, and already changes have occurred. On Tuesday, Marty Scott was reassigned from his vice president of player development role, and Craig Weissmann was reassigned from being vice president of player personnel. Moves also are expected in the scouting departments.
Other moves at the Major League and Minor League levels are expected after the season.
The Miami Herald reported the relationship between Jennings and Loria has been "strained."
What Thursday's meeting is expected to answer is if Jennings returns as general manager after the season, or if he is reassigned to another role. Jennings is under contract through 2018 as general manager.
Because of the struggles at the big league and Minor League levels, front-office roles may change. If Jennings isn't comfortable with the direction the organization is moving, some in the industry wonder if he will accept staying, especially if he has other options.
Jennings, who has 31 years in professional baseball as an evaluator, is very popular around the league. He has been linked to other jobs within the industry, including the general manager vacancy in Seattle.
But Seattle may be just one option for Jennings, if he isn't back with Miami. The Phillies, Angels and Orioles also could be potential landing spots.
Despite the Marlins' record, Jennings and Hill have repeatedly stressed they believe the core of the team can stick together and turn things around in 2016.
The team has been hit hard by injuries all season, and players simply haven't produced. Currently, ace Jose Fernandez (right biceps strain) and right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (broken left hamate bone) are on the disabled list. So is Henderson Alvarez (right shoulder surgery), who was the Opening Day starter.
Once the front office is set, the top priority in the offseason will be finding the right manager. All indications are it will be someone with previous big league experience.