The Marlins have not yet decided whether to fire manager Ozzie Guillen. But they’re thinking about it.
The team is “testing the waters” with managerial candidates and has contacted at least one already, according to major-league sources.
The dismissal of Guillen, who is in the first year of a four-year, $10 million contract, is more likely than a major shakeup in the front office, one source said. But owner Jeffrey Loria will make the final decisions.
USA Today reported Thursday that the Marlins were planning to fire Larry Beinfest, their president of baseball operations, and replace him with Dan Jennings, the team’s assistant GM and vice-president of player personnel.
All of the Marlins’ top executives are signed through 2015, as is Guillen. If the Marlins replace Guillen, they likely will turn to a low-priced alternative rather than pay high salaries to two managers.
MLB.com reported Thursday that the Marlins have “talked about” former third baseman Mike Lowell as an option. Nationals third base coach Bo Porter and Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus also could be in the mix, sources say.
Ausmus, a former catcher who retired in 2010, recently interviewed for the Astros’ opening, sources say. He currently is managing Team Israel in the qualifying round of the World Baseball Classic, and his obligation will continue into the spring if Israel advances.
Many in baseball believe that Ausmus could make a great major-league manager. But Ausmus recently told FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi that he doesn’t view his role with Team Israel as a stepping-stone to a managing career. Nor does he plan on pursuing a return to a big-league dugout in the near future.
Porter, who also is a candidate for the Astros, twice has interviewed with the Marlins — before the team hired Edwin Rodriguez, and before it hired Guillen. Team officials know Porter well — he spent five years in the organization, three as a third base coach from 2007 to ’09.