Marlins to keep skipper Gonzalez despite rumors

BY Ken Rosenthal • October 6, 2009

Fredi Gonzalez will remain manager of the Marlins.

Gonzalez signed a contract extension through 2011 last February, but his job security came into question over the weekend after reported that the Marlins were talking to Bobby Valentine about a position with their club.

In a statement Tuesday, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said the postseason evaluation was normal.

"Every organization regularly evaluates itself to see how it can improve," Loria said. "We do this on a constant basis. Our fans would expect no less.

Marlins team president David Samson fueled speculation about Gonzalez's status by declining to state definitively that the manager would return next season.

One source, however, indicated that Gonzalez never was in jeopardy.

"There is nothing to that — zero," the source said.

The Marlins, however, will seek a new pitching coach to replace Mark Wiley, who has been offered a different position in the organization.

Club officials met Monday in New York to discuss the season with Loria, who reportedly was frustrated by the team's failure to make the playoffs.

While Loria has a longstanding relationship with Valentine, the Marlins have no apparent reason to fire Gonzalez. They won 87 games this season, the third-highest total in franchise history, and 84 games the previous year.

Valentine remains a candidate for managerial openings with the Indians and Nationals. Gonzalez could become a candidate for the Braves when Bobby Cox retires after next season.

The Marlins will change pitching coaches after four of their five young starters performed below expectations. First base-infield coach Andy Fox will also be replaced but has been offered another position, the organization said.

Five coaches were offered contracts to remain in their current roles: bench coach Carlos Tosca, hitting coach Jim Presley, third base-outfield coach Bo Porter, bullpen coach Steve Foster and bullpen coordinator Pierre Arsenault.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.