The Florida Marlins will look into relocation as early as the 2008 season, after years of unsuccessful attempts to secure a baseball-only stadium in downtown Miami.
Marlins president David Samson said yesterday the team has received permission from the commissioner's office to investigate options in other cities. Samson added owner Jeffrey Loria's primary intention is to keep the team in South Florida, but added that no deal will be struck for a ballpark in Miami.
''No longer can baseball in South Florida be assured," Loria said in a statement read by Samson. ''It is now clear to us that there will be no baseball stadium in the City of Miami. So we must begin to explore other options. Therefore, we will expand our search beyond the city of Miami."
The Marlins' lease with Dolphins Stadium -- owned by former Marlins owner H. Wayne Huizenga -- is in effect until 2007. The team has a series of one-year options that could keep it there through the 2010 season. Samson said the team will not extend its current lease under any circumstances. ''We simply must play in a baseball-only facility," Samson said.
Wagner gets offer from Mets
After two days of meetings with reliever Billy Wagner
and his wife, Sarah
, the Mets made an initial offer the free agent, reportedly $30 million over three years. Wagner has said he wants a four-year deal. Wagner was 4-3 with 38 saves and a 1.51 ERA last season for Philadelphia, which wants to re-sign him but has offered just a two-year commitment with an option for a third . . . Free agent reliever B.J. Ryan
visited with the Indians . . . Angels pitching coach Bud Black
told the Dodgers he is not interested in being a candidate for their vacant managerial job. Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti
had received permission from the Angels
to interview the former pitcher. Black, who has never managed, spent the 1996, 1997, and 1999 seasons as an assistant to the GM for the Indians. He was the pitching coach for the Indians' Triple A farm club in Buffalo in 1998 . . . A Manhattan appeals court upheld the misdemeanor assault conviction of a Yonkers man who punched Red Sox lefthander David Wells
to the floor of an Upper East Side diner in 2002, knocking out two of Wells's teeth . . . Reliever Chad Harville
, who split last season between the Red Sox and Astros, signed a $525,000, one-year contract with the Devil Rays.
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