Fredi Gonzalez is returning to the Miami Marlins. The former skipper has agreed to return to south Florida to become the team’s third base coach, according to MLB.com and other sources.
The 52-year-old had been the primary candidate to take over the job since the regular season ended.
Gonzalez has been the clear front-runner to return to the Marlins. The Marlins have not yet announced his hiring.
After the season ended, the Marlins announced they were not bringing back third-base coach Lenny Harris, hitting coach Barry Bonds and bullpen coach Reid Cornelius.
Gonzalez previously managed the Marlins from 2007-10, posting a record of 276-279. His wins total is the most of any manager in franchise history. Gonzalez was dismissed on June 23, 2010, and later became the manager of the Braves, replacing Bobby Cox in 2011.
The move is a solid one for the Marlins, who need to find a balance between coaching and players. Since he was fired from his post with the Atlanta Braves after a 9-28 start this season, he has not been part of any other major league organization. There had been some talk that Mike Pagliarulo may come to south Florida to assume the same role. Pagliarulo and manager Don Mattingly played together with the New York Yankees. Gonzalez had served as the third base coach for the Braves prior to being named manager of the Marlins.
Gonzalez has ties to the Miami community. He attended Southridge High School. His first professional coaching experience was with the Class A Miami Miracle in 1990. Gonzalez managed in the Marlins' organization in the 1990s, and he was a coach on the big league staff from 1999-2001.