Mike Redmond was hired to replace Ozzie Guillen as manager of the Miami Marlins, nine years after he was a catcher on their second World Series championship team.
Redmond, 41, was managing in the Toronto Blue Jays’ organization, spending the past two seasons with the club’s Class-A minor-league affiliate in Dunedin, Florida. The Marlins said in a statement on their website that Redmond received a three-year contract, and Guillen congratulated Redmond in a posting on his official Twitter feed.
Guillen was fired on Oct. 23 after the Marlins finished in last place in the National League’s five-team East Division with a 69-93 record. They came in 29 games behind division-champion Washington after signing shortstop Jose Reyes and other high-priced free agents and moving into a $515 million retractable-roof stadium.
Redmond was the first candidate to interview with the Marlins, meeting with team owner Jeffrey Loria and other members of the front office the day after Guillen’s ouster. He had a 155-115 record in the minors and was named the Midwest League Manager of the Year in 2011.
Redmond played in the majors from 1998 to 2010, including his first seven seasons with the Marlins, and was a backup to Ivan Rodriguez on the club’s 2003 championship team. Redmond had a .287 career batting average, also playing for Minnesota and Cleveland.
Redmond’s hiring with limited managerial experience is similar to the St. Louis Cardinals turning to former catcher Mike Matheny last year to succeed Tony La Russa, who won three World Series titles. Matheny, who was also 41 at the time and had no previous managerial or coaching experience when he was hired, guided the Cardinals to the National League Championship Series this season.
Redmond becomes the Marlins’ seventh manager since Loria bought the team in 2002.
Guillen was fired by the Marlins with three years remaining on his four-year, $10 million contract and had a tumultuous relationship with Loria, who suspended the manager for five games last season for remarks supporting former Cuban President Fidel Castro.
Guillen, who later apologized, also criticized the team’s performance on Sept. 21 and said Loria needed to “look in the mirror” and ask why the team has had so many managers.
The team, which opened its stadium in Miami’s Little Havana section, spent almost $200 million on free agents before the 2012 season, including $106 million on Reyes and $58 million on pitcher Mark Buehrle, and still failed to challenge for a playoff spot.
Guillen wished Redmond luck, saying on his Twitter feed, the new manager will “have great guys going to play for you.”