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Marlins offer contracts to 37 players...


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After making a number of big trades this offseason, the Marlins were relatively low-key on Tuesday's tender deadline day.

Adhering to a formality, the Marlins offered contracts to 37 of their 39 players on their 40-man roster. The most significant order of business was the tendering of a contract to left-hander Dontrelle Willis, their lone arbitration-eligible player.

 

Willis, in his first year of the arbitration process, is in line to earn about $4 million in 2006.

 

Willis' agent, Matt Sosnick, said Tuesday he expects to work out a one-year contract.

 

According to league rules, all teams had until midnight Tuesday to tender contracts to unsigned players. The only two Marlins signed at this point are pitcher Brian Moehler and infielder Alfredo Amezaga.

 

While not eligible for arbitration, two-time All-Star Miguel Cabrera was among the 37 players offered a contract on Tuesday. Because Cabrera is under club control until he amasses more than three years of Major League service time, he technically could have his contract renewed for somewhere in the neighborhood of $400,000. Cabrera is eligible for arbitration after the 2006 season, and at that point his salary will skyrocket into the millions.

 

Willis has enough service time to qualify for arbitration. The left-hander, who is coming off a 22-10 season, has two years, 143 days of service time. A full season of service time is 172 days.

 

Even though Willis is arbitration eligible and Cabrera isn't, both will be in the same free agency class, after the 2009 season. Six full seasons of service time is needed to file for free agency.

 

Willis can file for salary arbitration between Jan. 5-15. The date for arbitration figures to be exchanged is Jan. 18, and arbitration hearings are from Feb. 1-21.

 

The Marlins most likely will sign Willis before Jan. 18.

 

"I don't feel any sense of urgency," said Sosnick, who doesn't foresee any hangups in securing at least a one-year deal for the energetic left-hander.

 

Now that the Marlins have traded off many of their top players, including Carlos Delgado, Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett and Luis Castillo, the team is building around Cabrera and Willis.

 

Based on their production thus far, both will sign significant contracts over the next few seasons. The Marlins are considering whether to sign both through the remainder of their arbitration seasons.

 

Before committing to long-term contracts to any player, the Marlins are dealing with an uncertain future. Club officials are exploring relocation options as well as trying to work out a stadium deal with Miami-Dade County for a retractable-roof building next to Dolphins Stadium.

 

As the push for a stadium continues, the team's payroll has shrunk from $65 million in 2005 to what is believed to be close to $20 million this upcoming season.

 

New manager Joe Girardi is inheriting a club that has gotten drastically younger with the influx of prospects replacing proven veterans.

 

Hired in mid-October, Girardi's staff is finally being completed. The Marlins are finalizing their coaching search. The lone holdover from the past few seasons is first base/infield coach Perry Hill, respected as one of the top infield instructors in the business.

 

The new bench coach is expected to be Gary Tuck, formerly the catching instructor for the Yankees. Tuck is credited with helping the development of All-Star catcher Jorge Posada in New York. With the Marlins, he is expected to work closely with Josh Willingham, the early front-runner to be the starting catcher.

 

Bobby Meacham, formerly a Rockies infield instructor, will be the new third-base coach. Rick Kranitz, previously with the Cubs' Triple-A Iowa squad, is the pitching coach. Mike Harkey will be the new bullpen coach. The team is finalizing the hitting coach spot.

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After making a number of big trades this offseason, the Marlins were relatively low-key on Tuesday's tender deadline day.

Adhering to a formality, the Marlins offered contracts to 37 of their 39 players on their 40-man roster. The most significant order of business was the tendering of a contract to left-hander Dontrelle Willis, their lone arbitration-eligible player.

 

Willis, in his first year of the arbitration process, is in line to earn about $4 million in 2006.

 

Willis' agent, Matt Sosnick, said Tuesday he expects to work out a one-year contract.

 

According to league rules, all teams had until midnight Tuesday to tender contracts to unsigned players. The only two Marlins signed at this point are pitcher Brian Moehler and infielder Alfredo Amezaga.

 

While not eligible for arbitration, two-time All-Star Miguel Cabrera was among the 37 players offered a contract on Tuesday. Because Cabrera is under club control until he amasses more than three years of Major League service time, he technically could have his contract renewed for somewhere in the neighborhood of $400,000. Cabrera is eligible for arbitration after the 2006 season, and at that point his salary will skyrocket into the millions.

 

Willis has enough service time to qualify for arbitration. The left-hander, who is coming off a 22-10 season, has two years, 143 days of service time. A full season of service time is 172 days.

 

Even though Willis is arbitration eligible and Cabrera isn't, both will be in the same free agency class, after the 2009 season. Six full seasons of service time is needed to file for free agency.

 

Willis can file for salary arbitration between Jan. 5-15. The date for arbitration figures to be exchanged is Jan. 18, and arbitration hearings are from Feb. 1-21.

 

The Marlins most likely will sign Willis before Jan. 18.

 

"I don't feel any sense of urgency," said Sosnick, who doesn't foresee any hangups in securing at least a one-year deal for the energetic left-hander.

 

Now that the Marlins have traded off many of their top players, including Carlos Delgado, Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett and Luis Castillo, the team is building around Cabrera and Willis.

 

Based on their production thus far, both will sign significant contracts over the next few seasons. The Marlins are considering whether to sign both through the remainder of their arbitration seasons.

 

Before committing to long-term contracts to any player, the Marlins are dealing with an uncertain future. Club officials are exploring relocation options as well as trying to work out a stadium deal with Miami-Dade County for a retractable-roof building next to Dolphins Stadium.

 

As the push for a stadium continues, the team's payroll has shrunk from $65 million in 2005 to what is believed to be close to $20 million this upcoming season.

 

New manager Joe Girardi is inheriting a club that has gotten drastically younger with the influx of prospects replacing proven veterans.

 

Hired in mid-October, Girardi's staff is finally being completed. The Marlins are finalizing their coaching search. The lone holdover from the past few seasons is first base/infield coach Perry Hill, respected as one of the top infield instructors in the business.

 

The new bench coach is expected to be Gary Tuck, formerly the catching instructor for the Yankees. Tuck is credited with helping the development of All-Star catcher Jorge Posada in New York. With the Marlins, he is expected to work closely with Josh Willingham, the early front-runner to be the starting catcher.

 

Bobby Meacham, formerly a Rockies infield instructor, will be the new third-base coach. Rick Kranitz, previously with the Cubs' Triple-A Iowa squad, is the pitching coach. Mike Harkey will be the new bullpen coach. The team is finalizing the hitting coach spot.

 

 

 

 

yet again there is the answer to that little debate.

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