Bobby Valentine could land in Miami in his return to North American baseball.
Valentine, who spent the past six years as one of Japan's most popular managers, is in contact with the Marlins about a possible position with the team, according to an ESPN.com report.
The 59-year old Valentine managed 15 seasons in the big leagues with the Rangers (1985-92) and Mets (1996-02), posting a 1,117-1,072 record and leading New York to the National League pennant in 2000. He returned to ESPN earlier this week after his contract with the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan was not renewed -- despite a petition from the team's fans to bring him back.
"It's fair to assume that I'd be interested in managing again," Valentine said during a conference call announcing his return to ESPN for the first time since 2003. "But at this time, I'm totally committed to trying to be as good as I can be for the team [ESPN] that showed interest in me."
The Marlins' current skipper, Fredi Gonzalez, has led the low-payroll club to an 87-74 mark and a second-place standing in the NL East with one game remaining this season. Coming off a 2008 campaign in which he was named the Sporting News Manager of the Year, Gonzalez was given a two-year contract extension through the 2011 season.
Gonzalez's success with the Marlins would seem to make him a curious candidate to be replaced, but the Florida coaching staff has not yet been informed of their status with the team moving forward. Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said Saturday that, with the team remaining in contention for a playoff spot so late into the season, there hasn't been much discussion about Gonzalez's staff. Any decision on the group will come after the season.
Gonzalez replaced current Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who was named the 2006 Sporting News Manager of the Year in his lone season with the Marlins.
Ed Eagle is a reporter and producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.