Marlins Exchange Prospects For Manager Ozzie Guillen

The Deal
Manager Ozzie Guillen was under contract with the White Sox for 2012, not to mention the final three games of this season. Yet the 47-year-old skipper wasn’t happy with his situation and, prior to Chicago’s Sept. 26 game against the Blue Jays, presented the organization with two options: either extend his contract beyond next season or release him from his deal so that he could pursue another managerial job. Chicago chose the latter option but retained compensation rights in the event that Guillen signed with the Marlins, which is exactly what he did.

Chicago received Double-A reliever Jhan Marinez and Triple-A shortstop Ozzie Martinez from the Marlins to complete the deal. The last player-for-manager trade occurred in October 2002 when the Mariners shipped Lou Piniella and second baseman Antonio Perez to the Rays for outfielder Randy Winn.

UPDATE (Sept. 29): The Marlins officially received 20-year-old righthander Ricardo Ambres from the White Sox to complete the deal. Ambres signed out of Venezuela in April and pitched 12 times in relief for Rookie-level Bristol this season, notching eight strikeouts and 11 walks in 15 2/3 innings.

Mere hours before the Guillen resolution hit the news wire, Florida manager Jack McKeon announced his intention to retire following the season. Guillen will take the reins of a talented, but underachieving, Marlins club as it prepares to move into its new park in 2012. Florida reportedly sought to trade for Guillen last offseason, but the two sides could not reach a deal.

The White Sox won 52.4 percent of their games during Guillen’s eight seasons at the helm, winning the 2005 World Series and one other AL Central division title.

 
White Sox Acquire
Jhan Marinez, rhp

Age: 23.

Born: Aug. 12, 1988 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Ht.: 6-1. Wt.: 165. Bats: R. Throws: R.

Career Transactions: Signed as nondrafted free agent by Marlins, April 25, 2006.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Jacksonville (SL) AA 3 8 3.57 56 0 3 58 47 26 23 7 42 74 1.53

The top relief prospect in the Marlins organization entering the season, Marinez seemed poised to make the leap to Florida in 2011. Instead he spun his wheels in Double-A, though he did earn a berth in the Futures Game in July. The wiry, fast-armed righthander throws an explosive four-seam fastball that sits 92-96 mph and reaches as high as 98. He’ll also show a sinking two-seamer. Marinez flashes a solid-average to plus power slider on occasion, but it comes and goes, disappearing all too often. When it’s there he’s got the stuff to close games out. However tantalizing the stuff, he must exhibit better command and control of both pitches to succeed. Durability has been a concern in the past, though his 56 appearances were a career high this year.

 
Ozzie Martinez, ss/2b

Age: 23. Position: SS (86 G), 2B (6 G), 3B (4 G).

Born: May 7, 1988 in Carolina, Puerto Rico.

Ht.: 5-10. Wt.: 190. Bats: R. Throws: R.

School: Porterville (Calif.) JC.

Career Transactions: Selected by Marlins in 11th round of 2006 draft; signed June 8, 2006.

Club (League) Class AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
New Orleans (PCL) AAA .245 88 339 43 83 15 1 3 26 21 57 11 .296 .322
Florida (NL) MLB .130 20 23 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 9 0 .130 .130

The No. 5 prospect in the Marlins system coming into this season, Martinez broke out in 2010, batting .326 in 43 big league at-bats while filling in for shortstop Hanley Ramirez in September. When he’s right, he sprays line drives from gap to gap with a level swing. He showed strong hands and excellent hand-eye coordination last year, when he looked like a potential No. 2 hitter with doubles power. Martinez’s plate discipline took a hit this year and he never got going offensively and his confidence suffered. At times he fell into a pull mode, getting away from what made him successful earlier. Mentally he wasn’t the same player, both at bat and in the field, where his play at short went from steady to erratic. He has the skills to play second and third and could fill a utility role. The strong arm is still there, as are the rest of his tools, but he showed only occasional glimpses of the all-around game that had Florida so excited a year ago.

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