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Managerial Dilemma: the Florida Marlins' Ultimate Plan

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Managerial Dilemma: the Florida Marlins' Ultimate Plan
Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

At this rate, you're probably sick and tired of reading stories of speculation about the next possible Marlins manager. But despite all the speculation about who will be the Marlins' next manager, with potential skippers ranging from Bobby Valentine to Bo Porter, it may come down to Edwin Rodriguez, who managed them down the stretch last year. 

According to various media reports towards the end of the regular season, the Florida Marlins were a likely landing spot for Ozzie Guillen because of the turmoil that he had internally with his front office, notably general manager Ken Williams. 

Apparently, the Florida Marlins asked the White Sox for permission to speak to Ozzie Guillen, who is going into the final year of his contract with the White Sox. When the White Sox asked the Marlins for compensation, reports indicate that Chicago asked for up and coming slugger Mike Stanton, who hit 22 home runs in 100 games this past season. 

Whether or not Stanton was involved in talks or not, the two sides could not come to agreement on compensation for Ozzie Guillen. 

In any world, I wouldn't trade a potential 40-50 homer hitter for a manager; the difference in the win column would weigh more on the player than a manager who won't even take the field. 

When that failed, the Marlins turned to Bobby Valentine, who shut them out of his managerial future and left the Marlins scrambling over other issues ahead of them, such as getting a Dan Uggla long term deal done and ongoing stadium construction. Think of the Marlins as a quarterback under pressure; he sees two potential targets go by the wayside (Guillen and Valentine), but in the end he hands it to his running back near by (Edwin Rodriguez). 

Considering that the Florida Marlins' previous plans have failed in their search for a new manager, don't be surprised if after a long holding pattern in managerial talks, the organization brings back Edwin Rodriguez for a one year deal. 

It would be dumb on their part to basically give away another season (payroll is only going to rise slightly into the $50 million range), but smart if they can hire the right manager.  

The ultimate plan in the front office minds would be to give Edwin Rodriguez the job for an additional season and hope that the White Sox don't make the playoffs next season. Ozzie Guillen's contract has an option which is automatically picked up if his team wins the AL Central (the team holds an option for 2012); if the White Sox miss the playoffs, Guillen's chances of leaving the South Side increase, especially if he isn't offered an extension. 

At this point, if the Chicago White Sox wanted Ozzie Guillen and Guillen wanted the White Sox why hasn't an extension gotten done? 

Edwin Rodriguez handled the Marlins managerial duties pretty well (46-46) considering the series of injuries he dealt with down the stretch, which could have swung his record by five games the other way (51-42).

Giving him a long look would give the Marlins a chance to see if he is worth keeping on a long term basis. If the Marlins make the playoffs this season, then Edwin Rodriguez stays, but if they don't, he is likely gone and Ozzie Guillen is potentially in. That's the scenario the Marlins' front office has swimming in their heads and the one they hope ultimately happens. 

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