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An offseason of change?

 

There could be a number of changes this winter that could drastically alter Florida's makeup for the 2005 season.

 

BY BARRY JACKSON

 

bjackson@herald.com

 

As the Marlins prepared for their home finale Thursday, Jack McKeon strongly implied he wants to return as manager while several players expressed uncertainty if they will be back in teal.

 

McKeon said the Marlins haven't told him if he will be asked back. Asked about his interest in returning, McKeon said, ``I'm enjoying what I'm doing. I have a great bunch of players. I'm proud of the way they performed except for a few nights here and there.''

 

McKeon, who had 924 wins entering Thursday, said winning 1,000 games would be ''important'' to him. He also said he would like to surpass Casey Stengel as the second-oldest manager in baseball history behind Connie Mack. To do that, McKeon would need to manage into the 2006 season.

 

PLAYERS' FUTURES

 

On the field, Carl Pavano, Armando Benitez, Mike Redmond, Lenny Harris, Damion Easley, Mike Mordecai and Ismael Valdez will be free agents. Paul Lo Duca, Guillermo Mota, A.J. Burnett, Josh Beckett, Billy Koch and Matt Perisho are eligible for arbitration.

 

Mike Lowell's future remains uncertain. If the Marlins don't have a deal for a new stadium in place by Nov. 1, Lowell has a five-day window to exercise an opt-out in his contract and become a free agent. Lowell said he's not sure what he would do in that scenario, but his decision would be based in large part on whether the Marlins plan to field a competitive team next year.

 

NOTHING'S CERTAIN

 

A Marlins official said Thursday the team is hopeful -- but not certain -- the stadium deal will be completed by Nov. 1. Lowell said the Marlins have not told him the likelihood of the team meeting that deadline.

 

''I love Miami more than anything, but I don't want to lose every year,'' he said. ``If we're going to be a totally different team and my salary is a hindrance to getting better, it's going to be a tough decision to hang on, but I don't have any indication it's going to go that way.

 

``I'm pretty confident I'll be playing in the big leagues somewhere next year. Obviously, I would prefer here. I want to do everything possible to play here. I have too many conveniences here to want to leave. . . . I would like to think before Nov. 1 I'd have a clue what's going on.''

 

What would encourage Lowell to stay? ''That we want to keep Pavano and Lo Duca and [acquire] guys to make us a playoff contender and not trade seven years of experience and consistency for potential,'' he said.

 

Would it be enough if the Marlins simply tell him they will try to re-sign their top free agents, like Pavano? 'I would like to have a little more specific than `try,' '' Lowell said.

 

Lowell added, ``The gist of the team is a good team, but you need the Pavanos and Benitezes to win. . . . I'm not opposed to having Mota as a closer if they don't think they can [afford] Benitez.''

 

Pavano would like to return, but the Marlins might be outbid. ''You can't erase the good times here if this is the last time,'' he said. ``I wouldn't want to change anything. I was part of something really special.''

 

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/9745982.htm

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First of all, I love for Mike Lowell to stay. But if he goes we move Cabrera to third,

bring Aguila to play left field, and with the money we save we have more chances of keeping Loduca and or Pavano, Armando well Mota would not be a bad option at closer especially with spooney coming back, its not a bad situation.

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First of all, I love for Mike Lowell to stay. But if he goes we move Cabrera to third,

bring Aguila to play left field, and with the money we save we have more chances of keeping Loduca and or Pavano, Armando well Mota would not be a bad option at closer especially with spooney coming back, its not a bad situation.

570468[/snapback]

 

Our lineup is weak enough with Lowell in it, removing lowell's place in the lineup and replacing it with Chris Aguila would be devastating.

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So Koch is not a FA. That's good. He can be re-signed for cheap to fill out the bullpen.

570477[/snapback]

 

 

He's arbitration eligible...and he made over 5 mil last year, so there's no way in hell they pick up what he's awarded.

 

That being said, if the market for him is nonexistent in free agency, they could bring him back for cheap then.

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So Koch is not a FA. That's good. He can be re-signed for cheap to fill out the bullpen.

570477[/snapback]

 

 

He's arbitration eligible...and he made over 5 mil last year, so there's no way in hell they pick up what he's awarded.

 

That being said, if the market for him is nonexistent in free agency, they could bring him back for cheap then.

570540[/snapback]

what do you think he will be rewarded?

 

he didnt exactly have a good season

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What's the deal on Fox?

 

Spooney, (Fox?), Seanez, Mota should be a pretty solid bullpen.

 

Of course I'd like to keep Mando but the priorities should be Pavano and Lo Duca.

 

Obviously, we need to get this god-foresaken ballpark deal done.

 

I'd also like to sign Valdez cheap for our 5th starter and somehow keep Easley.. which I don't think will happen because I wouldn't be surprised to see someone snag Easley as a starter.

 

We also need some lefties out of the pen.

 

Should be a very interesting offseason.

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